from Hereto thereA creative guide to making public transport the way to go
CONTENTS                                         02	    Introroduction: A competitive marketplace                         ...
Introduction                              Introduction:                              A Competitive                        ...
Introduction                                          to the private automobile. If this is                               ...
Brand and identity                                   Brand and identity:                                   Build a Strong ...
Brand and identity                                                                                                        ...
Brand and identity                                     Brand and identity          Los Angeles          METRO          Thr...
Internal communicationInternal communication:                                                                 The 290,000 ...
From Here to There
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From Here to There

  1. 1. from Hereto thereA creative guide to making public transport the way to go
  2. 2. CONTENTS 02 Introroduction: A competitive marketplace 06 Brand and identity 12 Internal communication 16 User education 22 User information systems 28 Marketing campaigns 34 ublic relations and P external communications 40 User feedback systems 44 Online engagement EMBARQ catalyzes environmentally and financially sustainable transport solutions to improve quality of life in cities.This work is licensed under a Creative Since 2002, it has grown to include five offices, locatedCommons Attribution-NonCommercial- in Mexico, Brazil, India, Turkey and the Andean Region,NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. that work together with local transport authorities to reduceReport by: pollution, improve public health and create safe, accessibleErik Weber, Visiting Fellow and attractive urban public spaces. EMBARQ employs moreerik.weber@dot.gov than 130 experts in fields ranging from architecture to airEthan Arpi, Strategic Communications quality management; geography to journalism; and sociologyand Marketing Manager to civil and transport engineering.earpi@wri.orgAileen Carrigan, Transport Planneracarrigan@wri.orgDesign and layout byDave K. Cooper, Video Productionand Design Managerdcooper@wri.org www.embarq.org
  3. 3. Introduction Introduction: A Competitive $21 billion Marketplace Advertising dollars spent by major auto companies in 2009 Motor companies like Toyota, Ford and Tata $3.2 spend tens of billions of dollars per year creating billion Advertising dollars spent and maintaining their images, cultivating their by General Motors in 2009 customers and selling their products. According to Advertising Age, in For anyone interested in the sustainability 2009, major auto companies spent of developing world cities, these trends a whopping $21 billion worldwide don’t bode well. While private vehicle on advertising, with General Motors, usage rates are an indicator of newfound alone, shelling out more than $3.2 wealth and prosperity, they also go hand In Brazil, billion.1 These companies have armies in hand with deteriorating air quality, of employees working in marketing longer commute times, increased the number departments and some of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, higher rates of personal best ad agencies on retainer. of traffic fatalities and the destruction of public space.4 At the same time, automobiles The target for an increasing percentage governments have routinely turned sold per year of this spending is emerging markets, their backs on public transport, instead has jumped where auto companies see huge spending vast sums on new auto-centric growth prospects. And for good reason. infrastructure, such as expressways and from 1.2 India, for example, has experienced a ring roads, that encourage more private million in 20-fold increase in the number of motor vehicle ownership and use.5 2001 to vehicles in the last several decades.2 In Brazil, likewise, the number of To reverse these consumer and 2.6 million personal automobiles sold per year has development trends, public transport in 2010. jumped from 1.2 million in 2001 to 2.6 advocates need to make public transport million in 2010.3 a competitive and desirable alternative2 EMBARQ From Here to There EMBARQ From Here to There 3
  4. 4. Introduction to the private automobile. If this is Brand and identity Facts and done, cities will be more likely to invest in public transport projects, leading Fictions Internal communication to increased personal mobility and a FICTION Marketing is a luxury healthier urban environment. transit agencies can’t afford. User education FACT Marketing is a core The importance of investment. A better public institutional structure User information systems image attracts riders, leading Successful marketing, branding to higher revenue and greater demand for transit service. and communications require an Marketing campaigns In turn, higher revenue and institutional structure that prioritizes greater demand increase the their importance. Transit agencies Public relations and external likelihood of service expansion should have an upper-level communication and improvements, making management position with decision- public transport even more making power and budgetary control User feedback systems attractive to riders. In short, marketing can lead to a whose exclusive responsibility is this virtuous cycle of ever