Chris Garrett said something really insightful yesterday: “It is a lot easier to damage a brand than it is to build one.” And so, with last week’s JetBlue cancellations that were largely a result of poor weather conditions, a lot of speculation began about the ability for JetBlue to return to normalcy and live up to its mantra: “to bring humanity back to air travel.”
Every business makes mistakes. Every business has to occasionally deal with damage control and reinstate the public’s faith. Some businesses will refuse to acknowledge defeat and ignore their most outrageous errors, while hoping that their customers will continue to be loyal to them (note: in such cases where the company doesn’t sufficiently address these issues, they usually aren’t). Others will live up to their mistakes and make apologies that the public, and everyone will notice.
JetBlue did just that. Understanding that their customer is everything to the success of their business was something that they needed to acknowledge. They started with a YouTube video where the CEO admitted that there were flaws in how the flights were handled, followed by the release of a Passenger’s Bill of Rights, and today, they came out with full-page apologies in three major newspapers.
The most notable apology is the YouTube video. JetBlue is truly getting it right. While the majority of its ridership probably doesn’t use YouTube, the YouTube community is as impressionable community. Its users are primarily part of the “younger” demographic that will likely see this action in a positive light. Thoughts like “wow, this company understands us and is talking to us” come to mind.
What other benefits do such mediums have? Well, the blogosphere is buzzing about this one, and it’s been definitely rewarding for JetBlue after an agonizing and unpredictable past week. I, too, would fly JetBlue again.