How Southwest Airlines Gave Me Chills…

December 11, 2011


We all know that Southwest’s logo has a heart in it.

Their ticker symbol is LUV.

And, we know how they have so much fun in their announcements, etc.

But, the other night, they gave me a “heart-filled” emotion of another kind.

While checking in at BWI, I saw a huge group of people in wheelchairs going through security.

Upon closer inspection, I saw their hats, saying “WWII Vet” and their shirts “HONOR Flight.”

Turns out SWA had brought all of these vets from Cleveland to DC for the day…given them lunch, taken them to the WWII memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Vietnam memorial and to Arlington Cemetery (this would have made me tired).

They had gotten up at 4am and were returning home at 7pm.

As I talked to 2 of the gentlemen, I literally got chills.

My grandfather had fought in WWII in China and I thought of his (and their) sacrifice for what we have today.

All of this made possible by Southwest.

Two Marketing Lessons Here

  1. By doing something worth talking about, they inspired me to do just that. I took a picture, talked to these guys, and shared it out via Foursquare, Facebook, and Twitter.
  2. If Brand is nothing more than the sum of the emotional experiences that we have interacting with an organization, then SWA successfully built the brand here…they made me FEEL like they are a company that cares about America. And that makes me appreciate them even more.

Do these facts translate into ROI?


In the short-term? Maybe.

Is it measurable? Probably not.

Worth it?

I think so.

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