What accomplish essentially the most popular TED talks have in general with some Southwest Airlines safety briefings?
Let’s swagger to the transcripts.
A whereas back, I analyzed the fleshy transcripts of the top 25 most popular TED talks. It turns out that one phrase appeared far extra continuously than you may quiz.
The phrase was: “Laughter.”
It wasn’t that the speakers had been actually saying the phrase; it be that the transcripts integrated it to indicate that the audience laughed in response to one thing the speakers said.
There have been 380 “laughter” notations across 25 talks, which works out to nearly “a laugh a minute.”
OK, now let’s ogle at the Southwest flight attendant safety briefings.
One of these went a bit viral on TikTok lately. This happens fairly continuously, largely due to all the corny jokes and quips Southwest flight attendants are encouraged to encompass. Whereas you have flown Southwest, I am going to wager you realize these varieties of:
There is a joke about what to accomplish within the match of a water landing (the joke has to accomplish with the fact that the flight’s route, from Houston to San Antonio, is 100 p.c overland). There is a joke about how will have to you are traveling with extra than one child and the oxygen masks fall, you may tranquil place for your hang mask and then assist your adolescents in advise of “future earning potential.” There is even a joke about the way it be OK to stuff a fake Gucci purse below the seat in front of you, because, “we all know if that was a real Gucci, you would be flying Delta.”Certain ample, I counted the “laughter” breaks in this 3-minute video, considerable adore we did with the TED talks. There are 11 such breaks; maybe 12 will have to you want to be a bit extra lenient in defining “laughter” than I was.
OK. So, why does this matter? I own about that phrase, “laughter” is an analytic indication of two things that give Southwest an advantage: culture and emotions.
Because the airline industry is basically a commodity industry, but will have to you ogle at the individual airlines’ cultures and marketing efforts, clear differentiations emerge.
One of these key differentiations has to accomplish with how the large players attempt to make customers feel about them, given that so many customers make selections based on emotions, rather than pure cost-serve analysis. For example:
United Airlines appropriate revealed a unusual brand strategy campaign around the slogan, “Lawful Leads the Way,” which if I can literally summarize in a single bullet point, is about an airline that always tries to accomplish what it thinks is ideal. American Airlines? How about the fact that American was appropriate named essentially the most faith-pleasant Fortune 500 company — no longer appropriate within the travel industry, but across all of corporate America. Delta Air Lines: Maybe the fact that Delta itself touts the idea of having been named the top airline of 2021 by the Wall Avenue Journal, based on seven customer service and operations metrics.Any of these may very well be efficient, and Southwest’s competitors clearly think about that they are. Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines had embraced this quirky, laughable ethos from its very starting as a company dating to 1971.
As the company’s vice-president of culture and engagement, Whitney Eichinger place it:
“At Southwest, our customers know that fun is woven into all the pieces we accomplish. For extra than 50 years, our workers have treated customers with our famous Southwest hospitality that makes taking a day out so memorable.
Whether or no longer we’re weaving some jokes into our inflight announcements, conducting a wedding mid-air, celebrating a customer’s first flight, or leading a toast to a neighborhood who appropriate closed a deal, Southwest meets our customers the place they are of their tear and I own about that’s what helps sets us apart from our competitors.”
Gaze, to paraphrase Shakespeare, I advance to analyze and learn from Southwest Airlines, no longer to praise it.
Nonetheless if Southwest will get an advantage from having developed this roughly brand feeling, I own about we’re seeing the outcomes now. The airline has taken a lot of criticism for having canceled thousands of flights — although to be fair, as I write this, it was Delta Air Lines that had essentially the most cancelations at some stage in Memorial Day weekend so far.
But, I own about the “laughter,” and the “fun” factor provides Southwest a stage of inoculation.
As a end result, for every customer complaint about delays or cancelations, Southwest’s social media feeds remain stuffed with customers praising Southwest flight attendants, or thanking them for doing things adore making a toilet paper birthday cake (no longer suitable for eating, clearly) for a passenger celebrating a milestone birthday.
Or else, for certain, the viral flight attendant movies.
Granted, Southwest is now not the fully large brand that tries to work humor and fun into its brand image. It is a tried and efficient strategy.
Nonetheless, as I write in my free e-book, Flying Trade Class: 12 Principles for Leaders From the U.S. Airlines, the great factor about the airline industry is that it provides a never-ending parade of case research that you can learn from and apply in your industry.
And, if Southwest can gain an advantage by changing into the “fun and pleasant” player among its competitors, perhaps your company can accomplish one thing similar. And that’s nothing to laugh at.