Distribution Strategy WS5A4 Southwest Airlines - Case Study
Operating under an intensely competitive environment, Southwest Airlines carefully projects its image so customers can differentiate its product from its competitors. Southwest positions itself in all its marketing communications as the only low-fare, short-haul, high-frequency, point-to-point carrier in America that is fun to fly (Cheng, 2010). Its low-priced fares are a brand equity which it "owns" in the mathematical sense of being the only major airline with a strong score on this attribute based on consumer research. Southwest’s brand exudes an element of fun: a down-home attitude which it leverages to present the consequences of low fares in a positive light. This is great for Southwest Airlines, but they are able to improve upon this by being more transparent and allowing the customers to see exactly what their hard earned dollars are going to get them. A great inflight service crew, a possible chance for and inflight contest, pay more for a meal while inflight if needed? What I haven’t found is the business practice Southwest has in place for people that need to eat, such as those with diabetes, elderly or in poor general health. Southwest would be wise to post these issues with their remedies and allow customers to present their own remedies. This would allow Southwest Airlines to address more of the customer issues they are and are not aware of. Bridging the apparent gap between what their business model shows as issues and what issues really lie with the flying populous. Using extreme dignity or acknowledgement might not be the first words one would think of to describe how Southwest Airlines treats passengers: no first class; no food other than peanuts; no assigned seats; no transfers of luggage to other airlines. Southwest’s in-flight service has, in fact, become pejoratively synonymous with peanuts; but the payoff in savings is huge (McDonald, 2007). Southwest has a well-defined business...
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