growing domain. Online engagement demand and service. A guide for beating FICTION Public transport is a subsidy. There’s no need to the competition Neither the list nor the recommendations reach out to a wider audience The purpose of this guide is to help within it are intended to be exhaustive. because those who need or transit agencies develop strong and Instead, the goal of this guide is to want to use public transport successful strategies for achieving encourage cities and transit agencies to already do so. three important goals: think critically and creatively about how FACT Public transit is not to make public transport the preferred a subsidy for vulnerable 1 ttract new users that currently A way to travel. populations (elderly, persons use private transport with disabilities and low income individuals/families), such as cars and motorcycles; For some time, it has been clear that but an integral part of a high- 2 etain existing public transport R cities need to create high-quality public functioning city that can retain users who might transport systems to improve the jobs, attract investment and feel compelled to buy a private urban environment. However, not until support a high-quality of life. vehicle and; recently has it become clear that cities Transit is a public good that 3 ecure political and financial S must also convince the public that benefits riders and non-users alike. support from government these high-quality systems are in fact officials. high-quality. FICTION Branding and marketing by a transport This guide takes a cue from Finally, this guide focuses on bus rapid agency is government propaganda, something to be the private sector, which routinely and transit projects because BRT has become avoided. successfully influences the solution of choice for developing FACT Increasing transit use consumer behavior. It adapts world cities looking for fast, cost-effective has tangible benefits for all. If these eight branding, marketing ways to solve their transport problems. Of an agency is nervous about and communications lines of course, these elements are also applicable marketing its service, then it work and applies them to the public to non-BRT transport projects, such as rail should never have invested in transport sector. systems and bicycle systems. the service to begin with.4 EMBARQ From Here to There
  5. 5. Brand and identity Brand and identity: Build a Strong Brand A brand is not a Marketing expert Marty Neumeier puts it nicely: logo. A brand is “A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, a person’s gut feeling about a service, or company.” If each customer feels vastly product, service, different about the values a company holds, that or company. company has failed to create a strong, coherent brand. – arty Neumeier, M author of The Brand Gap To create a successful brand, then, a Depending on your budget and the public transport system should start skills and competencies of your staff, by defining its core values. Most public you may want to consider hiring an transport systems strive for a brand external marketing and branding that clearly presents their services firm to implement many elements as modern, efficient, rapid, reliable, of this plan. If you choose to go this convenient, comfortable and safe. In route, there should be at least one many cases, extensive market research senior member of your agency with about current and potential passengers marketing experience who manages will reveal any other values that need to the contractor throughout the process. be incorporated in a successful brand. Choose to stand out These values become the foundation If other public transport services are of the brand and should be injected already offered, it is essential to decide into every part of the public transport whether to closely connect the brand system. Think of it this way: your of the new system with that of the information bus (and station, map, signage, etc.) established system or to differentiate Values Name is your mission statement, your the new one entirely. Logo billboard and your annual report; Color scheme everything about it represents your This choice may depend largely on Identity system Macrobús brand brand to the public, from the way it the public perception of those other Slogan Vehicle design Guadalajara’s Macrobús looks, to the way it runs, to the quality services. If the public perceives the Station design has a modern, fun and of service it provides. current system poorly, it might be a Typeface/Color colorful brand.6 EMBARQ From Here to There EMBARQ From Here to There 7
  6. 6. Brand and identity Brand and identity good idea to differentiate the new Metrobús for local buses brand. Another way of avoiding the and Metroenlace for regional buses. stigma often associated with traditional The brand strategy, like that of Los bus transport is to not use the term Angeles Metro, was to position the “bus” in the new system’s name. integrated bus services as part of the city’s larger transport system. York Region, Canada is a great example The logo, color scheme, maps of a city that took a creative approach and other materials also clearly to addressing this issue. In York Region, associate TransMetro, Metrobús the majority of residents did not hold and Metroenlace with Metrorrey. Generally the public bus service in high regard. speaking, a As a result, the city made an explicit Appeal to your passengers prospect in decision to differentiate its new VIVA If the brand of a new public