Jet Blue's 'Fly it Forward' – Our 7 Golden Rules to Building A Social Brand Program

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Building a Brand Strategy from the Heart-Up – a Ticket to Good Brand Karma
Jet Blue’s brilliant #FlyItForward program awards a plane ticket to humanitarians rewarding and enabling them to do good and allowing them to pass the ticket on to another traveler for good. The #FlyItForward social movement was born from stories unearthed by Jet Blue crew members who asked; ‘If you were given one flight to spread good where would you go and what good would you do?

JetBlue crew members initiated the program by identifying change makers doing good within the community. The ticket moves from city-to-city as one person identifies and nominates another to take the ticket from that city to the next. The movement will connect a network of JetBlue travelers on a mission to bring about positive change in cities around the Americas through the airline’s destinations. As social brand programs go #FlyItForward ticks all the boxes. Consumers can follow the stories on the Fly It Forward site, which collects and documents the never-ending journey of impactful stories. Using the hashtag #flyitforward the public can get involved and submit a story or story nomination in the participating city. Entrants are prompted to share where they would go if given one flight to spread good. All nominations will be saved until the flight reaches their destination.

One early recipient was Louis Elneus who took a flight to Haiti to invest in learning for children by delivering textbooks, offering training to teachers and setting up public libraries. Founder of the not-for-profit Haiti Lumiere de Demain, Elneus moved to the US at 16 but dedicated his life to providing educational opportunities to people in his home country. Elneus pursuit of selflessness made him an ideal candidate for Fly It Forward.

JetBlue operates with a core mission to inspire humanity with a focus on sustainable CSR programs. The Fly It Forward ticket acts as an enabler of volunteerism, a reward system for their customers who want to help make the world a better place. As a growing business with an challenger mindset operating in one of the toughest categories, Jet Blue are showing that making a buck and making the world a better place are not mutually exclusive pursuits.

Our Checklist for Building a Social Program for your Brand

01. Just do it – Many businesses spend so much time and energy looking for irrefutable evidence of return on investment they run out of steam before launching.

02. Brand Relevance – By capturing the spirit of the brand within the vision of the program, consumers get the picture and you get triple PR points.

03. Consumer Involvement – Consumers love big hearted brands, but they love it even more when those brands involve them in the acts of good.

04. Brand the Program – A descriptive and evocative name helps people take notice and understand what your program is all about.

05. Authenticity Rules – Whatever you choose to do, it is about the act and not the spin. Choose something achievable, do it well and with pure intent.

06. But let everyone know – Just because you’re doing great things for the right reasons doesn’t mean you can’t let everyone know in order to garner well-deserved positive brand association.

07. Social Programs aren’t for everyone – some people are wired to appreciate social good and some aren’t. If people around you tell you not to waste your time and money, follow your heart not their advice.

Follow the ticket as it travels across the JetBlue network and learn more about the social movement.

Learn more about the journeys and submit your own using #FlyItForward at

Dave Ansett
Creator of Brands
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