AUTUMN 2017 | ISSUE 05
OF THE BRANDS
From The Editor
From the Editor
oy it’s been a hectic time since our last issue! We have moved offices and home, as well as celebrating the beautiful wedding of our Editor, Hayley Ingram to James Ashley Hartland. We are also delighted to now be an official media sponsor of WTCE Hamburg 2018. We have renamed this October publication the ‘Autumn Issue’ and next year we will be publishing a Spring, Summer & Autumn Amenities issue! In this issue we have explored the on-going battle of the brands as both airlines and suppliers continue to secure exclusive brand partnerships. I am delighted with the support we have received from the industry and the views of brands, airlines and suppliers are clearly reflected in this Publication.
Editor in Chief Debra Bradbury-Ward
2017 has been a great year for Amenities and I would like to thank all our clients for their continued support. My editorial team and I wish you all a festive break & a prosperous new year!
Editor in Chief
AMENITIES IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY...
Assistant Editor Hayley Hartland
Features Editor Lily-Fleur Bradbury
Designer Alison Cutler
Publisher Simon Ward
Published by TravelPlus, Red Kite Studio, Littleworth Road, Burnham, Buckinghamshire SL1 8PQ.
Editorial: firstname.lastname@example.org / Advertising: email@example.com AMENITIES MAGAZINE
In this issue... EDITOR’S TOP PICKS We selected our top 10 cosmetic brands and airline partnerships on-board
BATTLE OF THE BRANDS
Lily-Fleur Bradbury explores the race for brands
CONSUMERISM IS RIFE Are brand partnerships always right?
SURVIVAL OF THE SUPPLIER
Thanks to our contributors for their expertise on brands... Azman Ahmad
Íris Anna Groeneweg
GM Product Management
Onboard Service Development
Tamara Vazquez Perez
Director Inflight Product & Services
Marketing and Brand Partnerships Director
Swiss International Air Lines, Ltd
If suppliers don’t secure exclusivity will they survive?
Business Development Manager Travel Retail
LIMITED POTENTIAL Budget verses brand partnership
THE FUTURE Are airlines using brands to their fullest potential?
IN THE SPOTLIGHT Amenities caught up with Ian Linakar, Managing Director of Galileo Watermark
THE FIFTH SENSE! On-board amenities reach beyond the conventional
AMENITIES LIBRARY 29
Presents an elegant way to search and compare airline amenity kits.
With over 250 beautifully photographed kits, profiled by cabin class, supplier and designer, it provides a valuable research resource. Check it out at
Copyright © TravelPlus Media Limited, 4 The Arcade, Front Street, Tynemouth, NE30 4BS. Printed in the UK by Principal Colour Ltd. All right reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is strictly prohibited. The title Amenities is published twice a year and is a trading division of TravelPlus Media Limited. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information is correct, neither the author nor publisher can be held responsible for inadvertent inaccuracies or omissions. The views of the writers in Amenities are not necessarily share by the publisher.
THE NEWS Aeroflot with AK Service Introduce New Economy Kits AK-Service, the biggest manufacturer and supplier of on-board service products in Russia and the CIS countries, introduces a new wide range of amenity kits for Aeroflot Russian Airlines’ Economy Class passengers. The medium and long-haul flight Kits feature a bright and colourful design, with the silhouettes of various cities around the world. Passengers have a chance to assemble the entire collection of cosmetic bags with different cities such as Saint-Petersburg, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Bangkok etc., with a new range of cities available twice a year. The kits will include most-needed items: eye mask, slippers and ear plugs with long haul kits also including a lip balm.
Qantas & Oroton Unveil Limited Edition Kit for Dreamliner With the arrival of Qantas’ first 787-9 Dreamliner “The Great Southern Land,” Qantas has revealed a unique business class amenity kit in collaboration with Oroton and Australian artists Craig Redman and Karl Maier, who work together as Craig & Karl. This limited-edition kit features a black embossed print by the artistic duo that references the Australian landscape and national cultural icons (the Sydney Opera House being the most obvious). Inside passengers are gifted with a wrap-around eye mask that echoes the kit’s print design, as well as Qantas’ range of Aspar products from Aurora Spa Rituals. Olivia Wirth Qantas Chief Customer speaking with Amenities said, “We are sure the Oroton pouch will enjoy a post-fight life as a designer travel bag. With Oroton’s trade mark high quality case and the Craig & Karl design, it’s a fantastic and fashionable combination for either an evening clutch or make-up bag.” The limited-edition kit will be available on Qantas Dreamliner flights between Melbourne and Los Angeles from December 2017 to March 2018. 6
FORMIA & Xiamen Airlines Inspire Italian Excellence with Acca Kappa FORMIA announces its new business relationship with Xiamen Airlines and the airline’s existing alliance with the Acca Kappa White Moss cosmetic brand. Xiamen Airlines offers their Acca Kappa amenity kit to First and Business Class travellers, each passenger class with its own distinctive design. The amenity kit includes Acca Kappa cosmetics from the White Moss range along with its other inner items, offering the best in quality design in keeping with Xiamen’s vision as an internationally recognised top-class and brand name airline in the Asia-Pacific region.
A Merry Christmas from JetBlue
A Sensory Souvenir from Cathay Pacific Cathay Pacific Airlines upps the ante with their new onboard offering. Since October, passengers on selected Australian flights with the airline have been gifted a bottle of limited edition perfume to help them remember their holiday. And it’s not just the lucky ones at the pointy end of the plane who’ll get the gift, with the airline planning to hand out the bottles among all passenger classes. The scent, Parfums de Voyage, has been specially crafted by Australian fragrance specialist Samantha Taylor of The Powder Room to evoke the essence of Hong Kong.The airline’s “sensory souvenir” is designed to provide a more effective way to remember a holiday than fleeting posts on social media or a collection of photos that gets stored and ignored.
