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the choice of airlines a sign of passenger revolution, that airline would have achieved the right tone and would have superseded the new Southwest brand.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.
Vitaminwater brand Tom Dougherty, CEO - Stealing Share 26 April 2018 Vitaminwater brand inches further way from its power The Stealing Share process builds preference through precepts, the belief systems that drive behavior. Ever since Coca-Cola bought it 10 years...
Ford Advertising Tom Dougherty, CEO - Stealing Share 23 April 2018 Ford advertising. Find someone new. News that Ford advertising might be leaving advertising giant WPP rocks the advertising world. However, the agency with 49 offices across the world will be allowed...
Sheetz MTO Tom Dougherty, CEO - Stealing Share 19 April 2018 Sheetz MTO process remains sloooooooow I lay it on pretty thick in a post on Sheetz some years ago. For purposes here, I am rescinding a portion of my prior analysis, yet offer up a new critique. You see,...