Need I say Moores

Joon know your target audience? ​

Air France has finally given birth to new lower-cost airline Joon, but is the baby too genetically similar to its elderly parent to appeal to millennials?

Joon is aimed at young working millennials, aged 18 to 35, but it is headed by a 48-year old who has spent most of his career with Air France-KLM.

This flags two warning signs for me. The first is that there is no new blood here; nobody from beyond Air France-KLM’s own back yard. Surely it would have been a better idea to hire someone from a cutting-edge industry that is more in touch with the very millennials that Air France is aiming to attract.

Also, at 48, it is inevitable that Joon’s CEO is out of touch with his target audience. This would have been the perfect opportunity to hire a millennial as CEO. At root level, it is extremely hard to understand or cater for a generation that you are not a part of.

I feel this gap in knowledge and understanding already shows. To me, the Joon launch video looks outdated, like a dad trying to look cool and connected in front of his kids, but I am 40 and not a millennial.

With that in mind, I asked a couple of millennials what they thought. They watched the video and read the press release and didn’t feel that either showed any understanding of their generation. If anything, they felt it harked back to the 1980/90s, to the era of shell suits and skate boards.

Then there’s the family link. Two comments in the press release really rang alarm bells with me, building on my earlier thought that this strategy is flawed.

1/ “Joon is Air France’s complementary younger sister, which will also inspire its customers to travel with its elder sibling,” Air France said. The underlying desire to funnel more passengers back to Air France is clear. The choice is not Air France or Air France.

2/ “Joon will not be a low-cost airline, as it will offer original products and services that reflect those of Air France.” Millennials want to explore, yes, but the price – and underlying cost base needed to offer that price – has to be right. They won’t pay more just because it’s Air France.

If Air France is looking to fend off low-cost and Gulf-carrier competition, it needs to do something different. Something other than simply being Air France, a brand which is not low-cost, not young and is hamstrung by its unions.

Joon simply doesn’t feel bold or brave enough; unlike the audience it’s trying to reach.

Victoria Moores

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