After successfully introducing the first Hayward and Hopper kits onboard JetBlue in November 2016, Hayward Luxury and CLIP have created these very special and unique Kits for the Holidays. For two short months, throughout November and December, the Holiday kits on-board JetBlue feature a surprising element for the passengers to enjoy and take away. In both Hayward and Hopper kits, there is a pair of fingerless gloves provided for each Mint Class passenger; this unique gift extends to the overall passenger experience by adding a bit of fun and holiday festivities. The kit is packed with small delights; personal care items from the USA, eyeshades, socks, dental set, pen and earplugs.
Marella Cruises Partners with Milk Jnr’s & Kidworks The UK’s third largest cruise line, Marella Cruises, is working with Milk Jnr’s & Kidworks to produce new kids’ activity packs on-board Marella Discovery and Marella Discovery 2. The new packs retain some core elements including a lanyard, a wallet, an activity pack, stickers and a board game, but the new versions also contain a set of pop-up binoculars along with characters from the Discovery ships’ popular Splash Live immersive shows that have been incorporated. 8
Galileo Watermark’s New Recycled Cosmetic OCN OCN is a new brand of cosmetics offered by Galileo Watermark as an alternative to products in standard recycled or virgin plastic packaging. It is taken from a small segment of the billions of metric tons of disposable products that are now littering the world’s oceans – up to 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile of water, according to National Geographic. The waste is unsightly and unnecessary, and it poses real threats to fish, turtles, birds and other sea life. Though the company is committed to an OCN line that is made from 100% plastic recycled from the ocean, its initial offering will contain approximately 30%.
Lalique Up Close and Personal on Singapore Singapore unveils an exclusive collaboration with the world-renowned luxury brand LALIQUE, to offer a special collection of First Class amenities supplied by FORMIA. Complementing the airline’s exquisite Gents and Ladies amenity kits, the offering includes a luxurious Unisex kit and enhances its on-board experience with the introduction of a matching LALIQUE branded sleeper suit and lavatory items. The pink and black ladies bag is reminiscent of the highest quality in French fashion, and is inspired by René Lalique’s devoted love to women and sensuality, containing elegantly matched products from the L’AMOUR LALIQUE women’s range. The First Class Gents kit is an ode to the classic style of the physician bag. This black pouch opens to reveal the best in travel size products from LALIQUE’s Encre Noire men’s range, a celebration of vétiver and modernity.
S7 Launches New Space Kits for Kids On-board S7 Airlines, in collaboration with AK-Service, have launched new exclusive travel kits for children aged three to twelve. The sets are united by the theme of Space, which is perfectly embodied in unusual silvery backpacks with colourful and unique design prints made with special paints that glow in the dark, creating a magical atmosphere onboard for kids during night flights. The new children’s kits come in different variations comprised of funny games, colouring books with exciting tasks, quizzes and all that a child needs for a comfortable and interesting trip on-board. AMENITIES MAGAZINE
TAP’s New Generation of Kids Amenity Kits TAP has introduced a new amenity concept for both Infants and children who are older than six years, partnered with SkySupply. “Our goal was to produce amenities which are adapted to the necessities of young children, and at the same time, reflect the airline’s corporate identity in a playful way,” says Wolfgang Bücherl, Managing Director at SkySupply. The kits developed for children over six years sensitively hit the right point when it comes to combining entertaining products, suitable for children, yet premium design and customer loyalty at a very early stage. All items are placed in a fashionable, sporty all-round gym bag decorated with TAP’s mascot. The sack includes several fun items: an
Flying Back In Time Towards The Future! TAP Air Portugal celebrates 70 years of experience, excellent awarded services and their continuously growing market presence. On occasion of the airline’s anniversary, TAP together with SkySupply is introducing a holistic “RETRO” concept based on their own past. The bag contains a number of traditional cosmetic brands and contents from Portugal.
inflatable neck cushion with a soft jersey cover which also showcases the plane motif, a set of colour pencils and a colouring book to keep the child entertained, a card game, a pair of socks for warm feet, and a dental set. With the new infant pouches, TAP and SkySupply once again showcase their innovative ideas and implementation on various levels: caring thoughtfully for both parent and infant. The bag is tastefully designed, nicely manageable, and a contribution to our environment by its after use. The foldable pad is branded with TAP’s mascot with an upholstered, washable pad on the inside. The interior compartment designed as a net, holds various items: a small stuffed plane for the baby to play with, a small spoon for feeding, and a washable bib showing the same style as the pad. Last but not least, the bag includes a lovingly designed string for the pacifier.
New 747 Amenity Kits on United Airlines United Airlines is rolling out commemorative amenity kits in honour of the Boeing 747, which will be retired after a special final flight next month. United Airlines is celebrating the retirement of the carrier’s Boeing 747 fleet by giving out a line of premium cabin amenity kits branded with the United Airlines logo and a picture of the 747 aircraft. Introduced on-board on 23rd October for this winter, travellers on United’s Polaris international business and first class cabins, and on Premium Transcon flights, will receive the kit. The attractive tin amenity kits will contain the usual toiletries and skincare products, along with a packet of four trading cards highlighting historic photos and facts about the 747. There will be a total of 15 trading cards in the collection. The final United Airlines flight on a Boeing 747 will go from San Francisco to Honolulu on November 7th. So, for aviation enthusiasts who can’t take United Airlines up on one of the final flights, maybe they can at least get their hands on one of these amenity kits or a trading card to celebrate the history of the Boeing 747. United has featured special tin amenity kits over the years, including for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro and to recognise each of its hub cities in 2014. 12
Captain Gobi Delights Little Globetrotters Aircalin is pleased to introduce their new Children’s Kit, partnered with FORMIA, to entertain and capture the hearts of young travellers. The kit features Captain Gobi of the Blueband Gobi family. This pearly white fish with an adorable yellow face is outfitted in the Aircalin captains uniform. Inspired by Aircalin’s interior cabin atmosphere and the iconic colours of the lagoon and red earth landscapes of New Caledonia, the new kits include The Captain Gobi Activity Book and the eye-catching Tin Box with coloured pencils and a magnet jigsaw puzzle.
