So how to react?
From a business standpoint, if ‘Thrifty’ really means ‘we are the cheapest’ – then make your signage black and white and put up a brightly coloured sign saying ‘We will beat any price from these guys (and an arrow) – just tell us what it is.’
If you want to be the luxury brand, then have a red carpet out the front, with a gold roped-off area and send someone up to the arrivals area to greet and hand the keys to your ‘guests’. (Get the paperwork done in another way – away from the customer.)
From an IP perspective then, think long and hard about these approaches and how you can protect and make more of them. Is there patentable subject matter in the systems you use to compete? Can you really build a fantastic, reliable high quality brand and protect it with trade marks etc?
What would you add?