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Effective communication:
the key to building BRT success
Canadian Urban Transit Association
November 11, 2007
Today’s Agenda
 What is a brand?
 How does it work?
 Viva, York Region
 Lessons learned
What is a brand?
A brand is an idea
and perceived value,
formed by its intended
audience, based on a
company’s culture,
product, and service.
A brand isn’t what we say it is…
it’s what people think it is
More than just a mark
 Logo
 symbolizes all the things you want your
customer to believe about you
 connects to the idea
 Idea behind the logo is key
Steps in the branding
process
 Market analysis
 Brand architecture
 A big idea
 Marketing communications
 Employee involvement
 Measurement
Coffee…or an experience?
 “We care about giving
our customers a
personal and enjoyable
experience in an
environment where they
can relax with a good
cup of coffee, share a
treat with friends, find a
gift for a family member
or discover new music.”
Case Study: Viva BRT
610,000
935,000
1,505,000
150,000
290,000
455,000
800,000
But…
 There was skepticism
 York is among the
wealthiest areas in
Canada
 There was the media
 Who could say nothing
good
However…
 There was leadership
 Local support for transit improvements
 There was the plan
 That changed the landscape
Goal: motivate behavioural change
Building the Brand
Scope and Work Plan
Speed, comfort and difference
are important to customers
Market Research
Key Insight
Transportation is perceived to be
a chore “between” the things that
really matter – home, work,
shopping and friends.
Difference
Spirited
Friendly
New
Innovative
Comfort
Clean
Upscale
Crisp
Convenience
Fast
Frequent
Reliable
Prompt
Brand goal: uniquely great transit
Brand promise: great everyday moments
Brand Foundation
Naming
aliveconnectedon the movehappy
Brand Creative
Brand Creative
Marketing and Communication
• white
Results
 System-wide
boardings are up over
35%
 Weekday Viva transit
boardings are
approaching 31,000
 Transit mode share is
increasing
In less than two years…
Importance of public transit
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
Top Priority Medium Priority Low Priority
2003
2006
Comfortable
Reliable
Convenient
High-tech
Good value
Fast
Convenient
Fast
Frequent
Reliable
Prompt
High approval and awareness
Comfortable
Clean
Upscale
Crisp Different
Spirited
Friendly
New
Innovative
Lessons learned
 Research Research Research…Repeat
 Get support of key decision makers
 Treat public transit like any other product
How to persuade
Excellent
Service
Delivery
Positive
Brand
Image
+
=
Success
Thank you.

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Effective communication - the key to building bus rapid transit (BRT) success