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Shifting your brand to meet clients’ changing needs

Posted on Categories BrandonomicsTags

If your customers' needs are changing, your brand's message might need to change with it. Robin Tooms talks to Ralph Vasami, president and CEO of Universal Weather and Aviation, about how they repositioned their brand to meet their clients' changing challenges.

Robin: Hello, and welcome to this edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies. I’m Robin Tooms, vice president of strategy at Savage Brands. And my guest again today is Ralph Vasami, CEO at Universal Weather & Aviation. So, Ralph, welcome back to Brandonomics.

Ralph: Thanks again, Robin. Good to be here.

Robin: Well, Ralph, we’ve talked some about your timing around repositioning the brand, but I want to learn more about what brand position you arrived at, and also why.

Ralph: Okay. We needed a differentiated message. So we went out to the customers to ask what some of their new challenges are today versus yesterday, and a lot of the answers we received were pretty insightful. Things like government regulations around the world are causing a lot of angst and stress because it’s tough to navigate through them. The passengers – the people that are in the back, their demands are greater than ever. We have issues when we’re flying in Africa if there’s a mechanical on the airplane and we need help. If the airplane is grounded, who do we call? So we looked at this and said, you know their operating risk today – with all these regulations, unforeseen events, passenger demands – their risks and stress are growing. We need to help them reduce risk and stress in a much more complex world. So that’s how we kind of put it all together. So instead of being product and service-centric, and features and benefits, it’s more about value to them: how we’re gonna reduce their operating risk and how we’re gonna get them back on track if there’s any issues with the flight. That make sense?

Robin: It does. So you started by listening to the customers. You heard this conversation around, “help us manage our challenges and risks, not just provide us these features.” So now that you’ve done this and you’ve shifted that conversation, what has been the reception to that message?

Ralph: The reception’s been – the conversation with the customer where we were going in with the products and services, we were immediately dismissed from the directors of aviation and the chief pilots down to pilot, line pilots and dispatchers. And that’s not a big issue. But when we started talking about their operating risk, reducing stress, creating efficiencies for them, getting them back on track, we now had the attention of the decision makers because these are the reasons why they’re losing sleep today. They can get a weather briefing from 25 to 30 choices out there. That was the main difference and why our message started really resonating with these flight departments.

Robin: Right. So I appreciate you sharing that story about branding from the customer’s perspective.

Ralph: Absolutely.

Robin: All right. Well, thank you so much, Ralph.

Ralph: My pleasure.

Robin: This has been another edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies.


Universal Weather & Aviation shares a purpose with its clients as they navigate a complex world – the success of their trip. The global business aviation trip management company empowers its 1,700 employees to share clients’ sense of urgency and exhaust their global resources to meet the needs of those who utilize business aviation.

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If you’re interested in knowing more about how purposeful companies attract the best employees, build loyal relationships with their customers, and differentiate themselves from their competition, then let’s start a conversation.