According to a recent survey by SFP (Spencer Francey Peters), a North American branding agency and The Strategic Counsel, WestJet came in at number 3 in Canada's best managed brands, while Air Canada bottomed out in last place. "Respondents ranked companies based on a number of criteria relating to delivery of brand promise including consumer focus, customer service, brand values, reliability, consistency, value, trustworthiness and respect" (par3 Best Managed Brands). The interesting part of this survey, is that by having consumers respond to these criteria, the companies' brands are judged not by how much value the consumer sees in the product and service they are purchasing, and not just the popularity or commonplace the brand may have.
"When you think brand management, you usually think about the logo, the ad campaign, the spokesperson. But in fact, it's the customer experience that speaks volumes about what makes a well-managed brand," says Luba Krekhovetsky, managing editor of Canadian Business.
"The three most important factors in brand management are: the ability to deliver consistently on a customer promise, the clarity of that promise, and the quality of customer service" (par6 Best Managed Brands). WestJet manages its brand in this way, by maintaining quality and consistency in its service and product.
This quality and consistency is delivered with what WestJet calls "On-time Performance." WestJet's definition of on time is "an arrival within 15 minutes of scheduled arrival at gate" (On-Time Performance), and this performance is posted bi-monthly on the WestJet website. This posting, not required by Canadian legislation and one of its kind in the airline industry, shows WestJet's commitment, over competitor airlines, to its customers.
So how does WestJet ensure that this commitment is consistently met, and their brands image upheld? By internal branding, the process of marketing to...