program has been extended to other
The result? ANZ is now the most
admired brand in the country. The
numbers are extremely impressive.
According to a recent survey by UK-based TNS Global Research, the
percentage of customers who would
recommend the airline has grown from
a paltry 44% in 2004 across the international network to a massive 90% last
November. Those recommendations
are paying off, with ANZ now the No.
1 carrier on all its major routes except
Hong Kong, where it sits in second
place with 40%. Furthermore, market
share is going up on all routes.
People Brand “Our people are our
brand” is the way Fyfe describes it and
every month or so he hosts a staff barbecue for charity on the verandah outside the open-plan
executive offices. Every week
he sends a personal e-mail to
all staff bringing them up to
date with the latest news and
sharing customer feedback
While he says these tasks
are delightful, he also fronts
the tough ones and recalls a
difficult confrontation with
engineering staff that were
facing possible redundancy.
“Initially, the meeting was
mostly about finger-pointing
at me, but several hours later
it was a handshake and an
acknowledgement that I had
fronted and talked through
the issues,” he explains.
While restructuring results
aren’t always the way staff
would like them, he says he
has a responsibility to get the
economics right or “far more
jobs would be lost.”
ANZ has faced major
problems with engineer-
ing in two areas. For years
the company, owing to lack
of investment, had a large
maintenance burden keep-
ing dated aircraft in the air.
With brand-new A320s and 777s now
in the fleet, the maintenance workload
has plummeted. That situation has been
compounded by the dramatic rise in the
NZ dollar that has all but wiped out
the country’s cost advantage. The two
scenarios have meant major layoffs and
restructuring of the maintenance division.
Fyfe also had challenges with ramp
staff because required roster changes
wiped out many moonlighting jobs.
However, workers now contact him
directly to sort out problems. In one
case, a flight attendant phoned him late
on a Friday over a roster issue because
she couldn’t get time off to appear in
one of the airline’s TV commercials.
“As it happened, it was too late to rear-
range shifts but she was confident that
she could call me,” he says proudly.
Meanwhile, ANZ is getting staff
involved in marketing the airline and
this is paying massive dividends, say
analysts. It recently launched a daily
seat sale page for its website called
“grab a seat.” Rather than spend mil-
lions on advertising, it ran a competi-
tion among the staff to see who could
come up with the most innovative mar-
keting campaign. One group devised
hotel flyers for guest pillows, another
put up posters with window washers
and yet another developed a clever jin-
gle. The result? Daily website hits went
from 40,000 to 130,000 in one year
and ANZ sells about 1,200 empty seats
each day at fares from NZ$30.
Fyfe’s focus is to have staff be them-
Led by CEO Rob Fyfe
selves. “We want them to learn the man-
ual, then throw it away. New Zealanders
are known for their warmth and friendli-
ness and we want them to embrace their
(right) ANZ executives
are working in the
cabins and on the ramp.