While the USA is the first travel destination for Mexicans, Mexico isn’t the first travel destination for Americans. As a result, while Aero Mexico’s flights to the US were full, its flights back to Mexico were not.
Aero Mexico decided in 2018/2019 to address this problem by tackling head on the negative perceptions many Americans, especially in Texas and the South-West, had towards Mexico. The timing was perfect as it was in the middle of the border-wall controversy, a perfect cultural amplifier.
The beauty of their solution was that they didn’t try to overcome these negative perceptions by trying to show all the good sides of Mexico (all the fun things you could do in Mexico) or even by showing them all the Mexican things they already liked (especially food). These would have been expected, cliché solutions.
Instead, they decided to overcome these perception barriers by showing consumers how connected they were to Mexico by testing their DNA and showing them what percentage of their DNA was indeed Mexican. Basically, by showing them how Mexican they were. They then sweetened the deal by giving those consumers a discount on their next Aero Mexico booking corresponding to their Mexican DNA percentage. If their DNA test showed that they were 22% Mexican, they’d get a 22% discount on their airfare.
Overcoming negative consumers’ perception towards your brand or your category by tackling them ahead-on and leveraging the cultural environment to increase the impact and relevance of your positioning platform are two of the 26 proven effective positioning strategies we explore in our positioning development methodology and a highly effective way to grow a business. In the case of Aero Mexico, by 33%.