Why Your Customers Want You To Be Fun, Transparent, and Even Weird Sometimes

I love Southwest Airlines.

So much.

It’s not quite 7:00 in the morning here and I haven’t even taken my first sip of coffee yet – and I am compelled to drop everything and write this post.


Because they do a great job and they’re reliable, sure.

But also because of an uncommon level of fun, transparency, and even outright weirdness that they let their customers in on.

An Interruption Of The Tedium

I have a flight to Dallas tomorrow at 6:00am, so as soon as I woke up today I walked down to my home office to print my boarding passes.

My mind was full of all the tasks I need to do for work today: ‘Remember this’, ‘don’t forget to email that’ and so on. The usual task-oriented stuff we all have to do in between creative moments.

Task Orientation vs. People Orientation
I always teach that at the core, we are all wired primarily toward tasks or primarily toward people. Certainly, we can be good at both – but each of us has a tendency toward one or the other.

A programmer, given the choice, will more often put himself in a quiet spot with his computer and get to work. A salesperson will most likely go find someone to engage if given the choice.

You get the idea.

So this morning I was all about tasks…which as a people person, is not my favorite place to be. I do it. I’m good at it when I have to be – but it’s not my happy place.

Task one this morning was to print my boarding passes on southwest.com. When the screen loaded, I saw this…





How ‘bout that?

A big-time legit company took the time to have some fun.

Southwest let their IT people take part of their day to translate their entire home page into Pirate-ese for Talk Like A Pirate Day.

I didn’t even know that was a thing …but I’m loving it.

Here’s the home page below the fold…


Aye, Matey!


Notice that even the banner ad at the bottom is in Pirate-ese.


Why It’s Fun (And Smart) To Show Your Colors

It’s just outright goofiness, really.

But here’s the smart part: As I read it, a smile came over my face and I noticed that I took the time to read every ‘matey’ and ‘arrrrr’ on the page. As I read, I smiled and even rolled my eyes a few times.

I found myself thinking, “Yep…that’s Southwest alright” as if the company was a single person who I personally knew.

How powerful is that?

I pictured the Southwest staff staying late, typing this stuff, and having a great time together at work.

In case you missed that: HAVING A GREAT TIME AT W-O-R-K.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again…and again: I love Southwest.

They’re reliable, their customer service puts every other airline I’ve ever flown to shame – but most importantly they take time to be REAL.

This isn’t some faceless, soulless big company. They have a culture and a personality – and they transparently show it to the world whenever they have an opportunity to do so.


What Is Your Culture And Personality?

When a professional person or organization takes the time to show its personality, it endears people to its brand. Its shows them that you are human and that you enjoy doing what you do.

  • What does your personality look like to your potential customers?
  • What cool and interesting things are there about you that you’re not showing them?
  • Have you taken the time to give your customers a peek behind the curtain?
  • And if you did, what would they see?


Let’s continue this conversation in the comments section, Matey’s!

About Gary Korisko

Gary is a battle-tested sales and marketing pro, copywriter, coach, and business strategist who teaches how to create worthwhile work on Reboot Authentic. Connect with Gary on Google+ and Twitter.

8 Replies

  1. I love it! I’ve seen on Facebook and Twitter that it is “Talk Like a Pirate Day,” but seriously translating your entire website to Pirate-talk is amazing. That’s definitely taking it one step further than a simple banner or sidebar indication that the holiday is today.

    I know you and I both agree that transparency is fundamental, and this post further solidified that.

    Southwest seriously did an awesome job putting that together!

    1. Right, Brandon.

      And how human and approachable does that make a huge company look?

      1. Very human, and very approachable. Great advice. Makes sense, as always!

  2. Agreed. Especially in a sea of sameness. Part of the reason I think you’ll have your day in the sun too.

    1. Wow. Thank you, Mike.

      I really appreciate that!

  3. I love this, Gary. Just more fuel for the fire of being authentic….Even if my aunthentic self is a little whimsical and a lot weird. =)

    1. Exactly. The way I look at it, “normal” is synonymous with “boring” or “average” while “weird” reminds me of words like “fun”, “genius”, and “outstanding.

      Bring on the weird.

      1. It’s on!
        Would it be weird of me to get rid of images on my blog posts? With my particular design, I think it looks ugly as hell.

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