Alex was part of the team that launched the award-winning US airline Virgin America before leading Virgin’s entire digital strategy, including Sir Richard Branson's personal strategy. In speeches and workshops, Alex demonstrates how to create a meaningful bond with customers by showing the human side of brands, building relationships online and in the real world, exploring the psychology of brand loyalty, and revealing some of the best tactics for keeping customers happy and loyal.
Alex Hunter is a digital brand and customer loyalty expert who worked as Head of Digital for the Virgin Group. He looks at how companies use digital to project their brand and understand their customers, with the best knowing how to combine delivering in the real world with treating people as individuals online.
One of the founding members of the Virgin America airline team Alex was pivotal in building an online community before such things were commonplace. They were pressed into service urging Congress to give the company the necessary approval in the face of opposition from the established domestic carriers. After the widely praised campaign Alex went on to lead digital strategy for the whole Virgin group, overseeing a rapid expansion of the brand's online strategy, social media and user-driven content, underlining the company’s reputation for customer focus.
Alex now looks at brand and customer loyalty in the digital age and how companies can effectively partner their offers online and offline. He argues that too many organisations view digital as something that will change their business when in fact many of the principles that have made them successful in their field readily apply online. With examples of how companies like BA, Apple and Coca Cola he examines how to build a consistently impressive relationship with customers throughout their contact with a brand, wherever and however that contact takes place.
Alex also looks at how technologies like AI can improve the understanding of customers and help personalise the service businesses offer rather than being a tool of cost cutting. He also delivers examples of exceptional (and exceptionally bad) customer service and how to deal with customers demanding they’re treated as an individual. He also considers the lessons of how brands are perceived very differently in different markets.
An investor in and advisor to start-ups, Alex is also the creator of the online travel show Attaché, delivering an insider’s take on the essential knowledge needed in cities around the world. He’s served as CEO at a digital music company, and is on the Board of Trustees for the non-profit Drinkaware. He has also served as an advisor to the Prince of Wales’ Rainforest Trust, specifically around the use of social media and engagement to propagate the Trusts’ message.
A highly sought-after speaker, Alex has appeared all over the world at industry events such as ad:tech, Future of Web Apps (London, Las Vegas, Dublin, and Miami), Thinking Digital, Marketing 2.0, CIO Connect, iStrategy, Tech4Africa, MARKA, and Internet World. He’s also spoken at events for organisations including Cisco, Deloitte, Infosys, Procter & Gamble, O2, Nationwide, CapitalOne, FedEx and the BBC.
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Alex speaks with real authority on the successes (and setbacks) of online business, and how peer-to-peer collaboration is changing the consumer experience. His own enthusiasm onstage perfectly echoes his argument that an ability to build relationships with customers online and make them care is what makes you stand out in the increasingly competitive digital space. JLA Agent Hannah Rogers
Creating customer loyalty
Alex Hunter on Virgin loyalty