By JONATHAN FINE
easyGroup launched a major newspaper ad campaign last week to announce that it is hunting for new franchisees.
On page 9 in the FT Weekend Magazine the full pager by easyJet’s parent company said: “Investors can generally increase returns on invested capital and reduce risk by extending a well-known brand rather than starting a new one.”
Well, they would say that wouldn’t they? But no one can seriously deny the brand capital easyGroup has created through easyJet over the past 20 years.
Just look at these brand values on the easy.com website:
- great value
- taking on the big boys
- for the many not the few
- relentless innovation
- keep it simple
- making a difference in people’s lives
- honest, open, caring and fun
They are exactly what come to mind when you think of easyJet, aren’t they?
The website also posts an impressive list of successful litigation by easyGroup against brand thieves in finance, hotels, car rentals, pizza, drinks and gyms.
There doesn’t seem to be a limit to where the easyGroup might go: easyOffice, easyProperty, easyMoney and easyFoodstore are already established – easyDentist and easyDoctor can’t be far off.
easyGroup is Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s private company and the airline’s biggest shareholder. And it’s a good time to be at easyJet, despite the threat of strike by UK cabin crew after talks over a pay deal collapsed last week.
Shares surged recently when an independent commission recommended that Heathrow airport should be expanded over Gatwick.
Breaking into Heathrow with the third runway – normally off-limits to low cost airlines – would see easyJet launch new services on top of new routes it has already announced.
And it reported a 7.6 per cent increase in passengers to 6.6m in June compared with the same month a year earlier and a load factor – a measure of how many seats are occupied – of 92.7pc, up 0.7 per cent from June 2014.
So, if you’d you like to reap the halo effect of one of the best known brands on the planet you might have to move fast before someone else thinks of licensing easyDentist.
Finally it’s worth noting the danger in leveraging another brand – remember when Thomas Cook’s chief executive refused to apologise about the deaths of two children from carbon monoxide poisoning while on holiday in Greece? If your business is built on another brand, you’re vulnerable to its PR disasters too…
Let me know if I can help.