Marketing Mix

The Marketing Mix: The Cases of easyJet and Ryanair
Following the deregulation of the airline industry in the late 1980s, which built considerable momentum in the 1990s, the opportunities for low-cost carriers (LLCs) increased leading to the introduction of a number of LLCs such as Buzz, easyJet, Go and Ryanair.   This paper assesses the marketing mix of both easyJet and Ryanair, thereby examining the two companies in terms of their product, price, place and promotion.   In so doing, it draws on a number of key sources (Calder, 2003; Creaton, 2005; Datamonitor, 2005; easyJet, 2006; O’Higgins, 2002; Ryanair, 2006).
    Adcock et al. (1998) state that the product “determines the upper limit of a supplier’s profitability. The quality of the remaining components of the marketing mix determines the extent to which that potential is achieved.” (151). According to the authors, the product can be defined as “everything that the customer receives that is of value in terms of a perceived want, need or problem” (152). The ‘basic product’ or in other words, the essential benefit derived from both easyJet and Ryanair’s offering is a no-frills, low-cost airline service with an increasing choice of routes across Europe.   Nonetheless, the ‘real product’, in terms of the specific tangible elements of the two companies’ products, including design, colour, quality, brand and so forth vary somewhat.   Both brands are headed by seemingly charismatic leaders in the form of Stelios Haji-Ioannou of easyJet and Michael O’Leary of Ryanair, which are a key part of the companies’ real product.   Stelios gives the brand its fun, no-frills nature through the airline’s brand identity (the rich orange and white coloured fleet) and the personality that is exuded in the press.   In contrast, O’Leary is known as a hard-nosed businessman, who has established Ryanair as the very lowest cost no-frills operators.   As a result, the companies differ in terms of their ‘total product’, which contains...