Brands for life - Delta Air Lines

Brands for life - Delta Air Lines

Imagination experience labs

Imagination's blog for industry insight, innovation, inspiration and general life contemplation.
  • Ross Klein
  • Strategy Director

Brands for life - Delta Air Lines

It is always a pleasure to be able to give a favorite brand a gold star from a personal experience that reinforces their position in your mind as a favorite. It’s a double pleasure and less frequent to want to give a brand TWO gold stars: one for redemption from the “you had fallen off my favorite list for bad behavior” and one more for “wow, you have really won me back by doing something above and beyond”.


This latter case is what I would like to share with my newly re-inducted favorite brand - Delta Air Lines.
I had been a Delta loyalist for many years. Being from the south, the Delta hub was a natural, and the majority of my post college air travel took place aboard Delta. I had achieved "status" with Delta and rarely looked elsewhere. Then something slowly changed culturally, with the times and economic pressures; there was less cleaning, less technology, fewer than advertised amenities and, most tragically, fewer hellos, goodbyes and thank yous.

I hung in for a while to maintain my status, but then left the flock and flew with others. I happened to fly Delta during the merger with NOW and was so shocked at the lack of cultural integration and consistency, I wrote a letter (unanswered) about my experience.
I again flew Delta a few months ago after seeing all of the advertising about the new Delta amenities, none of which were to be found on my transcon flight from ATL, their hub, and LAX a flight in which I sat in 2b with no theatre system and worse no wi-fi or plug for my own entertainment system, it seemed my esteem for the brand could not go lower and I sent an email from my seat upon landing…unanswered.

But, and you must be wondering where those gold stars are after all of that, there was that golden moment of brand redemption a few weeks ago when I had a family emergency and had no other choice than to fly Delta.
My dad suffered a stroke on his birthday and I needed to get to Florida. The only choice was Delta. I was in a little bit of a scattered emotional state and luckily my flight went off without a hitch, not a spectacular flight as I recall, but no major issues, except for the one I created on my own. I left the plane, got to my Florida destination and realized I had left my iPad (72 hours old as I shipped my prior one to my Dad to assist with his visual therapy) in seat 3a.
Ugh! Is all I could think of, how frustrating and additive to that sense of exhaustion when traveling across the country in an emotional state of worry. I thought to myself, “well kiss that one goodbye” and tried to calm down and manage the real issue at hand which was being there for my family. I thought I would call Delta just to go through the motions of filing with the lost and found, but as I looked the Medallion service 800# up in my Blackberry, it rang and it was Delta on the phone.
The on-board team had found my iPad, done the groundwork of making sure it got registered with the gate team, who then logged it into security at their baggage services office and cross reference my info to my cell phone and called me. I was so shocked and grateful that I was reunited with my iPad within two hours.

I cannot express how this gesture not only redeemed Delta as a favorite brand, but how many times I have shared the story as I am happy to share it with you. At the end of the day, we all know the axiom of little things being big things can go either way and ultimately brands depend on the folks that touch other folks.
Thank you Delta.
We'd love to hear your brands for life, so please post them below or join the discussion on Twitter #brandsforlife @ImaginationLabs. 
Previous blogs:
Kickers and Osh Kosh
Twitter chat - #brandsforlife


Thank you Dwain - The name

Thank you Dwain - The name has been changed.

Just an FYI, you spelled the

Just an FYI, you spelled the name incorrectly. It is Delta Air Lines.

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