02 July 2008

Expedia and Microsoft finally seperate

And so the trend of separating from your families seems to be alive and well in the Travel Industry.

Not content with anything - Expedia has been kicked out of the UK and US portals of MSN Travel.

This has been coming for some time. First Farecast was purchased by Microsoft and now this.

In truth because the value of Expedia to MSN has been played out - this is understandable. Orbitz will do well with this.

Orbitz has become the preferred provider to MSN/USA and eBookers has become the preferred provider at MSN/UK.

So here is a question for you. If vendors and distributors change partners and show no allegiance to each other... how can we expect consumers to be loyal to brands?

That's my question/thought for the day

Cheers

Timothy

1 comment:

JohnS said...

One answer to your question about brand loyalty is that there really isn't any reason for brand loyalty, unless the power of that loyalty is linked to a distinctive competency.

If one applies the notions espoused by Harvard professor Michael Porter, in "Competitive Strategy" that market competition is based upon achieving and sustaining a competitive advantage through defensible and distinctive competencies, then investing in brand loyalty has marginal value, unless a brand is established to invoke those elements of your business model that are distinctive in the marketplace. Absent anything truly special, a product or service can be replicated or nearly replicated over time so as to diminish any indefensible (brand) advantage.

That being said, sometimes the branding objective is not long term, but simply designed to establish a product or gain some near term advantage as a means to an end. Thus, aligning brands exclusively often has a only short term effect. Vendors and distributors have no loyalty as long as the end customer is satisfied.

Of course, airline incumbents are
deluded to believe its a business where the rules really don't apply, which helps to explain why there is constant drama and turmoil

Just one man's miscellaneous musings....

Cheers.
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