Tantillo On The News: Southwest Flying Into A Brandover?

 

Be careful what you brand for, that’s what I say, especially when you build your reputation on being lowcost!  This became obvious last week when Southwest Airlines was accused of cutting corners on safety.  Suddenly low cost becomes synonymous with “not worth the risk!”  When will they ever learn???

Recently, there’s been some talk about Southwest needing to change its regional name to something with a more national or international ring as it rapidly expands beyond its original market.  That’s what Allegany did when it changed its name to US Air back in the day!

But what Southwest needs to do first is get back to brand basics.  After all, weren’t they the airline previously known for achieving those low costs by being revolutionary and incorporating the money-saving efficiencies of Formula One pit crew model into airplane maintenance!!!   Now that’s something you can take to the bank and to your loyal customers.  Seems that the good folks at SW need to do a brandover—first remembering who they are and then promoting the “dickens” out of it!

The article on Southwest’s recent troubles is here and a few recent blog takes (these days blogs can perpetuate good publicity … but, wow, they can really amplify the bad!  Blog #2 adds more fuel to the fire by relaying an incident that would probably otherwise gone unreported or at least unconnected brandwise!):

http://threatswatch.org/rapidrecon/2008/03/airline-safety-compromised/

http://aircrewbuzz.com/2008/03/passengers-injured-after-seatbelts-fail.html

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/unusual-attitude/2008/03/southwest-airlines-uses-its-bl.html

And here’s Southwest’s response to the safety concerns on its website:

http://www.southwest.com/swamedia/stmt_20080306.html


TODAY’S TANTILLO TAKEAWAY –

Sometimes your brand’s advantages can become big disadvantages later on –especially if you don’t realize what these might be at the start! List some of yours today and what you can do about making them less likely to bite you later!


 

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