Business Case Studies, Brands & Branding and Private Labels Case Study, The Rebranding of an Indian LCC: From 'Air Deccan' to Simplifly 'Deccan'

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Brands & Branding and Private Labels Case Study

Case Title:

The Rebranding of an Indian LCC: From 'Air Deccan' to Simplifly 'Deccan'

Publication Year : 2008

Authors: Sanjay Sakriya, Chiradeep Chatterjee & Joel Sarosh Thadamalla

Industry: Transportation


Case Code: BBP0093A

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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The fiercely competitive Indian airline industry witnessed as many as three giant merger and acquisitions - Jet Airways-Air Sahara, Indian Airlines-Air India, and Kingfisher Airlines-Air Deccan in 2007. Of them, the Kingfisher-Air Deccan deal was a strategic alliance with a difference. The two airlines decided to operate as distinct legal entities with separate brand identities. Air Deccan had a substantial brand equity among the consumers and had became synonymous with low-cost travel in India. However, Vijay Mallya, Chairman of Kingfisher Airlines, decided to adopt a re-branding exercise for it. The exercise involved renaming Air Deccan as 'Simplify Deccan' with a tagline 'The Choice is Simple', replacing the previous famous tag line 'Simplifly'; replacement of logo, colour, uniform, old aircraft, and delivery of services. This re-branding was intended to give it a premium look, increasing its airfares. The company thus modified its business model from a low-cost to a value-based airline model. The industry was abuzz with speculation that Kingfisher was planning to increase its stake in 'Deccan' to 51%, with an objective to have a greater say in the decision making process. However, analysts were skeptical about Deccan's prospects of attracting a wider target audience.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To understand strategic alliances as a business expansion strategy
  • To understand how re-branding exercise may retain consumer loyalty
  • To understand the consolidation trend in the Indian airline industry.

Keywords : Indian Aviation Industry, Consolidation, Kingfisher Airlines, Air Deccan Airlines, Low Cost Carriers (LCC), Full Cost Carriers, Strategic Alliance, Brands and Branding Case Study, Brand Image, Re-branding, Brand Positioning, Value Based Airlines, Consumer Loyalty, Simplifly Deccan

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