Moving people

Grand Central Trains: Brand Refresh

Grand Central was formed in 2007 with a strong entrepreneurial vision: to do railway the right way. Fares that are fairer. Trains that are more comfortable, with room to stretch out. Staff who are friendlier. What’s more, as an open access operator they connect parts of the country with London that others don’t, giving them a unique place in the rail market.

But as a relative newcomer, they needed a partner who could help them stand out and grow as both a company and a brand.

For over 7 years we have worked with Grand Central on everything from their iconic black and orange train liveries to the interior design of their First Class and Buffet carriages and their marketing collateral.

In 2011 Grand Central became part of the Arriva UK Group, leading to greater investment in CRM and the company’s USPs. To facilitate this, we developed a distinctive illustration style using the brand colours of orange and black that could work across station posters, local press and eCRM communications. Targeted emails allowed us to promote fares and seasonal offers relevant to individual customers, reminding them of the benefits of travelling with Grand Central.

However, for the company to continue to grow and establish itself within the much larger corporate group culture of Arriva it also needed a clear understanding of the Grand Central brand. Grand Central needed a framework that could help decide not just how it communicates externally but also how it behaves internally, from decision making on train refits, to ticket pricing and even the kind of food and drink they stock in their buffet cars.

Working with the Executive team we conducted extensive research both within the business and with customers to define the Grand Central brand. Ensuring clear alignment with their five year business plan and wider Arriva employee values, the defined brand was bought to life in both communications guidelines and a set of drivers that will deliver a differentiating customer experience.

The new brand was encapsulated in a brand expression: From customers to colleagues and whole communities we want everyone to be Moved

This simple expression works equally well for promotional communications, helping to define a clear call to action as well as more behavioural activity such as empowering staff to make customers feel special.

The new brand work has already started rolling out, with a new advertising campaign incorporating digital posters and screens, Facebook marketing and even the Grand Central website, featuring moving images and video.

Well, how else would we launch Be Moved?

Cravens have been our creative agency since the Grand Central Trains business was created over 7 years ago. This year they have done a fantastic job helping us to redefine our brand, and in doing so, have really demonstrated their in depth understanding of our organisation and culture.

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