“I Make US Fly”…Well YOU Make Me Sick
According to a local Pennsylvania newspaper article today, the new US Airways Group (created by the merger of US Airways + America West) recently launched an internal marketing campaign called “I Make US Fly,” playing off their consumer slogan, “Fly with US.” The campaign stresses that in order to set the airline apart from the competition, employees need to provide friendly and helpful service to customers and each other “all the time.”
Many employees have responded to the “I Make US Fly,” with “You Make Me Sick.” Given the severity of the labor issues at US Airways, it is certainly no shocker the employees aren’t having any of it:
If anyone thinks for one minute that whitewashing serious labor unrest with cosmetics will cover up deep-rooted problems, this airline is in serious trouble,” said Capt. Jack Stephan, spokesman for the US Airways pilots group.
New Marketing 101
Know your audience and (slightly newer thinking) – don’t ever try to make them force down a plate of bullshit. We applaud the fact that US Airways seems to realize the effect that customer touch points (especially with their employees) will have on their brand. But, if you have seriously disgruntled employees, this is not the foundation upon which to build an effective brand. Every customer and employee interaction is critical to your success. This is a lesson not just for building the overall company brand but for Employer Branding as well (i.e. every interaction management has with their employees).
Our favorite thinking about this is an example of a company that truly gets what effects their brand: Scandinavian Airlines System. SAS had 10 million customers last year that came into contact with at least 5 SAS employees for an average of 15 seconds. The SAS CEO called these touch-points: “50 million moments of truth.”
Some interesting side points – the US Airways campaign was actually funded by Coca-Cola, which beat out Pepsi to sell its products on the new US Airways’ flights. AND – this campaign maybe hated so much that I was already able to find employee lanyards and pins up for sale on eBay, and yes, they have bids.