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The Southwest Airlines Company offers services in the air transport sector. It is regarded as the cheapest carrier in the industry as compared to its competitors. Its headquarters are based in Dallas, having been founded in 1967. The current name it uses was embraced in the year 1971. Based on the fact that it offers the cheap rates in business, it enjoys the largest customer base in the United States. The carrier has approximately three thousand seven hundred employees and an average of three thousand three hundred flights every single day (Bamber, 2009).
The corporate culture of this airline, however, differs from those of other airlines. This could be the reason behind its oustanding performance as compared to the performance of the other airlines in the industry (Bamber, 2009). The company maintains its profitability levels high. They have applied measures to ensure that they offer low fares, they run low-cost business model while being heavily unionized. Their pilots have their own union. This is in contrast to other airlines, which allow their pilots to join a common union that would air their grievances. This, therefore, means that they deal with any issues that may arise internally and not through a union which falls outside the influence of the airline.
The airline adopts different ways to advertise their services in the market. They use humor to advertise. For example, they use,’ just plane smart’,’ the low fare airline, ‘grab your bag it’s on’ (Steven, 2003). These phrases are eye catching and, therefore, act to attract customers. This is unlike other airlines that use other means that do no entertain humor or any jokes. The way Southwest Airlines Company handles disputes is also appealing, as opposed to the other airlines. When the airline adopted the motto, ‘just plane smart’, there arose a dispute with the Stevens Aviation regarding the use of the name. Southwest Airlines Company proposed to have a contest upon which the winner would be entitled to use the name while the loser would be fined some amount, which would be channeled to non-profit organizations (Steven, 2003). The contest was held, and the Southwest Airlines Company emerged victorious, thereby it won the right to use the phrase. This portrays the corporate culture of the airline company as being less acrimonious in the manner in which disputes are handled. Amicable ways of solving disputes are used which leave every party in harmony with each other.
The company also has a culture of combining high level of employee and aircraft productivity with low cost units by reducing aircraft turnaround time particularly at the gate (Steven, 2003). This contradicts the other airlines that do not enjoy such practice. They reduce costs by use of secondary airports in the States where there are high costs. This provides cheaper routes that are even more convenient. This practice reduces the costs to the company immensely, thereby a gain as compared to the other airlines. The airline has also a culture of maintaining customer satisfaction.
According to the results of a research done on airlines, the Southwest Airlines recorded the least complaints by the customers (Robert, 1999). This is in contrast to the other competitors who recorded a significant amount of complaints.
The ways through which the culture has benefitted the company are under the frequent flyer program. This entails the award of those customers who fly regularly rather than those who fly long distances as other airlines do. Those who fly a certain number of routes are entitled to some free trips. This seems to reward frequent flyers, therefore, appreciating regular customers (Robert, 1999). This encourages customers to fly regularly using the airline, thus enhancing its business. Under the number of accidents or incidents associated with the airline, it is indicated that the airline has never been responsible for the loss of any human life. This must be positive statistics for the airline, as customers would prefer such a safe means of flying. This, therefore, draws customers towards the services of the airline and, thereby, contributes towards the improvement of its revenue.
The comfort offered to customers is worth noting. The internal surfaces are furnished to guarantee maximum comfort to the customers (James, 1992). The plans to install Wi-Fi internet would only serve to enhance the welfare of the customers. Such activities would render the services of the airline among the most sought in the market and thereby increase the demand for the airline, and thus, the revenue that the company accrues.
A change in the corporate culture of the airline to the betterment would immensely increase the market share of the company. Any changes should be those that would promote the welfare of the company in the long-run (Davies, 2004). Changes in the corporate culture that would reduce the appealing of the company to the customers would reduce the demand for the airline’s services. Therefore, changes that would guarantee increased demand for the airline services should be sought as opposed to changes that would reduce the demand for the airline’s services.