The World’s First Personalized Amenity Kit Delta Air Lines is refreshing its Delta One amenity kits, featuring a new look and feel that customers can make uniquely their own. Buzz worked with Delta and TUMI to create a world-first personalized amenity kit, delivering a truly unique and customized experience for customers. Delta’s TUMI hard-case amenity kit, which is inspired by TUMI’s popular 19 Degree collection, will allow customers to monogram a patch on the front of the case, a first for any airline amenity. The Delta One kits will continue to feature Kiehl’s Since 1851 skincare products, to create a spa-like experience in the sky, revitalizing skin on Delta’s longest flights. Complimentary monogramming will be available at any TUMI retail store aside from outlet and airport locations.
American, WESSCO and Casper, You’re Now Cleared to ZzZz American Airlines announced that it is partnering with innovative global sleep company Casper to offer a best-inclass sleep experience to American Airlines’ customers. Beginning in December, customers seated in long-haul international and transcontinental First or Business class and Premium Economy can enjoy a suite of advanced sleep offerings designed by Casper’s award-winning engineering team in collaboration with WESSCO International; a leading supplier in on-board amenities. The Casper line of sleep products will include a mattress pad, duvet, pillow, day blanket, lumbar pillow, pajamas and slippers, with the exact offering varying based on the route. Casper, in partnership with WESSCO, studied the travel environment for months to better understand the challenges of in-flight sleep. Together they applied their joint expertise in sleep research and sleep science to design innovative products specifically for air travel and made exclusively for American Airlines. WESSCO with Casper researched more than a dozen versions of the on-board pillow and tested it with a variety of fibers to find the perfect balance of support and breathability for customers. Inspired by performance outerwear, Casper’s signature duvet and the on-board duvet are created to provide comfort at
all altitudes, and its sewn-through seams create small, rectangular chambers for a consistent fill distribution to stay fluffy and in place. American put these designs to the test with customers on some of its longest flights, including Los Angeles to Auckland, New Zealand. The airline also tapped the expertise of some of its most frequent travellers, its flight attendants, for advice on fit, durability and comfort. “Customers and crew members who tried Casper on our flights said they loved it,” said Kurt Stache, American Airlines senior vice president for Marketing, Loyalty & Sales. “Casper has set a new standard for premium sleep products and our new line showcases their attention to detail and design, and their commitment to providing the best rest possible for American Airlines customers.” Casper was founded in 2014 with the mission of improving sleep and modernising the mattress industry. This is the first time Casper has applied its sleep expertise beyond the home to the world of travel. “Our mission has always been to create products that help people dream their way to a better life,” said Philip Krim, Casper co-founder and CEO. “In collaboration with American, we are now able to apply our expertise in sleep science to redefine comfort and sleep in flight.”
Ashley & Co for Air New Zealand The new Air New Zealand kits come in the airline’s signature brand colours and depending on the cabin class, include Ashley & Co Hydrating Hand Cream, Ashley & Co Intensive Lip Balm, eye mask, socks, toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash, Eclipse mint, pen and black ear plugs. The new Premium Economy kits are on-board now, with the Business Premier™ kits to follow shortly. AMENITIES MAGAZINE
TOP PICKS Debra Bradbury-Ward , Editor In Chief
Editor’s Top Picks... With a branding boom on our hands, we felt it was only natural to take a look at past and present amenity kit partnerships between brands and airlines. Here are our top ten that caught our eye when it comes to effective brand alignment. Air France (Albea) Givenchy skin care was on-board the 2014 Air France La Premiere Amenity kits. This has to be our all-time favourite kit as a brand alignment product. Presented in a sleek classy leather like casing with the Givenchy logo printed on top, the kit opens up to display beautifully & simply packaged Givenchy skin care products encased in a removable holder. Quite simply, just beautiful!
Saudi Airlines (Formia) Acca Kappa is on-board Saudi First Class Male Amenity Bag. Acca Kappa is a top quality Italian brand with a very distinctive smell & is well known in the hospitality world. A perfect fit with the iconic designed Porsche bag.
Air France (Albea) Carita is on-board Air France First Class Unisex Amenity Bag. Carita is a professional luxury French brand of beauty products. Air France go the extra mile in brand extension by offering passengers Carita not only in their La Premiere Comfort Kit, but also Carita make up remover & numerous Carita moisturising treatments during the flight.
Hawaiian Airlines (WESSCO) Loli’i on-board Hawaiian Airlines Business Class Americas. Consisting of a hydrating mist, coconut body lotion & lip balm. Loli’i is a private label Hawaiian coconut skin care brand. Loli’i meaning ‘relaxation’ in Hawaiian.
IcelandAir (Harmony-Gategroup) Blue Lagoon is on-board IcelandAir Business Class Europe/Africa. A beautiful skin care range created from the Icelandic Blue Lagoons geothermal sea-water containing silica, algae & health enriching minerals. The Blue Lagoons are now recognised as one of the 25 Wonders of the World.
United (WESSCO) Cowshed on-board United Airlines Business Class Americas. Soho House’s Cowshed skin-care range has partnered with United and can be found in United Global First and United Business Class Amenity kits. Along with on-board availability, customers using United Club shower facilities at some airports may enjoy Cowsheds products too. Additionally, customers who are members of United’s loyalty programme have the opportunity to bid on an escape at various Soho House hotels.
Qatar Airways (Formia) Monte Vibiano beauty products are on-board Qatar Business Class Middle East and First Class. The amenity kits exclusively feature products from Italy’s Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio, the environmentally friendly olive oil company. Both Brics and Monte Vibiano are niche, innovative Italian brands; Monte Vibiano cannot be bought retail adding to its exclusivity.
