Southwest Airlines Marketing

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1. Describe the various promotion elements that Southwest Airlines uses in its integrated marketing communications.

Southwest Airlines has effectively used a variety of promotional elements in its integrated marketing communications, making it one of America’s largest airlines with 3,300 flights a day to 72 domestic cities. Southwest Airlines has used all four possible elements of the promotion mix: advertising, public relations, personal selling, and sales promotion, but has focused primarily on advertising and public relations to add value to the product offered to customers. Its focus on advertising and public relations is directly related to its large size and it’s nationwide reach. Also, advertising and public relations are the
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Southwest Airlines’ flight crews regularly contribute to the company’s promotional activities through building the Southwest brand, engaging the target market, and enhancing Southwest Airlines beyond the budget flight.
Building the Brand: Southwest Airlines is well known as a Texas-based company that has a human side and a “down-home” attitude. Because of its large size, Southwest Airlines uses a variety of larger promotional methods, such as national advertisements and strong public relations to promote an image of a fun-LUVing brand. But, flight crews are the closest interactions that a customer has with the product, budget flights, which are a simple, undistinguished product. The quirky commercials and cheap flights appeal to a target market that is budget-conscious but still enjoys the fun side of life. The flight crews bridge the gap between the fun, unique commercials and the actual flight experience. By interacting with customers and joking around with passengers, they are able to grow customer allegiance in this market by acting in the same way that the brand has tried to portray itself.
Engaging the target market: Southwest Airlines attracts both budget-conscious customers and those who are looking to have an interesting travel experience. Oftentimes, these two targets overlap as one market. The flight crews are supposed to display a “Warrior Spirit, a Servant’s Heart, and a Fun-LUVing attitude,” which is intended to engage the flight crew with the
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