The digital era continues to transform the aerospace sector and – if you widen the lens – aviation too, always bastions of innovation. Today, the sky really is the limit. The new era demands a reimagined customer journey, as new ecosystems emerge around supply chains and integrated travel. To stand out, brands will need to put a new spin on the ‘innovation’ narrative and how customers are engaged.
Of course, owning the ‘innovation’ agenda will be a challenge. Firstly, there’s going to be intense competition from China, focused on Comac. To compete, legacy players, like Boeing and Airbus, will need to become more agile and innovative. There’s also the cult of personalities. The visionaries and media darlings, like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, are capturing the headlines and hacking the innovation narrative. In contrast, venerable aerospace brands and the plethora of specialist systems and components companies, are often faceless.
Meanwhile, as digital reimagines all modes of transport, smart infrastructure makes all aspects of mobility an integrated proposition. Aerospace businesses become increasingly digitised across design, testing, manufacturing and maintenance, and service models are transformed. In truth, aerospace businesses are becoming data businesses, with AI and machine learning accelerating the innovation process.
New business models will inevitably mean more automation. More artificial intelligence and a deft use of big data. In turn, increased digitisation will see the connected consumer demand a direct relationship with many brands, especially in aviation. The aerospace sector needs to change the way it expresses itself. Getting the story and vision across means live events must be challenging and disruptive. The outputs must be collaborative and communal. And they must emphasise the approach to innovation, as much as the innovative output, celebrating a truly collaborative customer journey.
April 15, 2020