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A WestJet Wonderland
By: Jessica MacKenzie
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The most fundamental sales principle of all time: people buy from people they like. It’s that simple. Building relationships with customers (both current and prospective) is critical to a company’s success. But when you run a business conglomerate like WestJet Airlines, how can you possibly connect with consumers on an individual level? In case you live under a rock, WestJet basically nailed it. Please take a minute to watch the video and catch up to speed.
 
The video features travelers waiting outside their gates in two Canadian international airports. Travelers were humored with a virtual display of Santa Claus, who asked the WestJet passengers what they wanted for Christmas. The passengers brought their kids to talk to Santa and report specific items on their Christmas lists — a fun way to pass the time while waiting for their flight.
 
What these passengers didn’t know was that as soon as they boarded the airplane, the WestJet "elves" got right to business fulfilling the items on the passengers’ wish lists. They bought everything from big screen TVs and tablets to socks, as requested by some passengers. The travelers were elated when they arrived at the baggage claim area to find beautifully wrapped presents riding along the conveyer belt; some were even moved to tears (not the guy who asked for underwear, although he was still thrilled to receive what he asked for).
 
This "Christmas miracle" by WestJet Airlines was undoubtedly part of a plan to perform a random act of kindness and warm the hearts of unsuspecting customers; however, unbeknownst to the average Joe, WestJet Airlines really executed a brilliant marketing tactic and it worked like a charm. This random act of kindness, which doubled as a marketing ploy, has allowed the airline to connect with individual customers in a big way. Delivering specific items from passengers’ wish lists sends the message that the airline cares about each passenger and hopes to give them the best traveling experience possible. While other airlines have recently started charging extra for carry-on items and have taken away certain in-flight perks that used to be standard with the purchase of a ticket, WestJet has recognized the window of opportunity and has capitalized on it with a little help from some friends from the North Pole.
 
This thoughtful act by WestJet not only allowed the company to show their appreciation for their customers’ business, but also touched the hearts of millions via an extremely popular viral video. The video footage highlights the WestJet Christmas miracle, catapulting the airline into the #1 spot on the "nice" list among most current and prospective travelers. By showing just a few travelers just how much they care, it's safe to say that WestJet will be seeing a very profitable 2014. 

Side note: when watching this video, you may be wondering to yourself, "what if people started asking for ridiculous things? Something had to have gone wrong during this whole process..." In the spirit of Christmas, consider this a gift. Enjoy.


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About the Author
Jessica MacKenzie is an Advertising Account Executive with five years of experience. She graduated from the University of Georiga with a Bachelor's degree in Journalism with a concentration in Advertising. 
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