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WestJet’s Christmas Miracle & The Power of Authenticity

By Shannon DiGregorio, Relationship Manager at The Community Roundtable

Our watercooler was abuzz with conversations about the WestJet “Christmas Miracle” video.

In addition to all admitting it got pretty dusty at our desks we marveled in the time and effort it took to pull of such a creative surprise. Our conversations turned to the internet response – over 32 million people watched the video on YouTube. This was undoubtedly a great ad – if I got the chance to fly WestJet I would probably choose them over a competitor based simply on the goodwill I have from watching the video and seeing the great lengths they go to when trying to delight their customers. There was a lot of talk on twitter about how other airlines would respond to this and I think that is missing the point. WestJet created an authentic, thoughtful experience for their fliers, which also happened to be a pretty great story. For a competitor to rush out and throw together a response would be the height of inauthenticity.

Over and over I’ve been mulling this idea – how do you connect with your community in a sincere, authentic way? How can these thoughtful, deliberate interactions create trust and brand awareness? Is there a (profitable) place for companies that want to do good in the world and make money?

I believe that when you authentically invest in your community – whether they are customers, employees or strangers, you begin the journey to an active commitment to something larger than your brand or the products and services you sell. We talk about the “share your custard” mentality of communities – don’t just borrow the eggs, but share the fruits of your labor with your peers. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the power of a meaningful shift to authenticity – and ways that you or your company connect with your communities to do good.

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