Southwest Airline Company
Since its inceptionin the year 1967, Southern Western Airline Company has managed toestablish itself as one of the leading low cost carrier airlinecompany in the world. Southern Airline Company culture and strategicmarketing promotion have earned it this height of glory. Currently,the company flies to 72 cities and attains 3300 flights every singleday. To ensure sustained success in the ever-competitive air travelindustry, the company has initiated different promotion campaignsthat aim at increasing the customer base, as well as retaining theexisting customers. The marketing mix of the company comprisespromotions, advertising and public relation programs.
The marketingcommunication of Western Airline Company has various promotionelements. A promotion seeks to send the company’s message to peoplethrough development of an interaction platform. In order to develop arapport between the airline employees and the customers, the companyhas nurtured a “humour” culture. The airline encourages itsemployee to love fun, be free with the customers and adopt aservant’s heart.Employees of the Western Airline maintain itscustomer allegiance by joking with customers. This serves as aneffective promotional element in the company’s marketing campaign.When customersare treated well,they develop a lasting touch with thecompany that leads to the company’s success. The company can earnsuccess by placing customers at the centre aroundwhich all otheroperations of the company revolve. Open communication also helpsemployees to get complaints from customers and act on them therebyimproving the service delivery of the Company.
A promotion isdistinguished by its uniqueness from others and is designed in a waythat it can remain in the customers mind. Western airline reachesitscustomer through the social media. The company remains in touch withthe customers in social sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Apromotion seeks to reachpeople using all the possible availableavenues. As a way of company differentiation, Southwest Airline hasadopted a “ding” sound. The sound is used in the company’sadverts and inside its planes before the captains make anyannouncement
The promotion ischaracterized by giving customers extra benefit that they do not getin the normal business operations. Southwest Airline allows itscustomers to take with them pets at the cost of $75 each way. This isagainst the policy of many airlines which do not allow pets in theiraeroplanes. also allows customers to taketwo bags free per customer. Many airlines charge $25 per checked bag.The company is able to conduct its marketing communication in apromotional. Using this approach, the company, has sustained amarketing campaign to encourage the customers to take bags with them.
A marketingpromotion has a long lasting impact in both life and mind of thecommunity which it serves. has endeavouredto reachthe community through “adopt the pilot” campaign. Thecampaign entails giving out its pilot to the classrooms across thecountry for a one-week period. The pilots maintain communication withstudents while in their flights. Through this initiative, Pilots helpto publicize the company and to enable itreach both parents andstudents.
Contemporarymarketing strategies have shifted focus from service or productorientation to the customer orientation. The success of a businessdepends on the degree to which it meets the needs of the customers.One way of understanding customers need is by encouraging them totalk. When customers give their complaint, the company is given achance to improve its services. The best way of encouraging customersto speak out is by creating an ambient environment between theemployees and the customers.
By engaging in theentertainment performance with the customers, the Southwest flightcrews create a good environment where they can reach up to thecustomers and understand their preferences and needs. The aim of thepromotional campaign is to inform the customer that they can gettheir needs fulfilled in the best way by the company that isconducting the campaign. As such, western airline stands a goodchance of designingits marketing campaign by first understanding andidentifying the needs of customers that it serves.
Joking with thecustomers helps to give the customers as sense of belongingandattachment to the company. This goes a long way in creating strongallegiance to the Company. When talking to customers, employeesdevelop friendship which helps to break the gap that exists betweenthe company and the customers. Customers tend to trust a company thatis friendly,and that seems to care about them. Earning trust fromcustomers is very important in the promotion campaign. When thecustomers, have trust in the employees they tend to consider theirservices more,and they look for the company’s advertisement in thesearch for the new products. This lowers the cost that the Companyhas to incur in trying to attract them. Therefore, by developing arapport with the customers, Western airline does not only cut theadvertising cost but also it gives its customers an attachment to thecompany.
Southwest AirlineCompany has established itself as a low cost airline company.Reachingout to the low-end market requires the company to let thecustomers know and feel that they are valued. One way of showingcustomers that they are valued is by engaging them on the company’sstrategies and soliciting for their opinions. The flight crews showthat the company values its customers by entertaining them. Whencustomersfeel that the company values them,they are likely to beloyal to it.Westernairline has been able to remain profitable andeven perform well even during the global financial crisis. This isattributed to loyalty that the customers accord to the company andthe manner in which it has positioned itself as a people orientedcompa
The reputation ofthe company is determined by the manner in which it handles itscustomers. The major aims of the marketing promotions are both toinform customers about various services or products as well asmaintaining reputation of the company. The flight crews help tomaintain the reputation of the all high byjoking with the customers and having time for them. Reputation isvery important in themarketing mix. When the company has a goodreputation, it becomes very easy to launch a promotion campaignbecause customers consider it believing it is issued in good faith.Therefore, western airline reputation, which is vital inthepromotion, has been developed through customer entertainment andengagement.
