When I am often asked what my favourite brands are, I try to name Canadian brands as much as possible. It is not a secret that my favourite Canadian brand is Porter Airlines. Hands down, that company knows everything about branding. Here is why I like them and what you can learn from them:
1) They understand graphic design. Porter knows that visual identity is more than a logo. In addition to their modern yet approachable logo, their quarterly magazine (re-porter) is fun and hip, their mascot is friendly (Mr. Porter) and their brochures are clear, interesting and sincere. They simply get it.
2) They exceed customer expectations consistently. No matter how you look at it, Porter’s major competitive advantage is its location. It uses the Toronto Island airport which is 5 minutes away from downtown Toronto. Make no mistake. Porter’s customers fly with them mainly because of that. But, the brand manages to deliver above and beyond of convenience. They offer free wi-fi, booze, leather seats, shuttle etc… Even if they didn’t offer those things, people would still fly with Porter. But, because of exceeded expectation, people actually love this brand.
3) But most importantly, they live the brand at every touch point. Porter’s tagline is “Flying Refined” and they deliver that. Yes, many times I experienced extreme delays. But when that happened, I got e-mails from their CEO apologizing. That is Flying Refined. Air Canada charges me for everything. Porter gives me unlimited snacks and soft drinks. That is Flying Refined. I am charged for wi-fi at every airport. Porter gives it for free. That is Flying Refined. I have significant leg room in the airplane. That is Flying Refined. You want to wear nicer cloths going to their lounge. That is Flying Refined. Sure, not everything is perfect with Porter. But they are a brand that makes an effort to fix things.
Sounds like a dream right? Well, unfortunately there are some dark clouds over the Porter brand and our next post is going to discuss that.
Actionable tip of the day: If you already do all these things in addition to achieving operational excellence you must have already discovered the secret of branding.