Air New Zealand (Galileo Watermark) Ashley & Co beauty products are on-board Air New Zealand’s Business Premier. This brand is quickly expanding, offering up to over 30 products and six signature scents, with a focus on quality ingredients and Aesop-like design. Ashley & Co retails throughout New Zealand and now extends its reach to include Singapore & Australia. It prides itself on its modernity and commitment to overseeing the development process of the products from beginning to end. All ingredients come from New Zealand itself and the packaging is designed to “delight.”
Swiss International Airlines (SkySupply) Privat Air (Spiriant) La Prairie is on-board Swiss International in their First Class Female Amenity bag and is also gifted on Privat Air Private Jets. La Prairie is a luxury Swiss brand, synonymous with high end and technically advanced beauty skincare. A perfect brand for both Swiss International and Privat Air. AMENITIES MAGAZINE
BATTLE OF THE BRANDS
BATTLE OF THE BRANDS Battle of the Brands; ‘where to begin?’ I think to myself! With a million and one things to say, it’s apparent that, although it’s relatively simple, there are numerous complexities when you take a closer look.
e live in a world entirely galvanized by brands; it’s a reflection of social standing, more often than not, wealth and luxury, with a hunger for the ‘must haves’ and ‘the next best thing’. It’s therefore unsurprising that airlines have followed suit. Consumerism is rife and the race is on! BUT let me ask you one thing: Are airlines using brands to their fullest potential when it comes to On-board Amenities?
does it demand? I turned to the trusty worldwide web to get some answers. None other than our very own Sir Richard Branson, a brand in his own right, offered up some words of wisdom, ‘Branding demands commitment; commitment to continual re-invention; striking chords with people to stir their emotions; and commitment to imagination. It is easy to be cynical about such things, much harder to be successful.’
During my research, I asked myself what does brand mean, and what
Re-invention. Emotion. Imagination. They are the key words here and vital
ones at that. Ergo, I ask you once again: Are airlines using brands to their fullest potential? I say No, Amenities says No. Many of the suppliers and brands I’ve spoken with say No. Even the airlines themselves have said No. BUT more importantly the passengers say No! Despite having had brands onboard for a good many years, their involvement in the amenity industry is still very much in its infancy and there is a reluctance to be the airline to break out and be “radical” in terms of the market place. It’s traditional,
BATTLE OF THE BRANDS
conventional, unimaginative, and, to be honest, down-right boring. There’s an opportunity for airlines to innovate alongside their brand partnerships and they’re passing it up. ‘Airlines could improve their offering through more collaborative and communicative partnerships with brands. At present there is a risk of limited potential,’ says Tessa Vermeulen, Business Development Manager at Rituals. This ‘Limited Potential’ is precisely what we are seeing on-board, with a brand often slapped onto a
substandard bag, like a diamond encrusted Chanel knock-off t-shirt from a holiday market, then filled with the ‘same old’ branded cosmetics. Quite frankly, if I see another cheap plastic razor or body lotion to lather myself up with in the on-board loos, I fear I may jump out the exit hatch never to be seen again. At least it would’ve been an experience. And isn’t that what all customers are looking for and what all airlines need? An experience, ‘striking chords with people to stir their emotions.’
This is the beginning of my crusade on the Battle of the Brands, focusing on the role of brands in the amenity industry from brand alignment, their impact on the supplier and brand vs quality, to the future of brands on-board. So please take your seat, fasten your seat belt, ensure your seat back and tray table are in their full upright position and in the event of a brand brawl, an oxygen mask should automatically appear in front of you. If not, there is always the good old exit hatch! Lily-Fleur Bradbury , Features Editor AMENITIES MAGAZINE
Buzz introduces a world-first in amenity kits, TUMI 19 Degree for Delta Air Lines with complimentary monogramming.
BATTLE OF THE BRANDS
Consumerism Is Rife and the Race Is On!
Like many industries, the world of amenities has played victim to an epidemic of brands. Bvlgari here, L’Occitane there, Salvatore Ferragamo everywhere! Don’t get me wrong; I like nice things, nevertheless bombarding passengers with misaligned brand partnerships seems like the easy way out when it comes to some airlines’ choices. As Tamara Vazquez, Marketing and Brand Partnerships Director for Galileo Watermark reveals, ‘brand choice is highly emotive and sometimes there’s no rhyme nor reason to the choice; even in our own proposals we’ve suggested something that we feel is the absolute sweet spot, and then internally, for whatever reason, the choice is unexpected.’
f some airlines aren’t following their industry experts’ advice, how are they using their partnerships to gain maximum brand connection with their target audience? As Saudi’s GM for Product Management, Azman Ahmed, highlights, ‘It’s not just positioning a brand, it’s about the story you tell. It’s a 360-degree angle of the brand and its history.’ However, Iris Groeneweg from On-board Service Development at Icelandair, is keen to point out, ‘it can be risky to take on a product that’s not known at all. If you however take on a niche boutique brand
incorporated with a concept and a story then that’s different.’ When it comes to positively aligned partnerships, region and cabin class will always influence the ultimate decision. It’s crystal clear that airlines with higher budgets, particularly those of the Middle Eastern variety, will always place luxurious brands at the top of their wish list. ‘When you have passengers who are really bothered about brands, you can’t go for another product which is not wellknown,’ admits Azman Ahmed from Saudi, so much so, that using ‘brand
as a leverage to improve Saudi’s positioning in the world ranking,’ was essential. It’s therefore surprising that Qatar recently opted for niche Italian brand, Monte Vibiano, for their cosmetics, which left the industry undoubtedly dumbfounded. However, it’s unavailability on the high street adds to its exclusivity, and alongside Brics, its potentially an interesting choice as Alessandra Silvia, Trade Marketing for Brics, promotes, ‘In this case, Monte Vibiano’s innovation of turning their traditional products of wine and olive oil into a good quality cosmetic was an inspiring action AMENITIES MAGAZINE
BATTLE OF THE BRANDS
and proved they could diversify their business.’
