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Blog 259: Brands & Loyalty

Let me paint you a picture … Although we haven’t taken off yet, everyone on my plane is nervous because we are flying into Newark.

Despite the clear blue sky, we all know what you already know which is that Newark often has delays, which lead to further travel complications such as missed connections and worse which is why all of us are fidgeting with our phones, scanning weather apps and travel reports.

Everyone except me.

A band is more than a logo …

“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” – Seth Godin.

A brand is not defined by the organization, but it is the consumer perception of the organization. It is not found in what an organization thinks, but in how they communicate and connects on an emotional level.

We take off, and about half an hour later the pilot lets everyone know that there is some issue in Newark, so we’ll first land in Allentown PA, gas up, and then “hopefully” take off for Newark within the hour.

The passengers are upset. I am not.

Brand Value

“A brand's value is merely the sum total of how much extra people will pay, or how often they choose, the expectations, memories, stories and relationships of one brand over the alternatives.” – Seth Godin

The reason I’m not twitching in my seat is that I know Air Canada has already saved me. If I just heard that we’re diverting to Allentown, then AC has known for a while and has already solved it. I continue to read and prepare for my workshop the next day.

Sure enough, we land, get gas and we do get into Newark. In fact, I get there just in time to see the jetway pulling away from the plane I should be on. When I get off the plane, last, I let everyone else run there was an AC person waiting for me with my name on a sign letting me know that they had already rebooked me, on a flight two hours later and handed me a boarding pass and directions to the lounge.

I know there are other airlines, I know that they are much cheaper but I also know that when I fly with them, I’m on my own. An uncomfortable feeling.

You’re not an airline …

Aren’t you glad? Airlines are volume businesses, and they can’t treat everyone like a VIP but you can. The service an airline provides is getting me from Point A to Point B, the experience is how they do it and the value is how much more I am willing to pay because I BELIEVE in your value.

Your value isn’t what you do, it’s how generously you do it.

Your service and your delivery of your client from Point A to Point B is what you promised, your experience is what they are counting on.

What’s your experience? That’s your brand.

While I have you here, when you’re flying to the east and you need to connect pick Newark last, it is the first airport that closes when there are weather issues. Dulles or Regan are the last. Tuck that under your hat for later.

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