Nuts About Southwest

I’m "Nuts About Southwest!"

If you click that link it will take you to Southwest Airline’s new corporate blog. This is a compelling example of the start of Enterprise 2.0 value creation, and why I have decided to co-found Kalivo.

The Austin American-Statesman, my hometown newspaper, just ran this story today about the launch of Southwest’s blog, and below are some salient points that were made ….

Southwest officials said the blog will be a good way to connect with customers.

"There was a growing online community having conversations about travel and Southwest," said company spokeswoman Linda Rutherford. "We could watch that conversation, or become part of it."

Southwest launched its blog, "Nuts about Southwest," last week. Rutherford said about 20 employees, including a flight attendant, a pilot and a mechanic, have volunteered to write for the blog. She said Southwest will try to update the site at least three times a week.

Southwest expects some negative comments, Rutherford said, and will counter them with explanations from the carrier’s point of view.

Southwest gets Enterprise 2.0. Though, it should be no surprise to anyone that they do get it. This is because Southwest has always understood the value of great customer service and listening to their customers. They also get the value of cultivating loyalty among their customers, and what it means to have customer "apostles".

Needless to say, Southwest amplifies some of the offerings and value propositions that we intend to deliver with Kalivo, namely:

  • connect with customers
  • watch the conversation and become a part of it
  • empower employees at all levels to engage in the conversation with customer & influencers
  • don’t hide from negative comments, identify and address them head-on

Ultimately this level of direct engagement with customers and influencers drives both customer loyalty and employee loyalty, which is good for profits and competitive advantage in the long-term. For Southwest, this is just an extension of their existing customer and employee focused M.O.

However, for them and those companies that embrace this level of engagement in the broad Web 2.0 environment, to be effective this approach will go well beyond blogging alone and will actually become a new Marketing process in the Enterprise 2.0 world.

Kalivo’s website and my corporate blog will be up in 2 weeks or less.

(Robert Scoble and John Cass at BackBone Media add some interesting analysis & ideas for Southwest to the online discussion of Southwest’s new foray into blogging).

— bkm


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