Qatar Airway’s First Class BRIC’s kit including cosmetics from Castello Monte Vibiano
Alternatively, the use of regional brands has increased predominantly in the European market. By endorsing and nurturing local brands which hold more relevance, airlines are ‘giving back’ both economically and commercially. A clear example of this is Icelandair, who partner with cosmetic brand Blue Lagoon which is strongly associated with Iceland; you read about it, you know of it if you’re going to Iceland and it’s one of the 25 wonders of the world. But where do the brands stand, when it comes to capitalising on their partnerships for extension of brand awareness? For Rituals Business Development Manager, Tessa Vermeulen, the, ‘philosophy in the travel retail department is to connect with every customer on their journey from the duty-free store and lounges at the airport, on-board in first and business amenities, to when they arrive at their destination in the hotel. That’s the ideal.’ Not only is it about reaching the consumer at every possible touch point, but also across every region. As Alessandra Silvia from Brics admits, ‘Starting with Qatar was a major advantage, now Brics is possibly able to choose the airlines we want to be on-board with. Now I see the global trends, I think there is a great space for our brand in the Asian market.’ Unmistakeably brands are important, from the niche boutique brands to the big luxurious ones, but what is evidently far more crucial is why, where and how they are positioned. It’s a fine art of composing harmony between brand definition and consistent storytelling and as Azman Ahmed, GM Products Management from Saudi so succinctly puts it, ‘You have to know where you stand.’ Lily-Fleur Bradbury , Features Editor 20
Saudi Arabian Airlines Porsche inspired kit including cosmetics from Acca Kappa
Icelandair Business Class Kit inspired by Stuolaberg basalt hexagon shaped columns including Blue Lagoon cosmetics
BATTLE OF THE BRANDS
Survival of The Supplier!
It’s no secret that the thriving advancement of brands in the amenity industry has become synonymous with exclusivity. ‘To be exclusive’ suggests attributes of being limited, unattainable and, as a result, highly desired. Desired by suppliers to fulfil the demands of airlines in the race to gift passengers with the upmost on-board luxury. But how is this exclusivity war shaping partnerships in the Industry and, more questionably, the role of the supplier, as the pressure is on to offer the most appealing brand book? 22
BATTLE OF THE BRANDS
hen it comes to brands themselves, for some, this trend of exclusivity works. Brics’ Trade Marketer Alessandra Silvia passionately advocates the symbiotic relationship that has developed with supplier Formia as, ‘although it’s only in the Asian market that we have exclusivity with Formia, our partnership undoubtedly reaches further than that.’ Some brands have other ideas as, Tessa Vermeulen from Rituals, initially exclusive with Harmony, poignantly highlights they, ‘began to see the potential limitations as there were certain airlines we couldn’t reach as they had closer relationships with other suppliers.’ This limited potential, as a result of exclusivity, is restricting creativity: from the cosmetics, to the design of the bag. It’s a skilful balancing act between being exclusive and accessible, without restricting creativity. As Tamara Vazquez, Marketing and Brand Partnerships Director for Galileo Watermark puts it, most suppliers, ‘prefer not to work with a brand that’s working with three or four competitors. Once we start investing time and development we need to know we’re doing that with a particular goal in mind.’ There is also the risk of diluting the brands image, with certain brands being represented by
multiple suppliers. Arguably if a brand is over-exposed and four suppliers present it in a tender, it becomes less appealing and unique from an airline perspective. Nevertheless, exclusivity could result in airlines choosing partnerships with a supplier purely based on the brands they hold, dangerously neglecting the other contributing factors of a supplier’s service from design, operational capability and commerciality. Perhaps there is a benefit in brands working with various suppliers, otherwise airlines can become restricted to one supplier for that particular brand. Undoubtedly the pressure is on for suppliers to gain attractive brand portfolios, however the supplier’s role in itself could begin to lessen with the growing trend of airlines working directly with their brands, ‘which has proved more beneficial to the airline, as you can take it further from having the brand on the bag to working on sales and customer events, extending the partnership in more meaningful ways,’ says Sarah Klatt-Walsh, Head of Brand Product Management for Swiss International. With Airlines directly establishing partnerships with brands, where does this leave suppliers? As Iris Groeneweg, from On-board Service Development at Icelandair admits, ‘I assume the supplier is not getting as high a merchant in
total as they are not selling a whole package. In our case the supplier receives a small fee to put the content from the third party into the kit.’ This precarious position could lead to a decline in the industry, as Azman Ahmed, GM Product Management, from Saudi estimates, ‘the number of suppliers will diminish; there will be a set few who are the mainstream ones who are actually successful and the others will either be bought, or they will target a smaller market.’ On the other hand, suppliers serve an essential function for those lesser known niche brands along with airlines that don’t have the global awareness to establish connections independently with potential partners. Azman Ahmed from Saudi poignantly highlights that, ‘United’s ability to go direct to the brand relies on volume and premium reach. For Saudi to speak directly to the brand it would have to be a brand that was willing to grow with us.’ It will always be a benefit working with supplier companies as most brands don’t have the infrastructure to facilitate production at such high volumes with enough knowledge of the logistics. However, it’s clear the industry is on a knife edge. Invariably no impending doom threatens, as there will always be a need for suppliers. The Question is: Which Ones? Lily-Fleur Bradbury , Features Editor
BATTLE OF THE BRANDS
Limited Potential ‘Make every detail perfect, and limit the number of details to perfect’ Jack Dorsey, Co-founder of Twitter
BATTLE OF THE BRANDS
Admittedly I’ve become a little ‘quote-happy’ during my brand exploration, however airlines could learn a thing or two from Mr Dorsey, when it comes to brand Vs the quality of amenity kits. It’s no secret that budget is the main sticking point versus what the brand is willing to accept. The quality of amenity kits are a long way off from being fully representative of the brand. But are airlines and brands really happy to allow their customers to settle for second best?
follow; you don’t want to be left out from the band wagon.’
