Thanks to David Ansett from the brand blog/agency Truly Deeply (from Down Under), we found this great example of building a brand through a naturally fun experience. A Lufthansa flight attendant managed to inspire a pillow fight between herself and the passengers in economy class at 20,000 ft. altitude, and received accolades from Lufthansa for it. Check out the video one of the passengers captured on their phone.
What you see in this video is a response to natural branding, a sense of fun and openness from a brand that encourages trustful interaction. As David Ansett puts it, “The passengers cheer and applaud the engagement, completely swept-up in the unexpected and natural energy of this brand experience.” Now, we could try to create a formula for repeating this in other brands, but we would be missing one key element: you can not create these experiences without good people who inspire trust. Which raises the question: are you hiring people just because their resumé is impressive? When hiring anyone who works on the front end with customers, please do yourself a favor. Hire people who inspire trust-filled interaction, who laugh, show compassion, go the extra mile, create memorable experiences.
Of course, the antithesis to this story is the much more famous sliding flight attendant, Steven Slater, who lost his cool after an argument with a passenger, gave a profanity-filled exit speech over the intercom, and escaped via the emergency exit slide to the tarmac with a couple cans of beer. Now, you might be asking yourself, “Isn’t this an example of a more famous exploit than the pillow fight?” More famous? Yes. Better for Jet Blue? No.