Case Study 3: Ryanair

One of the great success stories of Irish business is how CEO of Ryanair Michael O’Leary turned the fortunes of a once failing airline around to make it one of Europe’s most profitable commercial airlines.

How did Michael O’Leary do this? Simple – by understanding his customers’ needs and giving them exactly what they wanted.

O’Leary understood that the main thing his customers wanted was to get ‘Cheap Flights’. In response to this he transformed the company into a stripped-down, no frills version of what it was – he created an airline that gave customers exactly what they wanted – CHEAP FLIGHTS.

Ryanair is an excellent example of a company that used an excellent marketing mix to get it right:

  • O’Leary realised that his customers cared more about getting cheap air fares than in-flight luxuries – so he cut back on these in order to cut his costs.
  • Ryanair keep their operating and advertising costs as low as possible. For example:
    • They fly into secondary airports as this is much cheaper than flying into main airports.
    • They turnaround their airplanes faster between flights.
    • They also don’t splash out on elaborate advertising campaigns. They use straightforward newspaper ads and posters.
    • They have also created a user-friendly, ‘does exactly what it says on the tin’ type of website that gives their customers want they want quickly and easily.

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