AirwaySim
Online Airline Management Simulation
Login
Username
Password
 
or login using:
 
My Account
Username:
E-mail:
Edit account
» Achievements
» Logout
Game Credits
Credit balance: 0 Cr
Buy credits
» Credit history
» Credits FAQ

Author Topic: Company Image Acting Weird?  (Read 1888 times)

Offline Sigma

  • Members
  • Posts: 1920
Company Image Acting Weird?
« on: April 26, 2009, 10:21:08 PM »
It's been long enough now, has anyone else had any issues with their company image?

My image has peaked at a mere 60 and has begun to fall.  I increased my marketing to my whole State at a pretty substantial cost, and it's seem to have no positive affect and maybe teven exacerbated the problem.

I run the youngest major fleet in the entire game -- just over 1 year old.  No one with more than 5 planes has a younger fleet than I do, and I have 28 aircraft. 
I charge the lowest ticket prices of all major airlines -- averaging only $58 with almost 2000 flights a week, always at least 5-10%, often much more, below recommended pricing.
I service every location I fly to at least once a day, and almost all locations multiple times per day.
I have a on-time percentage higher than 95% with a less than 1% cancellation.
I employ more than 100% of the required employees in all fields and pay over 100% of the recommended salary (don't know if that affects it or not).
My credit-rating hovers in the B to BBB range (I'm not sure if that new feature affects image or not)

I had no problem in Game #3 to get close to 90 with just local advertising and I ran a fleet of 10-15yo aircraft that often were running beyond their FAA checks and had a much worse on-time ratio.

I can understand not getting to 100.  I don't expect to be perfect, but I also don't expect to hit a mere 60 and start to fall when, as near as I can tell, I'm doing everything at least as well as realistically possible.

Kontio

  • Former member
Re: Company Image Acting Weird?
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2009, 10:28:13 PM »
What is "pretty substantial cost", how exactly are you advertising? Statewide advertising does not sound that substantial to me, I would not expect it to be enough to raise your image.

Offline Sigma

  • Members
  • Posts: 1920
Re: Company Image Acting Weird?
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2009, 10:37:21 PM »
It was an extra $500,000/month to go Statewide vs Local.  Not the end of the world, I make at least 20 times that in profits, but a lot of money to pay for nothing.

My point was more that I ran just local in Game #3 and had no problems at all getting a much higher image despite being significantly worse in every variable that goes into image.  Or why going from Local to State seems to have only worsened my situation, from staying flat at about 60 to beginning to drop after the change.

Kontio

  • Former member
Re: Company Image Acting Weird?
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2009, 10:48:12 PM »
Spending 5% of your profit on marketing is very little. I think Sami mentioned somewhere that up to a third could be considered normal. I'm not saying there is no bug if you think something funny is going on, but I'm saying your marketing budget is minimal. Personally I would not bother with anything less than national campaigns.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2009, 10:51:35 PM by Kontio »

Offline Sigma

  • Members
  • Posts: 1920
Re: Company Image Acting Weird?
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2009, 11:12:29 PM »
Well, the increase amounted to 5% of my profits, not my total expenditures.  Marketing, even at just the State level, is my single largest expense, roughly 20% of my revenues.  If I go to the National level the expense is a completely unsustainable $4,000,000 a month -- it would amount to over 80% of my revenues just to cover Marketing expense.  The marketing formulas don't scale well to regional carriers AT ALL.  They're a function of destinations you fly to, and I fly to a lot of destinations with a lot of flights, but as a regional carrier, I fly to pick up a mere 75 people at $40 a head -- the marketing expense for route-specific marketing alone usually costs several TIMES what I make in profits on that route; throw in a few mil for National level Marketing and it's completely unworkable.

I don't disagree that more marketing might be beneficial, it's the differences between games that was more of my concern.

That, and if this is indeed the case of more Marketing needed, we need some work done on the formulas to account for Regional carriers and/or clarification on just what and how much Image affects things.  Because, as it is, they'd be completely unable to make enroads into the established territory of a national carrier simply because they'd never be able to get their image high enough because they can't afford National marketing campaigns, or be completely susceptible to a higher-image carrier taking over their territory -- at least if image is as important as I was led to believe it is.  An airline's ability to take market share off a particular route has extremely little to do with national image, but rather image in that region.  Perhaps we need a regional image too, but that wouldn't be easy as people would constantly argue over what a region's boundaries should be and you could quickly have an easy-to-manage dozens of regions turn into thousands of regions. 

