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Brandonomics from Savage - Ralph Vasami

Ralph Vasami

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What happens when your company image goes stale? It’s time to rebrand. Robin Tooms visits with Ralph Vasami, president and CEO of Universal Weather and Aviation.

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Robin: Hello and welcome to this edition of Brand-enomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies. I'm Robin Tooms, VP of strategy at Savage Brands, and my guess today is Ralph Vasami, CEO of Universal Weather and Aviation. So Ralph, welcome to Brand-enomics.

Ralph: Well thank you Robin it's great to be here.

Robin: Ralph I'm so glad you're here today. We're going to talk a little bit about your brand, the Universal Weather Brand. The company itself has had such a long, and successful history, but you've decided it's time to look at brand positioning. So tell me why. Why was this the right time for you guys?

Ralph: Well the company is about 54 years old currently, and we were fortunate enough to be at business aviation's infancy, and we grew up with the industry.

Robin: From the beginning.

Ralph: From the beginning, and so services that they wanted then we were able to provide like weather briefings in the U.S. So our brand reflected universal weather in aviation, and as air planes became more sophisticated and started traveling outside the U.S., again we were there from ground zero. So we started providing international trip support. So our brand kind of evolved with the industry, and product, and service development, so Universal Weather and Aviation.

Robin: So obviously so much has changed over that many years. You can't obviously continue down the same path you did 54 years ago.

Ralph: Correct, so what we realized about five years ago is that many of the products, and services, and features, and benefits that differentiated Universal in the past were no longer relevant as far as differentiation, and we had many, many more competition throughout the globe. Everybody has access to the same technologies, and the same data. So we grew stale.

Robin: So when that marketplace changed, differentiation became less relevant. You had to change with it.

Ralph: We had to change, and I went back, and review what we were saying to our customers, and I saw things like we have email, we're 24/7. We're not differentiated, and our customers are not shy to tell us how they feel, and they've told us you sound the same. If there's 25 choices now, and you all sound the same. So you have to look back, and say what's our value proposition today versus yesterday?

Robin: Well I appreciate you setting the stage with that story. Thank you so much Ralph.

Ralph: No problem.

Robin: This has been another edition of Brand-enomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies.

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