Southwest Companyhas concentrated its advertising on informing customers thedifference between the company and other airline companies. Thecompany has been able to position itself as the company thatconcentrates in catering for the people’s needs. The companyconcentrates on simple factors which form a very important part topassengers during travelling. This helps to reach customers in a waythat other advertisements fails to do, for example,manyadvertisements concentrate on the comfort and safety that customersget during flight. Given that most airlines charge $25 for every bagthat,the customer carries Southwest Company uses this as the centraltheme for its advertising campaign. This is agood approach becausethe adverts should mainly be concerned at showing how the companysolves challenges that customers face.
The advertisingcampaign of southwest Airline helps to show that the company caresfor its customers. Manyairlines discourage carrying manyluggageandpets during flight. Southwest airline seeks to reach customers whohave been frustrated by paying for their luggage. Southwest airlinereaches its target easily through focusing on one, source of thecustomers’ frustrations. Most people are concerned with the ways inwhich they can get good services for their money. Most people usuallytravel for vacation, for job purposes, visiting and for otherreasons. When making these types of visits, travellers have a highprobability of been out of home for more than one week. This requiresthem to carry heavy baggage. Therefore, any advert that promises tocater for the luggage will be very appealing to the customers.
Southwest airlineadvertisements position the company as a company that treats itscustomers the way in which they are supposed to be treated. Thecompany questions the mannerin which other airlines treat thetravellers. The company compares the price charged by other companieson bags and its policy taking the first two bags free of charge.Terming charging of the bags as ridiculously, the company placesitself as friendlier to the customers. It intends to prove to thecustomers that it has the best services than other airlines. Thispromotion strategy places the company in the mind of customers as anunderstandingcompanyand the one that facilitate smooth travelling.
Marketing strategyof the company shows Southwest impact on the society. The company hasinitiated programmes that are simple, but which have a long runimpact on the target group. The company has focused on showing itspositive impact to the society. Through this initiative, it is ableportly itself as a company that cares for the community’s welfare.The company succeeds in showing that it servesits customers andthe community by participating in such initiatives as offeringits pilot to volunteer in classrooms.
The main theme ofSouthwest airline Company is to show that it has a place in the livesof its customers. The company aims at reachingthetarget market bypositioning itself as a company that has different businessphilosophy from other companies. Its business philosophy is to beseen as caring and very considerate to the welfare of the society.The advertising also aims at including everybody in society includingold and young. The company reachesthe old in the society through lowcost and the young through the social sites such as Facebook andTwitter.
Southwest AirlineCompany is the largest low carrier airline company in the world. Thecompany has been able to overcome stiff competition thatcharacterizes the airline industry in the United States throughbusinessspecialization. The company focuses on the low-end market inthe luxurious air travel industry. The company has concentrated inoffering low cost air traveling services. This has made it apreference of many low and medium income earners in the regions thatit serves. The company has tried to build its image through corporatesocial responsibility initiatives such as student assistanceprogrammes (Castillo-Manzanoet al 265).
Southwest companyflies only one type of aeroplane that is Boeing 737 series. Thishelps the company to save on cost in terms of mechanic training,spare-parts inventories and other maintenance issues. This alsoenables the company to fly its 527 aircrafts in all the regionswithout reconfiguration and costly disruptions. Most of the southwestaeroplanes fly from point to point nonstop. This is very convenientto many customers as it saves on time. Flights rates SouthwestCompany at 78% on time performance which is above the industrialaverage and more than all the competitors (Linet al 5-22).
Southwest companyoffers better, simple, and basic services, for example,its airplanesnever has assigned sit like other airlines and only serves snacks.The sits are also uniform for every passenger. This means thatpassengers know exactly what they will get before they book theaircraft. This helps the company to, unloads the flight, restocks theplane, clean and boarded another flight which is full of passengersin about 20 minutes. Other network airline takes about 90 minutes.Another competitive advantage of southwest airline is its avoidanceof complex fare structure. The company sells only one-way fare (Shaw58). It does not charge fuel surges price and standbyticket charge. The company management is also strong, relativelycheap workforce and adopts and aggressive fuel hedging.
SouthwestAirlineCompanyhas received complaints owing to its line up process.Customers are required to line up as they are been served. Thecompany can adopt a non-queuing method that is adopted by other majorairlines. The company should adopt an electronic systemwhichallocates numbers to customers and allows one customer to be servedat a time. Southwest Airline uses unfair commercials. The messagenegatively frames other airlines. It would be recommendable for theSouthwest Company to concentrate on its strength without givingnegative publicity to other companies. For example, the company canstate that it is charging no money for the first two bags withoutnecessarily drawing comparison with other competitors (Pride andOscar 380).
Southwest companyuses a lot of money in advertisement. Most of the adverts of thecompany are run on television. This is very expensive for thecompany. It would be recommendable for the company to concentrate onsocial media. Jackson,Susan, Randall, Schuler, and Steve Werner note that socialmedia is one of the strongest marketing platformsthat can be utilisedand which comes at a very low cost (581). The company has also facedseveral lawsuits, which destroys its image. This has attracted a lotof negative publicity to the company especially in the social media.In order to continue building its name, the company should upholdutmost business ethics in its advertisements and operations (Freibergand Jackie 78). Ethical values form a crucial part of success inbusiness it is the ethical values, which determine the success thata firm will have.
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