Competitors Can Be Your Friends, Too

There is a tendency to view competitors strictly as adversaries. While it is not necessary to engage in a lovefest with other firms battling for the same customers, occasionally competitors do favors without realizing it. Take the airline industry as an example. I blogged recently about the ill-advised fees American Airlines is charging customers for services such as checking a bag. The fees being charged by American and some other airlines have given more nimble competitors such as Southwest Airlines an opening as big as the skies their airplanes fly through to lambast their fee-happy competitors.

Southwest is launching a new ad next week that mentions the fees American and other airlines are charging and points out that Southwest would never treat their customers that way. It seems that Southwest should send its competitors thank you notes for making moves that strengthen Southwest's position as a customer friendly airline. Gaining a competitive advantage is a never ending quest; anytime the advantage is served on a silver platter by your competitor you have to take advantage. Kudos to Southwest for seizing the opportunity!

Link: Dallas Morning News - "New Southwest Airlines Ad Campaign Targets Other Airlines' Fees"