This week examines the ongoing marketing strategy shifts happening among Europe’s top budget airlines, Ryanair and EasyJet.

While the two carriers continue to eat away at market share from the continent’s “flag-carrier” airlines, they so far have struggled to gain legitimacy with high-spending fliers like business travelers.

That seems to be changing, thanks to recent efforts by both carriers to redesign their logos, crew uniforms and livery in favor of a more modern look aimed to appeal to more deep-pocketed travelers. Read on below for more analysis.

Low-Cost Carriers and the Marketing Move Towards Upscale
Budget airlines in Europe like Ryanair and EasyJet have long been regarded as the upstarts of the aviation industry, with no-frills service and informal onboard atmosphere to match. But recent moves by both carriers like redesigned livery, and new uniforms for cabin crew, suggest the carriers are looking to re-position themselves to higher spending passengers like business travelers. Read more

The Big Business of Adventure Travel on Instagram
As we discussed last Friday, digital photo-sharing platforms like Instagram are one of the hottest online sectors for travel marketing campaigns and partnerships. According to this fascinating article, Instagram is not just pulling in more marketing dollars from travel brands these days, it’s also fundamentally changing the way people travel, encouraging travelers to pick destinations and activities that allow them to capture the “perfect” images of their trip. Read more

Travelocity Hires New Media Agency to Focus on Millennial Travelers
Expedia-owned Travelocity is bringing its $30 million dollars in annual media spend to Assembly, a New York-based agency, according to reports. The move is part of a broader spending shift by Expedia and its subsidiary brands like Trivago, Orbitz and Hotwire, towards more millennial-friendly ad formats including digital, social and mobile. “Everyone is trying to crack the code around millennials,” said Martin Cass, Chief Executive at Assembly. “You may well see us focusing on a younger audience.” Read more

Maximizing Hotel Revenue from Content Marketing and SEO
The disciplines of content marketing and SEO are seen by some marketers as “soft” sell tactics –  efforts that, while important for building awareness with customers, don’t always lead to immediate impact on sales. This step-by-step guide to content marketing and SEO, however, suggests that a number of best practices can help maximize the financial return from such efforts. Read more

Gauging the Potential of the Internet of Things for Urban Tourism
Despite plenty of hype, the Internet of Things (a system by which everyday objects can communicate via the Internet) still remains low on the priority list for many travel brands. However, a new trends report coming from this year’s World Travel Market in London suggests the technology may offer a boost to urban tourism boards. Information like real-time public transit and traffic times, along with tourism information delivered via Beacons were just two of the opportunities city planners and tourism boards mentioned they plan to use to better serve visitors. Read more

Motel 6 Highlights Tech-Friendly Room Renovations in New Ad Campaign
Up until now, the most prominent association many travelers had with Motel 6 was the drawling voice of the chain’s long-time pitchman Tom Bodett. That may change as of this week, when the budget-friendly brand launches a new multi-million dollar advertising campaign entitled “Room to Room” and covering TV and a new social media strategy. The new effort is intended to highlight Motel 6’s new tech-friendly room amenities, which include multimedia panels for guests to plug in laptops and MP3 players. Read more

Photo Credit: European low-cost carriers Ryanair and EasyJet are undergoing re-branding efforts to appeal to more upscale travelers. Paolo Margari / Flickr