Why We Hate – And Love – Air Canada

[Cache – #154]

Why do we hate Air Canada?

Answer:  We don’t.  The truth is that we love to hate them.  Even knowing that they drop our bags from a considerable height, it cannot be that we have pure hatred in our hearts if at the same time, we can engage in one of our cherished national pastimes:  bragging about our Elite status.  Or whatever they are calling it now.

The hate component of the love to hate relationship derives from the narrative in our heads that Air Canada doesn’t care about us, that they bog us down in bureaucracy – and that we look without mercy for anything that will confirm our point of view.

Because as human beings it is very important that we are right and that we continue to be right – and therein also lies, perhaps unexpectedly, a big part of the love component.

We love being right.  Especially when it is about someone else being wrong.

The second big part of the love component derives from the thing Air Canada actually does well as opposed to poorly:  confer status.  By flying Air Canada, we indulge through our perception that they have the best planes, the fact that they have a full-on business class and WestJet and Porter do not, the fact that they have the most and hence the most prestigious destinations, and of course the Elite status program, or whatever they are calling it now.

Once we believe something, it is very difficult to sway us.  It is very difficult to change a brand, in other words, especially when customers’ self-image is dependent upon a brand staying just the way it is – love it, hate it, or both.  



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