Differentiate or Die. Brilliance at JetBlue

A few weeks back, airline industry pioneer JetBlue revealed what many would consider the most outlandish marketing promotion yet: unlimited flying for a 30 day period for only $599.

What makes this “good marketing” is quite simple.

First and foremost, the sheer outrageous nature of the promotion was enough to raise eyebrows throughout all media. The promotion is different and unlike anything ever done before. Because of that, JetBlue earned numerous media mentions from radio, television, newsprint, and online. JetBlue easily earned hundreds of thousands (if not millions) in free PR just by the news media talking about it. The promotion has already paid for itself before the first customer booked a seat. Furthermore, it got consumers talking in a positive way about JetBlue.

Secondly, the very nature of the promotion reinforces JetBlue’s reputation of being a “different” kind of airline. Considering the traditional hub-and-spoke airlines continue to suck wind (4 of the 7 have filed for bankruptcy in recent years), JetBlue is clearly onto something by maintaining its “different” streak. Why the other idiots haven’t copied the heck out of JetBlue is beyond my comprehension. The JetBlue promotion has few “catches” and is rather transparent, which again reinforces JetBlue’s relatively positive reputation as not trying to dupe customers (unlike most of the traditional hub-and-spoke airlines).

Finally, the marketing promotion makes logical sense, and contributes to JetBlue’s bottom line…which is what sales promotions are supposed to do. The 30-day flying period of August 18 – September 18 is by far the 30-day window in the calendar year that is the softest for flying, meaning JetBlue (as well as every other airline) have the most open seats. The plane is flying whether there are 100 or 150 people on the plane, ya know what I mean? Better to get some money for that seat than no money.

My applause to JetBlue for demonstrating yet again that it is an enlightened organization.