However, in speaking with Azman Ahmed, GM Product Management for Saudi, there’s a shared psyche amongst the airlines that, ‘It doesn’t really matter what you give; they can have anything and they don’t particularly notice it. However the moment you don’t gift them they will not be happy.’ It’s a fair evaluation of brands in first class, but where’s the innovation airlines? Who will be the first to start using brands more creatively? After all, as Azman continues, ‘if one starts, the rest will
It’s not just the bag that needs re-considering; let’s talk about contents, particularly those branded cosmetics. Unsurprisingly budget plays a dominant role, and as a result, cometics may have to be modified reducing the number of ingredients from the original retail recipe. In retail it’s a face cream, on-board it’s a face lotion. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this completely avoids their original purpose of being gifted; being a watered-down recipe and therefore less hydrating, less nourishing? And potentially false branding? When putting this to Saudi’s Azman Ahmed, he highlighted the power of brands, ‘The brand is strong enough that it doesn’t really matter what you put inside.’ What passengers don’t know won’t hurt them right? Wrong! Where’s the ambition to make them sit up and listen, to wow the un-wowable, to give those who have everything a gift they’ve never even dreamt of, that money can’t buy? Tessa Vermeulen from Rituals sums it up simply, ‘Airlines want the new but they eventually go back to the same old thing; innovation is particularly
ome take the leap into the world of non-branded bags, as Swiss International’s Head of Brand Product Management, Sarah Klatt-Walsh points out, ‘If we want to work with a brand, we are somewhat limited in what we can do with the products; without brands there’s far more scope to be innovative.’ There’s arguably no risk of disappointment as there’s not the same level of expectation that comes with using a brand. An expectation that, more often than not, is met with cheap bags and ironed on logos, leaving passengers disappointed to say the least; especially in First Class, which should epitomize class and luxury.
lacking in their use of cosmetics.’ So what’s their excuse? Budgets or sheer laziness. Airlines, that’s simply not good enough. Use the challenge of budget to inspire change, to inspire your passengers. As Tamara Vazquez from Galileo Watermark encourages, ‘If there is a prescribed budget, let’s be clever about it and work with the airlines to try and understand what their customer is actually interested in. Take two items out that may be superfluous and invest in a better quality bag or one particularly nourishing skincare product.’ There will be and has to be a natural shift in the evolution of brands on-board and how they are gifted to a passenger. With the expansion of technology and higher prominence placed on the customer experience, on-board amenities and their use of brands needs to grow and adapt. As Kevin Plank CEO of sports performance manufacturer so appropriately puts it, ‘Brand is not a product, that’s for sure; it’s not one item. It’s an idea, it’s a theory, it’s a meaning, it’s how you carry yourself. It’s aspirational, it’s inspirational.’ Lily-Fleur Bradbury , Features Editor
BATTLE OF THE BRANDS
The Future of Brands On-board As Captain Kirk would say, ‘Beam me up Scotty… to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.’ Like Captain Kirk, the branding of on-board amenities is ready to explore where no airline has dared venture before; the ever-increasing macrocosm of technology that now orders our everyday lives. Whether airlines are ‘Good, bad or indifferent, if you are not investing in new technology, you’re going to be left behind.’ Philip Green, Chairman of Arcadia Retail Group. 26
BATTLE OF THE BRANDS
ith Technology, the methodology and presentation of amenity kits will transform with a free-for-all to personalize amenity kits which could impact brands as well. Digitalisation will enable airlines to optimize bespoke amenities through expansion of data. But who will be the first to establish an infallible system where passengers can pre-order the content of their kit? From a choice of fragrances of one brand, to conceivably a range of brands partnered with the airline. There is a full suite of possibilities, so much so that in the next two years, rather than having distribution to the airline, it could be sent directly to the passenger’s house before they fly. Subsequently, we will also see the innovation of ultimate capitalization of brands on-board via connectivity and duty-free, ‘Post 2020 a lot more airlines will have good connectivity onboard, this will change the typography of flying,’ as Saudi’s Azman Ahmed, GM Product Management, concedes. There is the potential for partnerships between internet brands and airlines, where more advertising and promoting of other brands will occur. Perhaps you will be able to order from duty free and have it delivered to your destination ready for your arrival. The possibilities are endless. However, until wifi is free on-board, airlines will prohibit the full spectrum of potentialities.
One trend that will undeniably emerge in the near future is the progression of brands on-board being gifted in a more sensory embodiment. There’s a small ripple in the surface of the future of brands on-board and it’s going to evolve outwards into areas we’re not conventionally seeing at the moment. As Tamara Vazquez, Marketing and Brand Partnerships Director for Galileo Watermark, points out, ‘We’re probably going to move to a place where a kit is much more than a product in your hand with a brand on it. It’s something that makes you feel something, that has added value outside the realms of tangible products; whether it be an experience or information or in the way of digital innovation.’ In a world desensitized by exposure to media where everything is instantaneous, there is a pining to connect to the basic human senses. For those in Business and particularly First, nothing could be more needed by their passengers. If someone in first can already buy what airlines are giving them; why not give them something that makes them feel something? Give them an emotional, sensory experience! The struggle has been undeniable for suppliers and brands to convince airlines of, what seems to them, a radical school of thought. However,
slowly but surely, airlines are taking baby steps to brave into the unknown, as Tessa Vermeulen from Rituals delights, ‘we are presently talking with an airline and proposing a totally different approach which I haven’t seen before!’ The hope of branding expansion shines brightly, and it’s clear, in speaking with the industry professionals, that more and more airlines are wanting to have a three way conversation in order to build, not just a product into their offering, but a whole campaign around it to increase engagement, leverage and marketing opportunities for both the brand and the airline. With this mind, allow me to leave you at the end of our crusade where we started; with one thought and one question. ‘Branding demands commitment; commitment to continual re-invention; striking chords with people to stir their emotions; and commitment to imagination. It is easy to be cynical about such things, much harder to be successful.’ Sir Richard Branson. So I put it to you one final time: Are airlines using brands to their fullest potential? No…Not Yet! Lily-Fleur Bradbury , Features Editor
Not only will technology impact brands on-board and their contribution to amenity kits, but the type of brands and the way they are used will start to progress more laterally, ‘The millennials that grow in the aviation world will look to niche brands that are reflective of social trends, for example those promoting a more organic, fair trade world,’ suggests Sarah Klatt-Walsh, Head of Brand Product Management, from Swiss International. AMENITIES MAGAZINE
In the Spotlight
In the Spotlight Amenities caught up with Ian Linaker on his return from Galileo Watermark’s first annual staff conference in Hong Kong to ask him about the last 12 months since surprising the market with the purchase of Watermark.
