B.C.’s Most Loved Brands: #2 WestJet

WestJet Airlines is B.C.’s #2 most-loved brand according to an inaugural poll conducted by Ipsos North America in partnership with BCBusiness and unveiled on Feb. 12. BCBusiness caught up with Bob Cummings, the airline’s executive vice-president, sales, marketing and guest experience to discuss what’s behind the airline’s ability to coax consumer devotion in B.C.

In a downtown Vancouver hotel conference room packed with almost 100 senior marketers and CMOs, Ipsos’s executive vice-president and the man behind the study Michael Rodenburgh analyzed the factors that combine to create a loved brand in B.C. He did so with high drama, counting down from No. 10 and diving deep into how each brand scored across the eight metrics used to measure a consumer’s advocacy towards a brand.

These were:

– A brand that I’m likely to interact with
– A brand that I trust
– A brand that I identify with
– A brand that is socially responsible
– A brand that makes a positive contribution to B.C.
– A brand that I see everywhere
– A brand that is an innovator
– A brand that is unique

“WestJet just know how to emotionally connect with Canadians in transit,” said Rodenburgh. “And they know how to flaunt it, They are masters of effective earned media,” he said, citing company’s “WestJet Christmas Miracle,” viral sensation, viewed more than 35 million times on YouTube, in which employees (called WestJetters) asked passengers (referred to as guests), what they wanted under the tree as they were boarding a flight in Toronto. Upon landing in Hamilton, the corresponding gifts came out of the baggage carousel as tears streamed, goose bumps rose and cameras rolled.

Given the company’s constantly pushing the limits on customer appreciation, often with the help of technology, it’s small wonder WestJet more than quadrupled the B.C. average in the “innovation” category. They also came second of any brand measured in the category of “uniqueness,” falling less than half a percentage point behind Lululemon, a company that did not rank in the Top 10 Most Loved Brands. B.C. consumers also gave the airline high marks for “social responsibility” and “trust.”  

The Top 10 brands ranked in the following order:

1) London Drugs
2) WestJet Airlines
3) Save-On-Foods
4) White Spot
5) Sun-Rype
6) Vancouver Canucks
7) BC Hydro
8) The Keg
10) Chevron

BCBusiness will present one winning brand per day for the next two weeks, including exclusive video insights from the winning brands’ leaders. Don’t miss a single most-loved brand by signing up for our Daily newsletter by clicking here. And check out our May issue, when we analyze the winning consumer engagement strategies of B.C.’s most-loved brands. Subscribe here to make sure you don’t miss it.