Ep 34: Buckle Up: A Behind-The-Scenes Look at the Marketing Strategy Powering the Alaska Airlines-Virgin Merger with Kalen Jordan Jeff Etherington

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In Episode 34, Jeff Etherington, Alaska Airlines' Director of Sales and Marketing, takes us behind the scenes of the largest airline headquartered on the west coast to discuss different marketing techniques to create brand awareness and loyalty.

Jeff begins by giving background on his position at Alaska Airlines and how he got his start in the airline industry. He shares how Alaska Airlines have been growing organically, remaining independent, and adding a number of routes to their focus markets. Jeff explains how acquiring Virgin America has allowed Alaska Airlines to expand significantly, creating the largest west coast airline offering the most nonstop flights out of the most destinations of any west coast based airline to date. Continuing the conversation, Jeff explains some of the challenges merging two iconic brands that served different audiences prior to the merger.

Jeff and Tyler discuss the ways Alaska Airlines is building community with its customer base and gaining brand loyalty. Jeff explains how staying ahead of the competition comes down to treating people how they want to be treated and making the experience as hassle-free as possible. He shares some of the opportunities Alaska Airlines has to continue to more forward and expand in the future.

Jeff also talks about the different marketing techniques that have proven effective for Alaska Airlines and could help reach the company’s future goals. He shares his experience working in both sales and marketing and how important communication is to make sure everyone is on the same page. Jeff leaves us with his key takeaway, which is to build a culture that both employees and customers respect.

Join Tyler, Andy and Jeff in this conversation on all things Alaska Airlines.

Time Stamps

00:00- Intro
01:13- What’s In The News- Changes to Facebook Watch
08:18- Featured Guests Intro- Jeff Etherington
08:30- Jeff’s Role As Director Of Sales And Community
10:20- Jeff’s Path To Alaska Airlines
11:25- Alaska's Growth Strategy
14:07- Biggest Challenges Merging With Virgin Airlines
17:50- Timeline For Full Transition from Virgin to Alaska
20:57- Building Community With Alaska's Customer Base
22:45- Merging The Two Airline Communities
23:36- Rewards Programs and Customer Incentives
30:15- What’s Working For Alaska Airlines?
34:45- How Do You Get Your Sales And Marketing Teams On The Same Page?
35:48- Key Take Away
37:44- Outro