From 2017 to 2019, Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation (MITAC) underwent a remarkable transformation—from an early-stage program facing skepticism regarding its viability, to a mature global original equipment manufacturer (OEM) with the vision and resources to compete with the world's foremost aerospace companies.

By early 2019, MITAC was ready to introduce the second aircraft in its product line, with a promise to deliver market-leading economics to airlines and transform the passenger experience. As MITAC prepared to make the move from a developmental to a commercial program, they needed to reset perceptions of both their company and product.

Edelman partnered with MITAC to create the Mitsubishi SpaceJet brand. The very premise of SpaceJet as a transformational product was rooted in a notion without precedent in regional aviation—that airlines can enhance profit by delivering an improved passenger experience that drives customer preference and loyalty.

STRATEGY AND EXECUTION

Edelman set about proving this bold hypothesis through extensive industry research. From a survey of airline executives to a behavioral science partnership with Harvard Business School, we tested—and ultimately validated—our hypothesis that a positioning grounded in passenger benefits could change perceptions of the category and drive meaningful business growth.

Central to our strategy was highlighting passenger experience within the Japanese notion of space, brought to life through the campaign “Space Where it Matters.” This campaign made clear the central value proposition of SpaceJet—more personal space, which translates to an unprecedented improvement in passenger experience and a new revenue opportunity for airlines driven by passenger loyalty. We then developed a comprehensive integrated campaign to launch the new brand at the Paris Air Show, the industry’s signature global gathering.

Edelman initiated a fully integrated campaign, including pre-show earned media and a reimagined online presence, both of which seeded key messaging regarding the SpaceJet prior to its formal launch at the Paris Air Show.

Edelman also deployed diverse editorial content, amplifying it through an account-based marketing program that ensured the SpaceJet brand meaningfully engaged with the stakeholders that matter most—particularly airline decision-makers. On top of it all, Edelman planned and executed MITAC's on-site footprint from the ground up, ensuring that the team presented itself itatively at a critical moment in time for the program.

OUTCOMES

Edelman's program ensured that the SpaceJet's launch was received favorably and communicated the unique characteristics that make it a truly transformative product. On the strength of a revamped online presence and digital marketing campaign, we drew nearly 20,000 site visitors including current/prospective customers and suppliers, and drove momentum toward agreements with two customers for 115 potential orders.

Following the show, Deloitte’s 2020 Global Aerospace and Defense Industry Outlook included analysis specifically citing Edelman-ed MITAC content in assessing the potential of the regional segment, reinforcing MITAC’s emergence as a mature, reputable stakeholder in the industry.