SummarySouthwestAirlines was organized due to the “consumer dissatisfaction with the service ofexisting carriers” and the increasing need for an air service between the cities;Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, and San-Antonio. Braniff International Airways andTexas International Airlines were initially considered the biggest competitors,but TI was dismissed because of its dull and bland advertisement image. Asidefrom the publicity, there was a pricing issue Southwest Airlines need to solveto compete against Braniff. RecommendationsFirstly,to sustain Southwest’s presence in a long term, they must come up with theirown mantra and slogan instead of having wide variety of messages to create animage of what Southwest airline represent.
Some of the messages could be “the cheapestairline” and “best customer service”. The Bloom agency’s advertising should bechanged. Because Southwest’s US advertising figure was towards more “fun andobvious” approach according to Figure B, they should use words like vacation orsummer.
The word, “love” does not match the company’s image and what they standfor. Article gave us the key evidence on page 11 “southwest only offered 8flights a day on Dallas-San Antonio route, versus 33 flights by their major competitor”.From my perspective, it happened because the consumers did not get the messagesent by the agents. It needed to be obvious and fun. IfSouthwest Airlines want to increase their price little bit, they need to providebenefits other than low-fare price such as free bag checking. I think Southwest’s”lower cost and better service” strategy is what consumers are seeking, whichreflects that Southwest is not product oriented, but consumer oriented. Theyneed to understand they are not in the airline business, they are in the customerservice business. Their service will be basic, but customers are alreadyexpecting that from what they are paying for.
As long as they won’t hide secretfees to other areas and give what consumers are expecting, Southwest willsucceed in the long run. Therefore, I will recommend the company to stick with thebreak-even pricing strategy for now. Notonly Southwest’s point-to-point routing can be flexible as they can choosewhichever route more profitable, but also having frequent departures instead ofhaving more destination can simplify structure and allows them to save some oftheir cost. I believe in the long run, the competitors who did not matchSouthwest airlines fares will ultimately lose and will withdrew from the market,and the airlines who did charge the same price will see their consumersincreasing but their profit will be decreasing because of bigger operation costin the end.