The Henley Executive MBA covers various topics such as Leadership, Managing Processes and Systems, Strategy, and Reputation and Responsibility. In stage two of the programme, one of the modules deals with Strategic Marketing. The Strategic Marketing module aims to raise the awareness and importance of marketing, and to develop an understanding of the practice of strategic marketing and the relevance of key marketing concepts.
This time, the Strategic Marketing workshop included a company visit to Finnair, one of the safest and longest-operating airlines in the world.
The workshop included group sessions as well as lectures by Moira Clark, Professor of Strategic Marketing at Henley Business School. Moira is as well Director of The Henley Centre for Customer Management and she also serves as a consultant to a number of leading international companies. Her major area of research and consulting is in customer management, social networking, customer retention and internal marketing. Moira has worked extensively in the area of culture and climate, its impact on retention and loyalty and the critical linkages between employee behaviour and customer retention.
During the three-day workshop, the class visited Finnair’s head office located by the Helsinki airport. Jonne Lehtioksa, Area Vice President, Asia & Oceania at Finnair and Johanna Jäkälä, Vice President Brand, Marketing & Customer Loyalty at Finnair, spent time with our students to share insights on Finnair’s Asia strategy and their recent cooperation with Alitrip as well as Finnair’s renewed brand strategy.
Finnair is specialised in passenger and cargo traffic between Asia and Europe. The geographical location of Helsinki allows the company to provide the most direct route between Asia and Europe. In July 2016, Finnair launched a strategic partnership with Alitrip, a fast-growing online travel platform in China, to bring approximately 3,000 Chinese tourists to Finland during the winter months to experience the magic of Lapland and the Northern Lights. The trips were sold during autumn 2016, and the single biggest day of sales was China’s Singles Day, the Chinese version of Black Friday. Alitrip plans to bring 50,000 Chinese tourists to Finland by 2020.
Customer experience is at the heart of Finnair’s success. Johanna Jäkälä started her session with a quote from Maya Angelou, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel,” and then opened up Finnair’s brand strategy to our students. Besides outlining Finnair’s brand values and brand attributes, she also emphasised that Finnair’s personnel is an essential part of their brand because without its personnel, the company would not be able to provide the meaningful experiences, the so called “magic moments”, to its customers. Johanna closed her session with the following advice to our students: “In order to grow, you have to raise the bar and become famous. Leave your comfort zone and be bold!”