There are a myriad of factors that have contributed to the success of Southwest. Its operating income was a huge 5 billion dollars in 2002 while operating expenses continued to decline proportionally. SW’s operations are proactive and are quick to size strategic opportunities that they come across. Rapid expansion was always resisted and it was only when sufficient resources would be available did they venture into other areas. Competition has intensified for SWA since September 11th, 2001 and has shifted to low fare airlines. This was a result of the losses incurred by some major airlines in 2002. Before September 11, United was SWA’s biggest competitor but owing to financial losses, it had to be closed down eventually. Other formidable low fare competitors include Delta and America West but thanks to careful planning by SWA, it continues to enjoy high market shares. (SouthWest Airlines)
Southwest tries to be as unique as possible in its marketing approach from the rest of the industry. It tends to live up to its fun-loving, funky bubbly reputation in the process. It followed this strategy especially when other big airlines were trying to run southwest out of business. It placed an ad that said, “Nobody’s going to shoot Southwest Airlines out of the sky for a lousy 513.” This was followed by an offer by Southwest to purchase a ticket from South west which stood at half the price of normal fares. It also offered a full fare ticket at a measly $26 along with a premium whisky with it. The response was overwhelming. Southwest’s Planes were jam packed in no time and became one of the top Liquor distributors in the state of Texas. The ads placed by Southwest have a very convincing flavor attached to them. They emphasize more on the real value that the airline is set to offer them. In other words, it aims at making flying fun and colorful. Ergo, it has earned a lot of respect and credibility amongst its customers by living up to its promises.
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