In a world as competitive as airlines, Southwest Airlines managed to become one of the most successful. Discover his interesting proposal.
Your business needs to be able to offer differentiating elements that make customers prefer it (over other alternatives already on the market).
Some similarities are: first class service, punctuality, responsibility and special promotions. All of that is fine, but it’s not enough.
To learn how to go a little further, let’s borrow the example of Southwest Airlines.
Do you really want to stand out?
Well, take a cue from Southwest Airlines, an airline that has made low ticket prices its banner. It is no joke! It was one of the most profitable and successful in the business!
Want to know how they did it?
Taking risks can bring you very good results
Thanks to its commitment to offering cheap airline tickets, Southwest Airlines managed to bring its fortune to $6.87 billion in 2019 without suffering any losses in the last 30 years.
Not only have they made big bucks, but they’ve redefined how it’s done.
Southwest Airlines wants you to pay less money to fly
Key to this success was the company’s extreme attention to costs. Question every expense: This is how you reduce debt and can assert yourself with cheaper prices.
In practice, Southwest Airlines, for example, uses a model that is unusual in the competition: it offers short routes to (cheaper) secondary airports.
It is very profitable to treat your employees well
They define it very clearly: At Southwest Airlines, they know that if you treat your employees well, they will be happy and do their best job. Satisfied employees generate satisfied customers who use services again.
The airline distributes stock options to its employees – everyone – who can thus participate in the company’s financial success. They have no redundancy policy, which in turn avoids union problems.
“Once union leaders realize you’re trying to take care of your people, most differences – during contract negotiations – disappear,” Herb Kelleher, Southwest Airlines spokesman and honorary president
Do things your way
At Southwest Airlines, they fly only one type of aircraft, the Boeing 737, ensuring that every pilot, crew member and mechanic is fully familiar with the fleet. These planes don’t have TVs, but who cares if the goal is to pay for cheaper tickets?
They also prevented their fares from being published on travel websites because they didn’t want anyone controlling the distribution of their tickets.
Reading this article can help you: comfort zone: risk zone
Good OK! Southwest Airlines is a business model that is as unique as you choose. Check out everything you need to consider:
- First of all: Don’t worry.
- Don’t refuse changes.
- A happy team is a productive team.
- Listen to your customers.
- Don’t be afraid of bad times: they are opportunities.
What Southwest Airlines needs to teach you
What can you learn from Southwest Airlines to apply to your company? Here are some pointers:
- By analyzing your options and your competition, you will find it easier to find the differentiation value of your idea or project.
- If your difference is price, first ask yourself what will add value and where can I cut costs. Check out this talk on Design Thinking, which explains, among other things, how you can do amazing things on a smaller budget:
- Never stop investing time and energy in your people: they are the bridge between the company and its customers. A large part of the satisfaction of your customers depends on their good service. If their experience is positive, they will likely come back and make recommendations.
- Remember that it is best to do rather than dream.
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