dot brand: numbers, websites and branding

How to build up from a number, to a site and to a brand : the example of easyjet

Easyjet was established in 1995, and is the second-largest airline in Europe by number of passengers carried. Although Easyjet did not apply for a new dot brand gTLD, the evolution of their branding and corresponding communication is a revealing example of the shift in communication tools, from a number, to a web address and to a brand. A parallel can be drawn from a DNS, to a website and to a gTLD.

Easyjet operates over 200 aircrafts, and has used their aircrafts as a communication support, probably more than many other airlines. Peter Duffy, easyJet’s commercial director, said: “Our aircraft livery is one of the most recognised in aviation ». The aircrafts have been used to support some campaigns, as shown in the following examples:

unicef logo was painted on some of their aircrafts to help raise funds via the collaboration between easyjet and Unicef. ( 2012)
easyjet unicef

Some engines were painted in bright green constrasting with the corporate orange, to promote the use of ultra-thin paint to reduce fuel consumption of aircrafts (2011)

Shakespeare portrait was painted on a plane to support the recognition of April 23 as the national William Shakespeare Day. (2014)
easyjet promoting shakespear

Easyjet uses extensively the planes and the fuselage to communicate, similarly to some other airlines. When it comes to global fleet livery, Easyjet has changed only twice in twenty years. These changes have been thoroughly thought and prepared, and are revealing the shift in communication stream. The evolution is very significant in the importance of the communication channels :

First livery of the easyjet aircrafts
Initially, easyjet had not e-commerce website. 1995 was the very beginning of the web, and all the plane tickets were purchased in traditional travel agencies. One of easyjet’s ways to reduce costs was to use a parallel distribution network, based on the telephone. Therefore, the communication channel between easyjet and their customers, before and after the flight, was mainly the telephone. That medium was put forward on the planes. The brand did appear on the rear part of the aircraft, but was not hte key message.
the era of dot com - before the dot brand
The website was launched in 1997 and online bookings were made available a year later. In 1998, the first seat was sold online at www.easyjet.com, making easyjet . Easyjet’s communication channel then becomes their website, and easyjet paints that message “contact us on our website” very clearly on their airplanes, their flying advertising posters. Quite nicely, the website carries also the name of theb rnad, so easyjet was able to communicate on the website and on its brand.

 

the new livery of easjet : only brand, no .com - by dot stories
Over the last years, the website has been complemented by social media – facebook.com/easyjet, twitter.com/easyjet, youtube or linkedin – as well as by the mobile app, passbook. Easyjet now communicates and tells their customers and propects to talk to the brand and not anymore to a telephone number or a website. The website also offers new digital experiences: the flight tracker was introduced in 2013.  . and the campaign “generation easyjet” shows that it is now part of our culture and lifestyle.

How does that relate to a dot brand ?

Easyjet has actually not applied for a new dot brand top level domain, and is therefore a symbol of the shift that is occurring, far from the technicalities of the dot brand.

Brands were driving their customers to specific contact means:

The telephone is actually similar to an IP address – it has no name, it is not branded.

Easyjet’s website, easyjet.com enjoys approximately 9 million visitors monthly ( source trafficestimate.com).  “.com” was the symbol of website, online and modernity, quite as much as the telephone and distant access was for some time. Some brands were even relying on search engines, telling customers to search for their brand on google.

Easyjet is a brand, and does not need anymore to explain to customers how to enter in contact with them. The customers are savvy, and there are so many ways and channels, and the customers will just choose the one they prefer, based on the action they want to accomplish, to personal inclinations, or to other factors such as time of the day, location etc.. the facebook page has 1.1 million likes, and the twitter feed 360k followers. The app is now also available on the apple watch..

Raising above these communication means and technologies, and focusing on the relationship between the brand, its values, its products, and the customers, their expectations and their needs, is what the easyjet example shows. Dot brands is a platform to support that move.

 

Photo credits : By JetPix – Gallery page http://www.airliners.net/photo/EasyJet-Airline/Boeing-737-33V/0219188/LPhoto http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/photos/8/8/1/0219188.jpg, GFDL 1.2, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28588733

By Markus Eigenheer from Genève – G-EZBW Airbus A319-111 A319 > EZY (neue Bemalung), CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38547921

Easyjet.com