Q1: You surprised a number of players in the market with your purchase of Watermark, 12 months on how has the integration of both companies gone?
to be a mountain to climb. However, we have a fantastic team, and twelve months on, I am delighted with our progress, and what we have achieved in such a short-time. I do have a few greyer hairs now though!
The purchase of Watermark certainly catapulted Galileo into the spotlight. I think a lot of people were probably asking who on earth Galileo Products was? It hasn’t been easy – aligning two companies’ people processes and technology was always going
We recognise that transforming a business such as Watermark, to make it innovative, current and relevant in the market again is a longerterm roadmap. Our clients are very receptive that in such a dynamic, hyper-competitive industry, change is
a good thing and have welcomed the emergence of GW. We are now the right size and shape to bring the best brand collaborations to the market and really make a difference in the on-board world. We have a fantastic design and brand partnership team that are working on some extremely exciting innovations and brand launches, re-establishing our commitment to be a world leader in the on-board guest experience arena. AMENITIES MAGAZINE
In the Spotlight
GW now has a truly global presence, with offices in New York, London, Hong Kong, and Sydney. We are a balanced team across the globe. Whilst headquartered in London, the results are that we are able to better service our clients with brand, design and operations capability across all continents. No doubt, the challenge will be keeping up with the pace of change still to come in this industry. Q2: What did you pay for the acquisition of Watermark? Let’s just say it was less than the original asking price of £25 million. There were quite a few who tried to block the acquisition completing, not to mention how ‘challenging’ Private Equity can be. That said, we paid a price that works for both sides and is acceptable to all. Despite this, we were determined to complete, and have the full backing and support of our Private Equity partners. We knew that the acquisition was going to establish a much stronger, healthier combined design business with a vision of competing with the best. Merging the great infrastructure and history of Watermark with value added management and investment in design and brands will hopefully deliver results. Q3: In exhibiting for the first time at WTCE earlier this year, what has been the initial industry response? As the new guys on the block, we certainly created a lot of interest and I believe it is fair to say that both airlines and suppliers looked closely at what we are bringing to this market. Many people were still joining the dots of what Galileo and Watermark meant together and what this would translate into. I am certainly excited by the prospects of exhibiting at WTCE, bigger and better, in 2018. 30
Q4: The current trend for airlines and suppliers is partnering with exclusive brands, how is GW positioned with regards to this? I believe we are unique by the fact we have our own product range in Scaramouche + Fandango which we have already successfully supplied on-board to a number of airlines. We have experience of bringing a skincare brand successfully to the retail world, with listing in some of the world’s most prestigious department stores. This experience allows us to directly relate to brands that we work with. We know their ambitions and concerns, as well as the struggles that they go through to build and protect brand equity. Consequently, we take a different approach in working with brands, ensuring that there is a strategic fit on both sides of the equation – airline, as well as brand side. As such, we are rapidly establishing ourselves as a trusted partner in the brand world, aligning partnerships and collaborations that truly work for both brands. We believe that caring for our brands is just as important as the airlines we work with. We have a growing brand team, that have the capability to source specific brands on request of the airlines. This is recently demonstrated in working with Erno Laszlo for the new Premium Economy kit for Eva Air. Nevertheless, our industry’s characterisation of being in a ‘race for brands’ is getting close to its sell-by date, and I believe the personalization of kits will dominate the future of amenities. Our recent launch of OCN, and the fantastic work of our operations team to build an industry first supply chain for the use of Ocean Recycled Plastic for cosmetic packaging, is testament
to our commitment to sustainability. This undoubtedly will start to feature more heavily in our industry in the coming three years. Q5: When you refer to personalisation, what do you mean? Airlines already have the capability to provide a more personalized offering to their passengers and I predict that in the future that, especially in Business and First Class, passenger’s will be able to pre-select the amenities they wish to be gifted with. We will see a greater integration between airline systems and back-end IT, that will deliver customer facing benefits. I foresee a world where one brand in a class is a thing of the past, and customers will be able to ‘choose’ their own amenity kit (and its composition) from a range of options to suit their tastes and interests. The question will be whether airside logistics and loading will be able to support this? Q6: What do you think will be the future for suppliers in the on-board amenity industry? Already I see airlines looking to suppliers to provide the full range of on-board amenities not just individual items. It is vital that we understand the full design criteria of cabin interiors and I feel GW is now ideally positioned in the market to do so. We take strength from our capability to deliver across not just amenity kits, but also meal service and textiles. Our partnership with Sheridan for Qantas Business class earlier this year is an example of GW working to deliver the total ‘in-seat’ experience for our airline partners. We are taking a more holistic approach to the design and delivery of on-board guest experience, considering all of the other factors and touch points that make up the journey on-board.