For example, I move 1 out of 3 passengers through KDFW in the current game and fly throughout the South-Central US.  I'm sure my Image there would be exponentially greater than, say, a national carrier based out of LAX would have, despite the fact that they may have a higher Company Image than I do.  If I open a new route to, say, El Paso, I should have a significantly easier time of it than if this new guy decided he wanted to run a flight to El Paso (via my Hub in KDFW).  Or if I already had the route, he shouldn't be able to take it away very easily simply because he's national image is a higher figure -- it's impossible for me, as a regional carrier, to attain that level of image due to the costs involved.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2009, 11:17:26 PM by Sigma »

Kontio

  • Former member
Re: Company Image Acting Weird?
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2009, 11:25:56 PM »
Sorry, I misread you with the 5% issue. Anyway, I agree with you that a lot of things (marketing, staffing, etc.) in the game are geared towards bigger airlines and trying to run a regional carrier, for example, gets you in trouble with the game mechanics. Better support for regionals, low cost carriers, and other business models would be a very important new feature in the game. As noted before on the forums, one competing game deals with the issue by having you submit a business plan before you start you airline, which you then have to stick to for the first x years. Something like that might be a good direction for this game also. For example, if you started a regional carrier you might get less starting money but marketing costs etc. would also be adjusted accordingly.

Talentz

  • Former member
Re: Company Image Acting Weird?
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2009, 05:24:58 AM »
Company image costs x amount compared to how big your airline. The bigger the airline, the bigger the cost.

Now, if you have 100 EMB-110Cs vs 100 DC-10s. Your marketing costs are the same because you have 100 aircraft in your fleet.


Now, which fleet will be able to pay that high cost? ..  Marketing isnt based on what /type/ of aircraft you fly. Just on the /overall/ size of your company.




Which is why its recommended to raise your CI in the beginning w/ a few aircraft instead of trying to play catch up when your much larger. It takes /more/ money to raise your CI when your bigger then when your smaller.



Talentz

Offline Sigma

  • Members
  • Posts: 1920
Re: Company Image Acting Weird?
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2009, 08:50:47 AM »
This is getting a little frustrating.  My image continues to decline and has gotten faster and faster.  I'm now down below 50 and it's started declining almost a full point every week even when I don't do a single thing (aside from ordering planes) for game-months at a time.

I'm taking delivery of more and more new planes, my average fleet age continues to decline (though at less than 2 years old, it was never high) -- I'm currently ranked 15th in the game in age despite a pretty large fleet of 50 aircraft,

I'm operating one of the lowest-cost airlines on the server (ranked 241st for ticket pricing) and definitely the lowest cost of an airline my size. 

I fly a ton of flights (well within Top 20) serving every single location I fly to at least once a day and almost all many more times than that. 

I've increased my on-time rate to north of 97% and dropped my delay times to less than 1 minute.

And my marketing budget continues to go up and up and up.  The only good thing is that, despite whatever my image is doing, my load factors only continue to rise.

I'm doing everything right as far as I can tell, but my image continues to decline.  I can understand it staying the same if it can't get above "X" without national-level advertising, but I'm not changing a thing and it continues to go down and down.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2009, 08:56:54 AM by Sigma »

Offline Sami

  • Administrator
  • Members
  • Posts: 14539
    • AirwaySim - Are you the next Richard Branson?
Re: Company Image Acting Weird?
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2009, 08:07:01 PM »
Put up another marketing campaign (companywide, not for a route only), should work.

Offline Sigma

  • Members
  • Posts: 1920
Re: Company Image Acting Weird?
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2009, 04:45:56 AM »
A second, concurrent general campaign?

Okay, I'll give it a shot.  It'll eat up a good quarter of my profits though, but I'll see what happens.

Talentz

  • Former member
Re: Company Image Acting Weird?
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2009, 05:02:26 AM »
Also, you cant really compare your costs to AWS 1 or even Air Travel boom. The profit margins are much higher with a 737-800 vs 737-100.  That's why it may seem** like your not making more then you should.

This is why Jet Age is considered medium-hard difficulty. The same cost structure is in place, the only thing that has changed is your profit margin.

Doing more with less. Its one of the first things they teach you in business management class.




Talentz

Offline Sigma

  • Members
  • Posts: 1920
Re: Company Image Acting Weird?
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2009, 05:29:14 AM »
I'm not comparing the costs, that would be rather pointless as I'm running two completely different airlines.  I was an all-Airbus A320/A340 international airline in Game #3.  I'm a regional carrier in Jet Age that flies Fokkers almost exclusively and flies exclusively within the US (barring one small destination just across the border in Mexico).

