When Do Brands Need To Grow Up?
Xenophon Strategies / PRGN, Washington, DC/USA, 25.07.2011
Josh Stewart z Xenophon Strategies zastanawia się czy (i kiedy) brandy powinny dorosnąć.
The Economist recently examined the old adage “There is no such thing as bad publicity.” The conclusion? Of course there is bad publicity, but not all bad publicity is the same.
Brands like Hoover, McDonald’s or The Salvation Army, all bring certain things to mind. That is because there is already a relationship (whether one admits it or not) with that brand. So any controversy can destroy a positive view of the brand.
Well, what if this isn’t the case? Do gimmicks and PR stunts work for little known brands? Yes… sort of. Like any business decision there is a risk and reward scale, the riskier the endeavor, the higher the reward.
Take Florida-based Spirit Airlines for example. The company operates behind the slogan “Ultra Low Cost Airlines for the Americas,” flying to mostly tourist destinations like Ft. Lauderdale, Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Having destinations that are known as adult playgrounds allows the airline to take a free-spirited approach to its marketing.
Though recently, Spirit took some serious risks by associating themselves with Rep. Anthony Weiner’s Twitter scandal. Spirit’s Tweet referencing the scandal (view it here) was re-tweeted over 80 times. This twitter pic (view it here) was posted just a few days later and succeeded in generating a lot of buzz for relatively little cost. Spirit is no stranger to controversy; in 2010 the airline offered the “Check Out The Oil On Our Beaches” promotion in reference to the Deepwater Horizon spill.
These promotions teamed with fares as low as $9 begs the question, can this strategy help the bottom line? Well, in the not too distant past there was once a Texas-based low-cost airline, which featured hostesses in hot pants and tacky advertising.
Southwest Airlines recently celebrated its 40th anniversary and now holds claim to being the largest domestic airline. The original low cost airliner is a perfect example of how a brand can start off taking risks, and slowly move towards maintaining a “grown up” brand. What Spirit Airlines should ask themselves after almost six years of wacky promotions is; when is the right time to grow up?
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