The Southwest Airlines brand is that of a low-fare carrier with the highest level of customer service—and with fun added into the flying experience. Southwest Airlines strives to provide its customers with a total product experience that includes check-in, boarding, flying, and baggage claim experiences. In providing this total product experience, the airline strives to fully meet the needs, wants, and desires of its customers. Southwest regularly surveys its customers regarding all components of the product experience in order to foster continuous improvement. Southwest also conducts extensive quantitative and qualitative research to better understand customers’ needs, as well as to explore possible product experiences that the company might offer in the future. Southwest operates on the premise that having new products is what makes a company successful over time. Thus, while maintaining its commitment to low fares, excellent customer service, and fun, Southwest seeks to identify product experiences that different market segments would like to have. The company then builds those experiences into the ticket price structure rather than charging customers with numerous add-ons. Taking this approach enables Southwest Airlines to better tailor its total product experience to the wants, needs, and desires of its different market segments.
VIDEO DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
- Describe the marketing exchange relationship between Southwest Airlines and its customers.
- Describe the 5Cs of the marketing framework as they pertain to Southwest Airlines.
- How does Southwest Airlines’ approach to providing a total product experience capture the marketing framework elements of STP (segmentation, targeting, and positioning) and the 4Ps (product, price, place, and promotion)?