I don’t really follow Southwest all that much. I’ve flown them once and think they’re a fantastic airline all around, but they offer different things than what I look for in an airline (a global frequent flyer program, lots of opportunities for upgrades, etc.).
More than anything they deserve credit for their brilliant marketing. They’ve convinced flyers that they have the lowest fares, which is rarely the case. Yet I hear over and over “oh I need a cheap last minute ticket, I guess I’ll fly Southwest.” Being able to create that perception among consumers is invaluable.
Southwest just announced a rebranding, which consists of their new “Heart” livery. Here’s how it’s described:
“Our collective heartbeat is stronger and healthier than ever, and that’s because of the warmth, the compassion, and the smiles of our People,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer. “The Heart emblazoned on our aircraft, and within our new look, symbolizes our commitment that we’ll remain true to our core values as we set our sights on the future.”
There’s no doubt their new livery is to Wonder Bread as American’s new livery is to Captain America. I’m not one of those people that passionately cares what airplanes are painted like — I didn’t think Southwest’s previous livery was amazing, and I don’t think the new one is either.
But the thing I probably find most interesting is that they don’t have the “Free Bags Fly Here” logo on the new livery.
Southwest remains the only US carrier to allow two free checked bags, and to advertise that they’ve had a sign above the cargo hold which reads “free bags fly here.” It’s quite interesting that they don’t have that in the livery, especially given the rumors lately about them eliminating free checked bags.
So to go full circle here, it’s a bit ironic that the reason for the new livery is that it “symbolizes our commitment that we’ll remain true to our core values as we set our sights on the future,” yet it seems they’re doing less to point out one of the “core” benefits of choosing them over the competition.
Is it just a coincidence, and I’m reading too much into it? What do you think of the new livery?