Southwest Airline - Distribution Strategy

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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…show more content…
It began participating in online sales at the Basic Booking Request level, a level specifically designed for its own needs in 1995, largely to make life easier for travel agents in its home market of Dallas (Bremner, C. & Fiona, J., 2008). This method of distributing their “goods” has benefitted Southwest Airlines immensely. Lower ticket costs, higher sales volume and cutting out the middle man, offering a pseudo bulk break method for the airline shopper. Southwest could improve on this media through progressive marketing campaigns targeting the areas of air travelers they currently do not. The elderly, young college students and those with children; these untapped areas hold a great possibility for revenue if Southwest is willing to target and market to them. Southwest employs a relatively simple fare structure, featuring low, unrestricted, unlimited, everyday coach fares as well as even lower fares available on a restricted basis (Bailey, et. al., 2009). In January 1995, Southwest Airlines became the first major airline to introduce a Ticketless Travel option, eliminating the need to print and process a paper ticket altogether (About, 2012). This innovation was born out of necessity after it was tossed out of three other computer reservation systems (United, Continental and Delta’s, as these airlines felt threatened by Southwest’s competitiveness). This innovation allows customers to completely bypass the computer reservation systems of major airlines by
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