transport BRT service from existing bus services line or system embodies local values your target and position VIVA as a new, high-quality and context, potential riders will be market must alternative. Once VIVA was successfully more likely to relate to it. It’s important be exposed to positioned and received positive to account for existing brands in a city your message feedback from the public, York Region or country when designing a brand seven times then rebranded all other bus services so as to avoid unintended conflicts or under the new VIVA brand. unwelcome associations. before he or she begins to On the other hand, if other transport When contemplating the branding pay attention. services are effective and popular, it of a new BRT line, it is important makes sense to brand the new service to understand who the primary –Belynda Johnson, in a way that connects it to the existing ridership groups will be. If the service “Modern Transit service. Los Angeles Metro is an is targeted at local residents, it may Marketing III: How to example of a transit agency that chose be important to entrench the brand Make it Work” this approach, positioning its new in local associations. In Ahmedabad, Orange Line, the city’s first BRT corridor, India the city named its new BRT A Total Brand as an extension of its existing Metro Janmarg, meaning “people’s way” Solution rail system through the use of standard in Gujarati, to foster a sense of local The VIVA BRT system design elements and information pride and ownership. Similarly, in in York Region, Canada systems, such as the system maps and Johannesburg, South Africa, the city created a powerful website. Still the service maintained a chose Rea Vaya, which means “we are corporate brand and distinctive identity through the use of going” in Sotho. applied it throughout every the color orange in all of its marketing aspect of the system and communications materials. Stay on brand from network maps and advertisements down to Communicating the values behind seat upholstery. Even the Monterrey, Mexico is another example a brand requires persistence and bus drivers’ uniforms fell of a city that developed a unified brand repetition. If various elements of your under brand guidelines: the to connect its bus and metro services. It system convey different messages drivers’ vests used custom gave the local and regional bus systems through their design, content, color fabric on the back that was a hound’s-tooth-style names that conformed to the Metrorrey and quality, users will be confused, design using the VIVA logo. Metro brand: TransMetro for the BRT, making marketing efforts less effective.8 EMBARQ From Here to There EMBARQ From Here to There 9
  7. 7. Brand and identity Brand and identity Los Angeles METRO Through a unified brand and clear messaging, Metro has proven that it can capture the attention of riders in the most style- conscious of cities. Putting BRT on The Map Los Angeles Metro includes the Orange Line on its system map, sending the message that it provides the same quality of service as rail.10 EMBARQ From Here to There EMBARQ From Here to There 11
  8. 8. Internal communicationInternal communication: The 290,000 team membersSell Your Values understand that the powerful FedEx brand is our mostEvery employee of a public transit agency, from important asset. Our brand isa bus driver to a senior engineer, should be thought of as managed with aa brand ambassador. In Société de Transport de Montréal system of tools(STM), Montreal’s transit agency, half of its more than and guidelines8,600 employees work directly with customers.6 to ensure that it is protected and consistently represented byThese interactions are important class, highly educated and car-owning. team members. Inopportunities to maintain and reinforce If employees can’t identify with the other words, ourthe agency’s core values and brand. But brand or are not enticed to ride your team membersthis constant contact means that every service, chances are the general public “are” FedEx. Theyemployee needs to understand and be won’t be either.invested in those values. are the brand. Communicate up –Gayle Christensen,Private companies throughout the Communicating your agency’s values managing director ofbroader transport sector take this and brand to all employees is an brand, FedExseriously. FedEx includes a primer important example of communicatingon its global brand in each new down, but good internalemployee’s orientation. Southwest communication will also include anAirlines frequently invites its employees emphasis on “communicating up.”to be filmed in the company’s This includes having protocols forcommercials. Tactics like these can help street-level employees to report issuesemployees recognize that they are, in they’ve observed or encountered,some cases quite literally, the public face as well as channels to communicateof your brand. the importance of certain projects, decisions and events to high-levelEmployees can also be a testing ground decision makers.for an agency’s brand. Members of informationan agency likely represent a relatively Because good transport projects Training manualwide cross-section of the population don’t always originate at the Strategic planfrom lower-income, less educated and highest level of government, effective Employee surveys “Town hall” meetingstransit-dependent, to upper-middle internal communication strategies Idea box EMBARQ From Here to There 13

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