All I Really Need To Know I Could Learn From Southwest Airlines

     Since it became public a few weeks ago that Southwest had missed inspections, I’ve flown a number of times on their airline.  The gates are teeming and the center seats are usually filled.

     What accounts for this seemingly illogical popularity?  Certainly, some of that travel was booked before the press got the story.  Some is habit – ‘that’s how I always go.’  Some people are probably thinking ‘I’ll take my chances; they are probably as good as anybody.’

      But something else is going on here to inspire such loyalty.   It is this – Southwest deeply understands that their marketing job is to make people feel good about themselves, when they are with Southwest airlines.   Feeling good about themselves, not about the company or its services.

     A Southwest slogan is a strong example:  “You are now free to roam around the country.”  Truth be told, most of us will not roam freely around the country no matter how convenient or inexpensive it is.  Most of us are simply not that adventurous. 

     But, then why does the line work so well?  Because, it makes us feel good about ourselves to think of ourselves as carefree adventurers.  Simply to be put in the class of “adventurer” predisposes us to purchase.             

     It is universal, we all want to feel good about ourselves.  And, when people feel good about themselves, they are more likely to act, to follow our leads and take the action we want them to take. 

     As marketers, one of our top priorities is to make people feel good about themselves when they are with us.  And, think of with expansively – when they are seeing advertisements, searching Google, visiting the website, seeing a story about us on tv, seeing run of press, glancing through their mail stack, talking with our salespeople, etc., etc.

     This is easier said than done but the very fact that you are in this group indicates that you are a professional.  You are committed to getting better.  You do not rest on your laurels.  You take action.  You take every second of every day and wring everything you can out of it. 

     (You get the idea.  Everything in good measure, of course.)


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