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Nick's Place: Lets Throw Money Into the Market (Intelligently): Be yourself, even if you're an airline.

January 02, 2008

Be yourself, even if you're an airline.

So I was reading on about the demise of Song Delta's attempt at playing JetBlue.

Honestly I think Delta did amazing work with Song. The executed a strong market research and branding program, and differentiated themselves well.

However launching Song made me less likely to purchase Delta stock.


They weren't sticking to the knitting.

I think one of the key things about successful business leaders is that they run their business with awareness of the market, but not in reaction to it. I'm not kidding when I said above that Song was Delta's attempt to play JetBlue. Song was to be hip, with a single class, friendly bubbly people, and live television in the seatbacks.

But is this hipness what Delta is? No, thats why Delta created Song. It would have been one thing if Song was setup as a stand alone airline subsidiary and was given a wide berth to do what they thought they needed to do to be successful, even to the point of competing with Delta in some regards.

Instead Song was a brand of Delta and subservient to Delta's needs. So you got funky things like "Then they got careless and you would book a song flight only to find yourself stuck in the back of a MD80. They lost more customers with that..." (e.g. They over-promised and really under-delivered.) If Song was a subsidiary this would've been much tougher of a "mistake" to make.

As I've said before Delta's business plan in many ways was to wait out the demise of US Airways and then corner the east coast.

Instead US Airways survived and Delta had to figure out how to be Delta again.

From what I've heard out of Delta as of late is there is more of a focus on "southern hospitality" with specialized drinks and general cleanliness fleet wide. This isn't to say that modernity is lost on them, but Delta is pushing the idea that they're about simple understated hospitality in the air. They'll get you there and they'll make you comfortable.

Put another way, Delta has finally decided that they don't want to be US Air or JetBlue. They're happy being Delta, and proud of it.

Finally Damn it. Now if United could just figure out what they want to do, there will be peace in the universe.

Posted by nickb at 01:42 AM
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