South West Airlines(SWA) is a modern day classic example of an iconic company which did not start with a unique business model of its own.
Pacific Southwest Airlines(PSA) started early as a low cost carrier.SWA followed the low cost model & even the entertainment aspect from PSA.The employees of SWA were encouraged to go on visits to PSA to study and understand their work culture and experience handed out to the customers.
The difference is that SWA exhibited the right kind of discipline to take the organization to the next level whereas PSA lost its way.
This comparison goes a long way to prove that to be an iconic brand it is not necessary to be a “first mover”.
Adopted from Jim Collins’s book titled “Great By Choice”