By the time you read this chapter, discount airline Ryanair will be doing one of two things: 1) improving its treatment of customers, or 2) losing market share to more enlightened competitors.

In a 2015 survey, brand firm Siegel+Gale named Ryanair the world’s second worst brand after insurance company AXA. This is actually an improvement over other studies, which put the company at the very bottom.

“If we’re the worst-performing brand in the world,” said Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary, “why are we the biggest international airline in the world?” Short answer: The biggest company and the best brand are two different things. Time will tell. A bad brand is usually a leading indicator of a company headed for trouble.

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