Even though it’s crowded and a bit chaotic, I still am a loyal SouthWest Airlines customer. I fly back and forth to the East Coast frequently with two college kids in New York and my twin sister, Diane, in Boston. And I always fly SouthWest if I can. Why? Because they are more personal, they don’t give me a hard time, and those peanuts taste pretty good after the 5th hour in the air.
So I never really thought about the SouthWest corporate brand until a recent trip when I overheard two young boys talking to their Dad in the row behind me. “So Daddy, why do you always fly Southwest?” It didn’t take Dad long to respond . . . “Because the fares are cheaper. They allow two bags for free. And they are more fun.”
Wow, that’s really what powerful branding is all about. People asking each other why they do business with certain companies. SouthWest figured this out years ago . . . create customer loyalty through personal connection and proven unique promise of value. This is their personal corporate brand and it’s authentic, consistent and incredibly successful. And the yearly ratings of all the airlines always have SouthWest at the top – just like the customers are talking about. Now that is business success!
So what can we learn from SouthWest Airlines both personally and professionally? A lot. It starts with looking carefully at who we really are & how we want to be know (first impressions, reputation & legacy); the unique value we want to bring to others; who we want to be engaged with and then finally being able to communicate that value to them. The overall result is an authentic personal brand profile that is in alignment with you in this time of your life