Project: How Simple Express Met Young TravelersCategory: CONSUMER RELATIONSSummaryLux Express, a Baltic’s leading passengers carrying company, during March and April2010 based on its existing routes launched a first low-cost bus line in the Baltic States– Simple Express. The largest challenge was to attract a new target audience – youthand significantly increase the number of carried passengers. The launch wasdesigned in three directions: with low investments get wide coverage via media;engage primary target audience in campaign to turn them into active supporters andmessengers, and to build long term relations with primary audience by gathering themin one social media platform. The execution was innovative and in line with the brandconception. The objectives of the campaign were achieved. The increase of thecarried passengers in route Riga-Tallinn in 2010 was 27% comparing to 2009. Duringthe campaign Simple Express built sustainable relationship with the most activestudent organizations from three major universities in Riga. Simple Express hascreated active social media community with more than 10 000 fans that are engagedin low cost bus lines development and proactively shares information with their friendsabout traveling in Baltic States.SituationAt the end of 2007 company decided to close long distance routes to Western Europeand concentrate on Baltic market. In 2009 company had succeeded with this strategythat and developed Lux Express concept. For further company development anincrease of the market share was necessary and attracting new target audience wasthe only chance. Economic situation and existing stereotypes about travelling with abus (that it is uncomfortable, slow, out of date) were serious obstacles for achievingthis goal. Despite it at the beginning of 2010 company decided to launch first low costbus line Simple Express in Baltics.Objectives
As the primary target audience youth aged 15 to 28 years who live in Riga or near itwas defined. In strategy development phase the target audience was analyzed: theirtraveling habits, issues, preferred media channels and events, values. One of thetasks during the campaign was to show and strengthen Simple Express brandemotions: simple, open, youthful, adventurer and boisterous.The main objectives of the campaign were:· In 2010 in existing Riga-Tallinn route increase the number of carriedpassengers by 10% comparing to 2009.· To build sustainable relationship with 3 student organizations from majoruniversities.· Create a social community that is engaged in low cost bus lines developmentand proactively shares information about traveling in Baltics.StrategySimple Express launch strategy can be described by three steps: attention,engagement and long term relationship building. All three stages smoothly movedfrom one to another in some cases overlapping:1. Use guerrilla methods to get attention for low cost bus line using media(internet and television for the best reach of primary target audience) as a corechannel.2. The engagement of the primary target audience by organizing untraditionalevent. As the crucial criteria of success evaluation was to ensure that in the event themost active students would participate who can spread the message further. Informalagreements should have been made with student organizations on furthercollaboration.3. The last stage of the strategy was to build a long term relationships withprimary audience by gathering them in one social media platform – Facebook – beingsuitable for all 3 Baltic countries.Execution· On night from 7th to 8th March a Simple Express snow bus was built in thecenter of Riga.· Taking into account public agenda on the 22th March Simple Expressannounced that company would donate 0,10 lats from every sold ticket to the statebudget to repay the international loan from EC and IMF.
· During April 10 000 “Simple Express Kama Sutra” postcards were distributed in62 popular youth places (pubs, cinemas, hostels etc.).· With the contest “Spring Squeezing” the campaign moved to the second stage– student engagement. The major universities in Riga were invited to make a record –how many students can squeeze in one Simple Express bus.· In the beginning of the campaign a Facebook page was made, where fanswere invited to share their traveling experience and were engaged in decision makingprocess thus building long term relationships with customers.Documented ResultsOutput:· Wide online coverage – 57 publications, 17,5% on top news portals (delfi.lv,tvnet.lv, apollo.lv).· 315 participants participated at “Spring Squeezing” contest, including the mostactive students. The event was covered by all major television evening news (LNT,TV3, PBK, PRO100), LNT broadcast “Tautas Balss”, LETA video that wasrepublished by several internet portals.· Simple Express Facebook page was launched on 9 February 2010, in Maythere were 5494 fans, but at the end of December the number was doubled reachingmore than 10 000 fans from all three Baltic States and Poland.Outcome:· In 2010 in route Riga-Tallinn there was a 27% rise of carried passengerscompared to 2009. According to the statistics 70 % from the customers were youthaged 18 to 29 years.· Collaboration with students and universities continued successfully, e.g.,Simple Express organized bus pulling competitions at the University of Latvia sportsgames and received other collaboration proposals.Simple Express Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/simpleexpress http://www2.la.lv/lat/latvijas_avize/fotogalerijPhotos of Simple Express snow bus as/?gallery=2030Snow bus in LNT evening news (starting http://www.tvnet.lv/online_tv/2624from 23:06 minute)Squeezing contest in LNT broadcast“Tautas Balss” (starting from 3:20 http://www.tvnet.lv/online_tv/3645minute)
Squeezing contest in PBK evening news http://www.1tv.lv/2010/04/23/(starting from 13:00 minute)Squeezing contest in TV3 evening news http://www.tv3play.lv/play/228639/(starting from 20:50 minute)Squeezing contest in news agency http://tv.delfi.lv/video/IZZgDm8d/“LETA” videoSqueezing contest in LNT evening news http://www.tvnet.lv/online_tv/3610(starting from 22:27 minute)TV3 story about the Simple Express http://www.tv3play.lv/play/234666/donation (starting from 12:40)Story about the Iceland volcano dust,moments from Squeezing contest in http://www.ltvzinas.lv/?n=video&id=1538LTV1 evening broadcast “Panorāma” http://www.diena.lv/lat/tautas_balss/lasitaju_Photos of bus pulling contest at the galerijas/interesanti/latvijas-universitates-sports games of the University of Latvia studenti-sacensas-autobusa-vilksana