Virgin America — a lesson from a brand that knows how to engage

information about baggage requirements at LAX a few years back

Virgin America  — what a brand!  I have been pretty much obsessed with them ever since they first started flying out of SFO in 2007.

There is a lot to love — the gleaming Airbuses decked out in red and white livery, the mod white interiors, not to mention the gorgeous ads and cooler-than-Kenneth-Cole communications.

Virgin America has grown into a carefully crafted brand selling an experience just as much as it sells transportation. It feels like flying with Virgin America is embarking on an experience with like-minded people going to similar places to do similar COOL things.

Of course, the reality of air travel is that you’re more likely to spend your flight battling a screaming three year old for armrest space than playing “armsie” with a dashing Mr. or Ms. Right from the ads. But I totally digress.

The brand has always been media-savvy — see Operation Chihuaha, now in its 4th iteration, and also the campaign that made me realize how incredibly FUN it can be to engage in smart public relations and marketing.

But the savvy doesn’t stop with traditional media. Virgin America is a leader in the social media space as well.

Just Monday, PureMatter executive Bryan Kramer tweeted about his great experience on a Virgin America flight. And then….. look what happened:

This image of a great exchange was grabbed from twitter.com using the Snipping Tool in Windows 7.

Virgin America heard Mr. Kramer and reached out to him. I must add, as well, that this was a bit early in the morning on a U.S. holiday when most people were sleeping instead of thinking about their business.

Such a simple gesture, and yet so effective. If he wasn’t before, you can bet that Mr. Kramer is probably a brand advocate for Virgin America now!

I think the implications are clear — if you take the time to listen and respond to social media channels, you can consistently hit home runs and convey to your market how important they are to you. Savvy, thoughtful companies like Virgin America have raised the bar on social media listening.

If you ignore conversations about your brand on social media, you may end up left sitting on the tarmac.

(Follow Virgin America here, and follow Bryan Kramer here.)


One Comment on “Virgin America — a lesson from a brand that knows how to engage”

  1. […] Thought leaders like Bryan Kramer of PureMatter believe that social listening is incredibly important – and in some cases it’s even an ingredient in the alchemy that creates brand loyalists. […]


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