One of the benefits of growing up in Hawai’i is I still have
friends in the islands. While 2/3 of my life has now taken place on the
mainland, and I don’t get back home as often as I’d like, my best friend who
still lives in Hawai’i decided to get me a subscription to the Honolulu Magazine to keep up with
all the changes that the islands are experiencing, with an ulterior motive to
remind me what I’m missing and visit her more. The magazine subscription includes
an online version (website, app, and email). Being the good marketer that I am,
I have stayed on the email list, and today I received a partner promotion email
announcing Southwest allows surfboards
free on their interisland flights.

I was instantly having flashbacks to my MBA days at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (later
rebranded as the Ross School of Business, aka Michigan Ross
) where we read case
studies about Southwest Airlines. Southwest was a great example of the sum of
the parts is greater than the whole, and their value proposition of bags fly
free was one of their differentiators that was truly a value-add to the
consumer. Their culture was legendary, Herb
Kelleher was a phenomenal leader
who would greet people by name no matter
what role you had in the company, and their core value of Love was evident
anywhere you looked – even the NYSE symbol: LUV.

This email announcing “Surfboards flying free is how
Southwest says thanks for having us.” was a brilliant way to introduce
additional interisland flights to entice the local market to think of Southwest
when they want to surf on another island. This is how you stay true to your
brand and core competencies while addressing your customers’ needs and sharing
your value proposition.

Southwest is up against local and regional carriers, some
that have been around for a long time, such as Hawaiian Airlines. The culture
in Hawai’i is very welcoming, and at the same time, very protective of its
people and its land. As a “mainland” company, Southwest has to prove their
worth to steal the market share from the existing local options. No charge for
surfboards is a good first step.

What are you doing to connect with your local market? Does your
marketing reflect your core values?

Marketing Mana helps small business owners create powerful
connections with their ideal customers by developing solid marketing strategies.
We take a deep dive into understanding your customers to create relevant
marketing messages, strategies and plans, so you see faster results once you
implement specific marketing tactics.

As our way of saying Mahalo Nui Loa for following the Mana Blog or our social media, we are offering a year-end special to reserve time with the Big Kahuna herself, Alexis Rago: $500 for four, one-hour marketing strategy sessions. Book your first session now.

Please note: Online payment must be submitted by 12/31/19 to secure this rate. Otherwise, the rate is $800 for four, one-hour marketing strategy sessions.