Sunday, October 22, 2006

Now That's Some Niche Marketing

Finding an underserved niche to focus your marketing efforts on is often a good idea, but I'm not sure this one will be successful: a German businessman is launching SMINTAIR, which stands for Smokers International Airline:

SMINTAIR reinstates the liberty of smoking in all seats. Non-smokers will find the cabin air more refreshing than on any other flight with any other airline, as SMINTAIR adds fresh outside air to the conditioning system! This is more expensive, as it burns more fuel, but it is seen as an additional service to our guests.

They're going to focus on luxury travelers who'll pay high ticket charges on their initial runs between Düsseldorf and Tokyo.

Looking through the site, however, the rather overblown rhetoric makes me think that this is more about a personal crusade than a business opportunity. Consider this note from the managing director:

Ladies and Gentlemen, dear Guests,

before I would like to share my next to 50 years of experience as an airline passenger with you, I'd like to take the opportunity to clear one of the biggest lies floating around everywhere in the World: "Second Hand Smoke (SHS, a.k.a. ETS, Environmental Tobacco Smoke) damages your health". Please refer to our DOWNLOADS page and be surprised by the overwhelming, neutral evidence. By the way, did you know that the NAZIs also sported a huge Anti-Smoking campaign? Yes, they did and the one we experience now, frightningly, carries exactly the same insignia.

Oh my. Unless you're selling something like books or movies about history, talking about Nazis on your site is probably not a great idea.

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