In Australia recently we have had enormous media coverage over the degree to which we are seeing the ‘real’ person when it comes to the personal brand’s of our politicians. Was our PM genuinely crying in Parliament or acting the other day? Did the opposition leader mean anything disrespectful with his ‘shit happens’ comment and then was that his true self shining through when he stared down a reporter challenging him on the comment?
The authentic, true nature of our politicians is worthy of a blog in its own right. For today however I would like to focus on a brand that I think has been immensely candid in the past week, and their brutal honestly makes a very positive brand statement. The brand in question is Qantas. With all the recent chaos on the streets of Cairo, Qantas stepped up to the plate and provided free flights for Australian’s to escape the turmoil. At an estimated cost to Qantas of $1million, it was living up to its jingle of ‘calling Australia home’. And when you get media coverage on Australian radio stations from some of the passengers such as ‘…the actual organisation by Qantas was absolutely phenomenal, we can’t praise Qantas enough…’, you get s sense of the payback for Qantas.
The flights are a superb brand gesture. But what was also fantastic was the absolute honesty that Qantas CEO Alan Joyce expressed in response to being ask why Qantas offered the flights. He unashamedly conceded that the airline is using the offer of a few flights home to stranded Australians to repair damage caused by the engine explosion a few months ago on the A380. He said ‘..there is no hesitation for us to offer free flights to get them back home because we get the reaction (positive) that we did over there’ (The Age 4/2)
Such a transparent, ‘no spin’ response speaks volumes for the brand, even if some cynics snipe at the motivation. For me, such honesty has endeared me to the Alan Joyce and Qantas brand. It would be great from a personal branding perspective if some of more of our senior politicians were to follow suit. You never know they may just build some equity in their own brands!