Does brand reputation matter to Spirit Airlines?

How does Spirit Airlines get away with ignoring orthodox ideas about nurturing one’s brand reputation? The author suggests Spirit’s neglect of reputation is intentional—and, it works.

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Last week, I did what marketers want consumers to do on social media:

I asked my friends and family for a recommendation.

I asked folks if they’ve ever flown Spirit, and what their experience was. I was considering Spirit for a family trip this summer.

The response I got was less than stellar.

Just look these comments below. Damning. The opposite of what PR folks paid to build positive brand reputations want to see.

Conclusion: Do not fly Spirit. Check that: Never, ever fly Spirit. Unless you don’t mind flying with goats and getting charged for breathing (commenters’ words, not mine).

How could Spirit have such a negative reputation and still be in business? How could their PR team still be employed? We’ve seen negative comments about airlines and brands before, but nothing like this (outside of maybe Comcast).

I was curious. After a little digging around it became clear what’s going on:

Spirit doesn’t care about a positive brand reputation.

What they care about is staying true to who they are (the bare-bones airline offering the lowest fares) and making money.

And, make no mistake, business at Spirit is good.

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