The Southwest Airline brand has its positives, but is lacking in the most important element.
Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
15 October 2014
The new Southwest brand: Not enough
It’s easy to rag on airlines, so let me recognize something positive – to a point.
Southwest Airlines, as you may have seen, has rebranded with a new logo and a new look for its airplanes, and a “heart” position that says the airline cares more than the other airlines.
First, the positives. The look is different than the competition and, based on its promises of low fares and no baggage fees, Southwest may be the only airline capable of taking that “caring” position. (United’s “Friendly Skies” is no longer believable.)
In addition, we live in a time when most of us believe airlines couldn’t care less about its passengers, finding every which way to charge us a new fee and slamming us into tight spaces on the airplane itself. You could argue that the new brand is aligned with that belief.
However. All that is terrific, but the new brand is all about the airline, not about the passengers themselves. It doesn’t say who the Southwest travelers are or why they are different from other travelers.
I suppose you could say that the Southwest traveler is the one that’s cared for, but, by emphasizing what Southwest does, that brand face becomes less emotional.
Also, I’m not so sure the “heart” position really captures what travelers are feeling. We’ve taken a look at the airline industry several times over the last few years and what travelers are feeling is not the desire for the warm and fuzzy. They are angry.
If an airline tapped into that emotion, making the choice of airlines a sign of passenger revolution, that airline would have achieved the right tone and would have superseded the new Southwest brand.
So, I guess, in the end, I’m not all that complimentary of something in the airline industry. Too soft, too banal, and not enough about the angry passenger.
Guess it’s not that different after all.
Target stores Tom Dougherty, CEO - Stealing Share 23 October 2017 Remodeling Target stores a tiny step that does little Cheers for more Target stores! Or at least, that encompasses the remarks by Target CEO Brian Cornell at a media event last week. Target spends part...
Infiniti advertising is criminal Tom Dougherty, CEO - Stealing Share 19 October 2017 Infiniti advertising fails on many levels The latest Infiniti advertising leaves me cold. Strike that. It makes me heated. Not that I have anything against Infinity as a brand. It...
Coach becomes Tapestry Tom Dougherty, CEO - Stealing Share 18 October 2017 Who cares Coach is becoming Tapestry? Coach changing its name to Tapestry means nothing no matter what CEO Victor Luis says. He tells The New York Times that the iconic leather bag company is...