The case study on Southwest airline analyzes why they are the most convenient airline company among consumers to fly with within the airline industry. Their marketing strategy is based on connecting with their consumer market on a personal level. Instead of marketing themselves through traditional hard sales advertisements, Southwest Airlines uses a strategy of free reign to reach out to their consumer market by acting professional yet at the same time establishing a profound sense of rapport. Their most effective marketing tool is the use of their sense of humor. This is what makes them stand out from all of the other airline companies in terms of marketing because while every other airline is trying to advertise through hard sales, Southwest Airlines is connecting with their customers and creating a personal bond. This marketing technique also enhances customer loyalty. (Kotler, 2012)
Southwest Airlines is also able to offer the lowest prices in air fares to their consumer market in the airline industry. As it was noted in the case study, Southwest Airlines is able to save money for the company in a large variety of business methods. They do so by sticking to one airplane model for the entire company to use. This allows for easier training for their pilots and leads too few flight cancelations as technical errors are easier to fix. Another one of their money saving methods is done by making their airplanes as light as possible. This saves on fuel cost because the airplanes are able to fly with stronger fuel efficiency, allowing them to fly at farther distances on less fuel. Another money saving method that was noted in the case study was the practice of fuel hedging done by Southwest Airlines. This allows the company to save on fuel costs and all of these savings are contributed to cutting ticket prices for their consumer market. (Senter, 2015) (Kotler, 2012)
The reason as to why every other airline does not cut their ticket prices down to what Southwest Airlines offers could actually be answered in different ways, depending on the context of the situation. It was noted in the case study the Southwest Airlines is not known for providing a thriller in flight experience. They lean more towards being warm hearted with cheap prices. Other airlines may have higher prices because they offer a better in-flight experience such as individual computer monitors for passengers, video games, Wi-Fi, more comfortable seats, more leg room, or a greater variety of food. These amenities would explain why other airlines do not offer the same cheap prices as Southwest Airlines. (Phelps, 2014)
Another reason why other airlines do not offer the same cheap prices might be to avoid price fixing in the airlines industry. This is not only illegal under federal law, but it would simply cause every airline company in the industry to eventually raise their prices again. (Investopedia, 2015)
Southwest Airlines actually does not face as many risks by operating as a low-cost airline company. In fact, they are more likely to survive through a tough economic time than other airlines. This is because their low-cost model allows the company to save assets they can use to survive through such tough economic times. Their low-costs also tends to be more financially attractive to the consumer market, that is the customers who are also suffering the effects of tough economic times and would rather pay lower fares for their tickets. (Phelps, 2014)
Investopedia. (2015). Price Fixing. Retrieved from Investopedia: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/pricefixing.asp
Kotler, P. &. (2012). Marketing management. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.: 14th ed.
Phelps, S. (2014, September 14). Southwest Airlines Understands The Heart Of Marketing Is Experience. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/stanphelps/2014/09/14/southwest-airlines-understands-the-heart-of-marketing-is-experience/
Senter, S. (2015). 6 Low-Cost Marketing Strategies. Retrieved from Business Know How: http://www.businessknowhow.com/marketing/affordmark.htm
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