What I was comparing was the fact that the same marketing plan yielded completely different results.

Talentz

  • Former member
Re: Company Image Acting Weird?
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2009, 05:52:13 AM »
Well that makes sense. What aircraft makes more money.. an Airbus A320 or a F-27?

Remember I mentioned that marketing costs are a fixed cost?

So lets say a world wide full campaign costs 50k a week.

Which aircraft will be able to pay that 50k a week... the A320 or the F-27?

Factor in the fact that your marketing campaign costs, increases as you add aircraft.. you can really start to see why 10 F27s wont be able to cover the costs of a "big" marketing campaign vs 10 A320s.

This is why "rapid expansion" with small aircraft is really a bad idea. Its better to raise your CI w/ bigger aircraft then turn around and buy regional aircraft and become a small regional.


Hope this helps


Talentz


Offline Sigma

  • Members
  • Posts: 1920
Re: Company Image Acting Weird?
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2009, 06:30:33 AM »
I certainly understand that.  My issue with the "weirdness" has nothing to do with costs.  I don't expect my image to climb too high with the level of marketing that I can support with a regional airline, but what I don't expect is for it to go down, even when I expand my marketing efforts and improve the variables that go into it.

My point was that, with the exact same "level" of marketing (local area), I acheived a much higher company image in Game #3 than I have in Jet Age, despite every variable that goes into that figure (as far as I know) being considerably better in Jet Age than in Game #3.

And that, in Jet Age, despite a constant level of marketing, and even after I increased it from Local to State level, my Company Image went down despite improvements in fleet age, on-time performance, and ticket pricing over the past game-year.

Per sami's suggestion, I did add another State-level marketing campaign which, in the past 2 game-weeks, has made a positive effect to my image.  It's costly, but it seems to be doing something.  We'll see how high it goes before it hits a ceiling.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2009, 06:34:05 AM by Sigma »

Talentz

  • Former member
Re: Company Image Acting Weird?
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2009, 06:46:43 AM »
Ok, I see where your coming at.

Why going down? Well, the only reason aside from a pure bug would be you've entered a new costs bracket based on company size.

Wheres a small national campaign w/ 5 aircraft could raise your CI to 60+, Once you reach a certain size, the cost of maintaining that size increases beyond what you were spending.

There's different amount levels to raise your image at a given size of your company.

Lets say you were spending 100k a week in marketing. Your CI rose to 65. But in that time, your company increased from 5 to 25 aircraft. So now, since your 5 times bigger, it now requires you to spend 150k to maintan that CI of 65 w/ 25 aircraft. Since your only spending 100k a week, thats the reason your dropping.

Bigger the company, the more you have to spend.


Does that make sense?



Talentz



Offline Sigma

  • Members
  • Posts: 1920
Re: Company Image Acting Weird?
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2009, 06:53:50 AM »
Sure, it makes sense.   But the campaign cost naturally increases as you get bigger anyhow (at least I think it does).  I assumed it was taking that into account -- as you get bigger the permanent marketing campaign costs more.  But apparently it doesn't.  I'm not sure what the natural increase in costs goes towards, but it apparently doesn't increase to keep your marketing on par with what it always was, hence why sami's suggestion to add another campaign seems to be working fairly well.

If the price does indeed stay the same as it was when you created the campaign, then this whole thing makes complete sense to me now.

Talentz

  • Former member
Re: Company Image Acting Weird?
« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2009, 07:28:12 AM »
Mmm ok. Bad choice of words. Forgive me, its 2am.


Quote
But the campaign cost naturally increases as you get bigger anyhow (at least I think it does).  I assumed it was taking that into account -- as you get bigger the permanent marketing campaign costs more.

Yes, Yes, it does. As you get bigger, the costs adjust as it sees fit. So.. you spend 10% or 100k a week in marketing for 5 aircraft. At 10 aircraft, You still spend the same 10%. But since you have 10 aircraft the cost is 150k a week. So that works, like it should.

What Im saying is this: When you reach a certain level (lets call it 40 aircraft) in order to maintain your current CI @ 40 aircraft you need to spend 15%. As oppose to the 10% you were spending.

So now you need to spend 15% or 5% more then what your currently spending to keep at that same level. Reason being is your company is bigger, thus, you need to spend more to maintain a certain level.


~ Now, what are the real numbers and brackets based on? He** if I know. Sami is really the only who can answer that.

What I do know is they exist. One of a few things I tested during the betas.


Talentz

 

WARNING! This website is not compatible with the old version of Internet Explorer you are using.

If you are using the latest version please turn OFF the compatibility mode.