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In the ADVERTORIAL Spotlight
ELEVATING INFLIGHT AMENITIES FOR KIDS The airline industry continuously evolves to improve the traveller experience. In addition to catering to adult passengers, more airlines recognise the importance of entertaining their young counterparts. This is a welcomed benefit for parents looking to manage the energetic activity appetite of their children within a limited airline environment. Airlines already offer a variety of movies, games and music for kids via in-cabin entertainment systems but they also cater to them in a similar fashion as adults by offering kids their own amenity kits; providing an entertaining experience that promotes all-inclusive family appeal, satisfied parents, and returning customers.
Over the past three decades, international guest amenity and hospitality specialist FORMIA has been creating a full range of quality bespoke amenity kits, bags, cosmetics and comfort items for the travel industry. FORMIA’s tailor-made products and in-flight service concepts, in partnership with top airlines and luxury brands, indulge travellers and enrich the on-board travel experience. To further enhance this commitment, FORMIA is extending its core offering to fun inflight products for children by fully embracing new brand and product development in the children’s amenity kit market. FORMIA’s new amenity kits for young passengers are created based on proven child development drivers for each age group, and curated to deliver an exciting and educational-driven onboard experience as well as a memento of the journey to keep after the flight. It may seem that children will be less interested in old-fashion handheld fun versus their inflight entertainment screen, but social studies found that a child’s interaction with an actual toy keeps them occupied the longest, addressing parents biggest concern to keep them entertained as not to disturb other passengers, or disrupt their youngster’s sleeping pattern. FORMIA’s additional direction into the children’s amenity kit market reflects the company’s core competences, strengths, and addedvalue to enhance the airline’s proposition through design, brands and differentiation while improving the supply chain and logistics, and maintaining strict quality control.
The children’s category of amenity kits is developed in partnership with the airline’s icons and some of the best known ‘character’ brands in the world. Working together with the airline, FORMIA introduced the Aircalin Children Kit, designed to entertain and capture the hearts of young travellers. The kit features Captain Gobi of the Blueband Gobi family, an adorable fish outfitted in the Aircalin captains uniform. The colourful lagoon themed kit, based on New Caledonia, includes a variety of activity sets and toys that certainly keep children engaged and entertained. FORMIA has also collaborated with Turkish Airlines to offer young passengers a token of cultural heritage, the Captain Kangal animal toy. Outfitted in traditional pilot jacket and goggle head gear, this smiling stuffed toy represents the guardian dog of protection originating from the Sivas province of Turkey, and known for its loyalty and gentleness with small children. FORMIA is also partnering with Smiley brand, one of the most widely recognised, iconic symbols in the world for over 45 years with 97% worldwide recognition as a symbol of positivity; and Rubik’s Cube, an icon of 1980s pop culture and the best-selling toy in history. FORMIA’s new development into the children’s amenity kit market aims to help airlines embrace a more inclusive, memorable passenger experience serving the younger market whilst appealing to parents, offering products that are fun, educational and engaging. AMENITIES MAGAZINE
The Fifth Sense! On-board Amenities are beginning to reach beyond the conventional use of tangible products to the realm of experience, with airlines and suppliers approaching potential concepts with a more sensory and scientific perspective. From sight, sound, taste and touch, each sense contributes to a passenger’s overall reflection of a product and airlines are now focusing on how they make their flyers feel rather than how they can impress them. The most recent exploration and development in this area is that of the power of scent on-board. Scent marketing has been capitalized on in the retail industry for a good many years. Some airlines have followed its lead with the development of a signature cabin and lounge scent, to a gifted signature fragrance to evoke memories of the passenger’s travels. The most obvious example of this is, of course, Cathay Pacific’s newly released ‘Parfums de Voyage - Hong Kong’, a limited-edition fragrance designed to take you on a return journey through scent, transporting you through time and place back to the thriving metropolis of Hong Kong. This is all very well and of course a lovely gift, however the common problem arises that if everyone starts spraying their gifted amenity on-board, the overall experience can become overwhelming and not to everyone’s tastes. Thanks to Zodiac Aerospace’s newly developed luxury scent diffuser system, ‘FIVE’, the power of scent branding has now taken a step further away from amenities to cabin interiors 34
and suffocating scents could be a thing of the past. In speaking with Jean-Marc Lemaitre from Zodiac Pacific Precision Products who claims, ‘Airlines are investing a lot of effort entertaining 4 out of 5 senses of their passengers, but one dimension has been completely forgotten,’ it is evident that FIVE was developed to complete the passenger experience on-board. The sense of smell can be used to positively influence the mood of the passenger. FIVE already has a curated catalogue of more than 40 fragrances that come under 8 mood categories so far; these can range from relaxing and soothing to crisp and invigorating. The diffuser system allows to control the fragrance intensity level to generate a positive fragrance experience, subtly aiding the comfort and overall experience of their journey. With FIVE, Zodiac Aerospace also offers airlines and operators the opportunity to create their own signature fragrance, to enhance their brand experience with the power of scent.
This is one use of brand marketing highly recommended by Zodiac Aerospace to complete the customer experience. However, there are additional ways that airlines can adopt this new scenting technique to expand brand recognition and customer satisfaction outside the cabin experience offered by Zodiac Aerospace FIVE product. Airlines have the potential to use their own signature fragrance on-board to be carried out of the aircraft, creating brand association as many retailers have done for example; Abercrombie & Fitch, Victoria Secret and Jo Malone. The beauty of this is that the airlines can then expand their scent offering through duty free products such as scented candles, room fragrances and gift sets, therefore broadening their brand awareness on another level. Who will be the first to take onboard this exciting opportunity to revolutionize the passenger’s overall journey experience? Watch this space…
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Published on Dec 19, 2017
Published on Dec 19, 2017
Amenities Magazine is for everyone with a passion for designing and delivering the best onboard passenger amenity kits and sleeper suits. AM...