JetBlue’s Opportunities for Sustainable Value Creation

Subject: Case Studies
Pages: 4
Words: 1060
Reading time:
5 min
Study level: Master

Introduction

This segment will analyze the opportunities for sustainable value creation for JetBlue using the sustainable business model framework (SBMF). It will cover two key elements of SBMF, namely channels and customer relationships. The primary opportunity reviewed in the scope of the model is the use of new types of energy, such as biofuels and hydrogen-based fuels (Kim et al., 2019). It allows for creating not only company value but also ecological and societal value by reducing pollution and damage to the atmosphere while promoting safer and eco-friendlier forms of fuel.

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Channels

SWOT analysis of JetBlue’s channels reveals the following: the company is strong in traditional marketing channels due to a well-established name in the market. Their main selling point at this time, however, remains that of a traditional low-cost flight company, which comes with a relatively low green index. JetBlue has been ahead of the curve, being in the 54% of greenest companies in the US (Mousavi & Bossink, 2017). The opportunity is to adopt alternative fuel sources that would not only prove more economical but also increase the company’s green rating (Kim et al., 2019). The danger would be in failing to capitalize on the opportunity and advertise it to customers.

The channels through which JetBlue typically reaches out to its customers at this time have a reactive nature. If a customer visits their site, they can read about the environmental initiatives. Their stance on eco-issues is also mentioned in advertisements. However, the company does not fully embrace advertising itself as an eco-friendly company at this time, which is something they should do. The key resource to use in creating new channels of communication is social media (Mehraban, 2017). Key activities would involve allying oneself to a company promoting and producing biofuels and advertising said partnerships with them as a means of letting customers know about JetBlue’s mission and values (Mehraban, 2017). Such activities would improve the connection and pave the way for better customer relationships.

Customer Relationships

SWOT analysis of customer relations shows that the company’s strengths lie in ensuring a good quality of service at an affordable rate, with flexible options to be included or excluded from the basic package. Its weakness lies in the inherently self-serving nature of the CR model currently implemented at JetBlue – loyalty is motivated largely by enlightened self-interest rather than environmental messages (Mousavi & Bossink, 2017). However, there is an opportunity to create long-term connections between customers and the company by adopting and advertising an eco-friendlier policy using their communication channels. The threat lies in doing so later before other companies do (Kim et al., 2019). Major flying companies are already adopting an eco-friendly approach as a means of putting themselves ahead of their competition.

Key resources to utilize here would be the company’s CRM instruments, which will convey the new paradigm to customers and create a new reason for them to support the company. Key partners would be social media services, which provide big data about potential customers and have the means of reaching most of them to facilitate a relationship beyond buying tickets (Hadipeykani & Badi, 2017). Finally, cost structures inside the company involved in the process would be the marketing and CRM departments, as it would be upon them to analyze the trends among their customers and design a strategy that would best connect with the majority of them.

Key Activities

It may be outlined from the SWOT report that the overwhelming majority of the enterprise’s threats derived from its inability to secure green practices. However, the company simultaneously tries to minimize the losses from implementing sustainability policies and promoting its marketing campaigns by declaring eco-approaches to the function. Thus, the first activity adopted by JetBlue should concern exhaustive research on the matter of alternative energy sources and reducing its reliance on fossil fuels. Although such a shist may catalyze a pricing shift and questionable customer response, recent research indicates that customers’ willingness to pay more for alternative energy sources depends explicitly on their awareness of the subject (Mahendar 2017). Thus, the next company’s activity should address a new marketing approach that would focus primarily on the customers’ questions concerning the use of sustainable energy sources and the support of green airlines. Along with this strategy, some opportunities, such as switching to digital ticketing and organically raised meals provided by the airline, would not be resented among the target airline users.

Finally, it is vital for JetBlue to become an advocate of sustainability outside its target business segment. Well-known brands that operate millions of revenues each year now frequently become the target of cancel culture due to their refusal to react to socially and ecologically relevant issues and challenges. For this reason, the company should embrace cooperation with small green businesses and social initiatives in order to secure support and preoccupation with the future of the planet’s ecosystem and the population’s well-being.

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Key Partnerships

To begin with, any issue that is remotely associated with sustainability directly correlates with the company’s relationship with the authorities that have the legal power to adopt qualitative policies. The research indicates that the sustainability of airlines primarily depends on adhering to the initiatives issued by the government (Alameeri et al., 2017). Partnership with authorities benefits the company due to its ability to express its perspective of sustainability in order to reach a consensus on the policy agreement.

Another key partner for JetBlue is an extensive network of airline alliances with the purpose of creating a sustainable experience for the customers. For example, when working with Asia-based airlines, it is possible to create digital-only traveling and itinerary options. Moreover, creating alliances with other local airlines would provide customers with a wider variety of options, both conventional and sustainability-oriented, securing a mild shift to sustainable pricing policies.

Finally, a number of partnerships should be established with community green initiatives and the network of local businesses. Supporting local ecologically oriented businesses is one of the most relevant options for securing sustainability, as such businesses, while seeking profit, are more driven by the impact on preserving ecological resources. Such enterprises should not become full-scale suppliers for the sake of securing supply shortages, yet they might become an option for the customers. Cooperation with community initiatives would be a benefit for the company’s brand and sustainability image, exposing the company’s explicit participation in the current socio-ecological affairs.

References

Alameeri, Amal, Mian M. Ajmal, Matloub Hussain, and Petri T. Helo. 2017. “Sustainability practices in the aviation sector: a study of UAE-based airlines.” International Journal of Sustainable Society 9 (2): 119-147.

Hadipeykani, Mehraban, and Gholamhossein Torabian Badi. 2017. “Customer Management in the Aviation Industry: Evidence from Iran.” Journal of Economic & Management Perspectives 11 (4): 897-905.

Kim, Yohan, Joosung Lee, and Jaemyung Ahn. 2019. “Innovation Towards Sustainable Technologies: A Socio-Technical Perspective on Accelerating Transition to Aviation Biofuel.” Technological Forecasting and Social Change 145: 317-329.

Mahendar, G. 2017. “Customers’ Willingness to Pay More for Solar Energy.” International Journal of Advanced Research in Computer Science and Management Studies 5 (4): 4-53.

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Mousavi, Seyedesmaeil, and Bart AG Bossink. 2017. “Firms’ Capabilities for Sustainable Innovation: The Case of Biofuel for Aviation.” Journal of Cleaner Production 167: 1263-1275.