V1 – Rotate
A Dream Rekindled
The Aviation Agency’s journey began the day our founder Bryan took a discovery flight back in 2016.
“I thought I knew a fair amount about flying, from all the games, simulations, and reading I had done. I truly was unprepared for what would happen next,” Bryan said.
The small Piper Archer III sat on runway “28 right” at Flying Cloud Airport. It was a perfect day for flying; hardly any wind, perfectly sunny with just some light wispy clouds, 70 something degrees.
“I remember the instructor said to slowly increase speed, so that’s what I did – we barreled down the runway the plane shaking. I used the rudder to keep us straight, and then, when we hit 65 knots, the instructor commanded me ‘rotate’ and I pulled back on the yoke. In that moment, I was simultaneously terrified and electrified.
Suddenly, everything got real.” Bryan said.
From that moment on, Bryan was hooked on aviation. What immediately stood out, however, was the amount of craft, dedication, experience, and quite frankly, money that was wrapped up in aviation.
Unraveling the Mystery
“I was really confused by what I saw. Million dollar this and that, with the most God awful marketing and advertising, branding, and promotion I had ever seen. It was kind of like Back to the Future – I felt like I was in the past, 20 years or more ago,” Bryan said.
For the next two years, Bryan studied the aviation and aerospace markets. “I had done work for Boeing, GE, and Honeywell. These were organizations that were very sales oriented, very developed in their sales pipeline and lead generation capability, and understood the value of marketing and advertising. That wasn’t what I saw for the rest of aviation,” Bryan said.
The aviation and aerospace markets are highly complex interconnected disciplines and companies, each with a role to play, and each with its own challenges in growth and scale. That said, while other industries have grown over the past generation, the aviation industry has remained stagnant.
Since 2009, the total number of new business aviation aircraft delivered has remained roughly at two thousand units world wide. This is in stark contrast to what marked the 20 years prior. From 1994 to 2008, the business and general aviation market grew from 1000 planes to a height of 4200 planes in 2007.
“While all businesses experienced a run up during the ‘cheap money’ years, aviation seems to have been particularly hit hard by the 2008 crash. What I concluded is that the market is not tremendously robust in terms of finding new customers and growing its scale. There are many reasons for this, but the primary reason in my opinion stems from its general unsophisticated approach to marketing and sales processes.
The aviation industry did really well when money was cheap and businesses literally had money to burn on everything – a rising tide in this case lifted all airplanes. When the economy turned sour, predictably, the market for airplanes collapsed.
What’s interesting to note, however, is that the market hasn’t recovered over the past 10 years, despite the fact that the broader economy did recover,” Bryan said.
Obscurity is the Enemy
What’s the answer? Bryan thinks he knows. “The biggest challenge all of these businesses have, is not their product, or their service, or even their crappy marketing – at least not per se. The biggest challenge they all have is obscurity,” Bryan remarked.
Bryan continuing, “Obscurity is their real enemy. How come the aviation industry isn’t more visible? How come we don’t see major aircraft makers for business and general aviation, or even commercial aviation, more visible in our lives? Even the airlines are atrocious at this, and they spend by far – BY FAR – the most out of anyone on marketing and advertising.
When money was loose under ‘QE’ from 2013-2015, why didn’t aviation leap ahead like it did in the 20 years prior? Pretty simple, they didn’t go out there and get it. It was raining money, figuratively, but the main aviation companies – they weren’t getting wet.”
To solve this problem, Bryan decided to start The Aviation Agency, an advertising and marketing agency dedicated explicitly to aviation and aerospace.
You may be asking, why?
A Difference That Mattered
“That’s a really good question. I call it the ‘what make me so freaking smart?’ question. The answer is astonishing simple,” Bryan said wryly.
“The difference between me and my team, and every other agency that purports to be an expert in this arena – aviation marketing – is that I truly am the ‘real Slim Shady’.
Everybody else out there tells a story that basically goes like this – I used to be a pilot, or I flew for an airline, or I like airplanes, and now I thought marketing was kind of cool, so, yeah – I’m a pilot!” Bryan said.
“Me, my team, we’re marketing and advertising experts. We’ve done this for 20+ years, each. We’ve done TV ads that have been in the Super Bowl. We’ve done print ads in major newspapers. We’ve launched brands. We’ve done things you’ve seen and heard of before. Each member of my team has no less than 20 years in their discipline, myself included.” Bryan said.
We Love Aviation
What does that mean for you? It means your money will spent properly the first time through. Our team is experienced in branding, advertising, marketing, and sales support. We can increase your prominence in the market and help you scale revenue. It really doesn’t matter who you are or what you do.
“We talk a lot about the ‘freedom that flight enables,’” Bryan said, “ and I really believe that. Most people experience aviation sitting in seat 9D with some kid crying and hoping they’re not going to wind up with their soda tossed in their lap. But that’s not the bulk of the reality of the aviation industry. The reality is that there are tens of thousands of people who have genuine craft and ability that make the world small.
Each one of them has a story.
My job is to tell that story.
Thus, when we claim – we love aviation – it’s not a tag line.
We mean it.”