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					BRT Branding and Image

Cliff Henke
Sr. Analyst, BRT and Small Starts
PB TR&S, Inc.

APTA Bus Conference 2007
        Topics Today

 BRT Vehicle Image and Branding Overview
 Case Studies
 Branding Theory Applied: Dos and Don’ts
                             What is BRT:
to brand!!                   A System of Components
All of these are important

                                            Running Ways

                                            Stations & Stops

                                            ITS & Fare Payment

                                            Service Plan
            Recent Deployment:
            Eugene‟s Green Line EmX

   4 miles (60% exclusive RoW)
   $23.5 million project,
   Opened January 2007
   46% ridership increase
   6 hybrid advance-design NFI artics
   Branded as “new spine”
               Image “Invites,” But System
               Features “Keep” Customers

                                                        Vehicle Characteristics
              BRT System
            Success Measures                                                       Drive
                                     Reliability   Speed         Capacity                  Styling

Ridership Increase                                                                       

System Capacity, Service Frequency                                

Capital & Operating Cost                                                                  

Travel Time, Wait Time                                                            

Bus Emissions, Noise                                                                

Economic Development, Land Use                                                             

Safety Perceptions                                                                         
                      High-Comfort, Amenities

   Interior Finish                     •   Rear Window
   Large Windows                       •   Multiple Doors
   Luggage Racks                       •   Circulation
   Information                         •   Seat Comfort
   Grab Bars                           •   Fast Securement
            Survey Said: “Sleek, Modern
            Image; Quiet; Safe”
New Flyer Invero i40            NABI 42-BRT                    NABI CNG 60
  LF                                                             BRT

                Stylized Std                     Stylized   Artic

                                         Artic                 Specialized

Gillig 40 BRT
           New Flyer Hybrid Electric 60DLF-BRT       Irisbus
Image/Branding/Identity + Frequent, Reliable
Service = Increased Ridership

             % Ridership    % Time
               Increase     Savings

             35 - 100      17 - 43
   Does Brand and Image Matter As
   Much as Other Things?

                      Branding/Image Features                                       Outcomes

                 Distinct    Color-                          Number of              % Rider-
                                        Type &     Styled     Doors        Bus                   % Time
    City         Livery/     Coded      Length    Vehicle?    Board/     Capacity
                 Image       Station                           Exit                 Increase

                             Stops &     Artic
   Boston        Silver      Stations     60
                                                    No       3/3          97        >80            -

                Rainbow                  Artic                                      38-
  Honolulu        Wrap
                                                    No       1/3          62        100

 L. A. Metro                             Floor     No &
               Color Coded    Stops     40/45/6    Yes       1/2          51         40           25
    Rapid                                  0

                                        40 Van
  Oakland      Color Coded    Stops      Hool
                                                  Sort of    3/3          70         35           17

Falbel, Levinson et als: Median 15%
                                                                **Over Years                   *Estimate
due to image/branding
       Case study: Las Vegas

 Service features:
    Hi-tech French made
      5 mi exclusive lane
      Distinctive stations
      12-20 min. headways, 17
      Same fare, but pre-paid
 Image and brand essential
  in land of glitz
 Huge success, at least 3
  more corridors planned
        LA Metro Rapid: Incremental BRT

 Simple route layout: easy
  to find/use
 Frequent: 3-10 minutes
  during peak
 Fewer stops: ¾ mile apart
 Level boarding (LF buses
  speed-up dwell times
 Enhanced stations: maps,
  lighting, canopies, “Next
  Bus” displays
 Same fare                    Results after demonstration:
 Minimal investment:
     Signal priority          •23-29% reduction in travel times
     Passenger information    •38-42% increase in riders/weekday
     Strong branding
      (buses, stations etc.)   •1/3 of total choice riders, Same cost
28 routes,
450+ miles
by 2008
              Framework and Context
   15 routes now in operation
   Newest to be launched in June
   Analyzed all MTA and Municipal
    Operator bus routes (250)
   Identified regional corridors
      500 boardings per route mile
      10 mile route length
   Narrowed to 28 Corridors:
      Transit use (passengers, %
       weekends, travel time,
       average trip, load factor, etc.)
                                          Results on 11 routes to date:
      Transit potential: within .5
       mile, activity ctrs.,              •15% average increase in riders/weekday
       employment density on
       corridor                           •1/3 new riders are former auto
      Transit dependence: %              commuters
       poverty, 0 car homes
                                          •Same operating and very low capital cost
   Tiered branding system
       Case study: Leeds „Overground‟

   Created to simplify use
   10 min. headways max.
   Other new services added (ftr)
   Ridership increased, but serious
    brand confusion with London plans
      Advanced Branding Theory:
      “Brands As Cults”
       (—Douglas Atkin, The Culting of
 When Customers Become True Believers:
 “People join not to conform but to become more
 Brand is part of customers’ identity
 Examples:
    Saturn? BMW? MB?
    Starbucks?
    Apple (Mac and iPod)?
    Certain (Online) games? Sports teams?
 Creating Cults:
    Community
    Admiration—even devotion to—brand values
    Sense of shared mission/purpose, us vs. them
    Heirarchies: onlookers, members, ubermembers
     Can public transportation “cult”
     its brand?

 Do you have devotees? (Club MAX)
 Is there a shared sense of purpose? (LACMTA)
 Is it a higher purpose? (Use your EIRs)
 Do you have distinct corporate and product
  values? Are they “taught” or “discovered”?
 Do you have community: Do riders, workers,
  management, stakeholders share in it?
 Does the campaign end when the referendum
 Is it bottom up or top down?
    Six Branding Myths
    (—Matt Haig, Brand Failures)

1. If a product is good it will succeed (Beta
2. Brands more likely to succeed (90% of
   brands die in 5 years—80% after
3. Big companies always have better brands
   (New Coke)
4. Strong brands are built on advertising (ads
   can support but not build the brand)
5. New will always sell (see #2)
6. Strong brands protect products (reality:
   strong products protect brands)
     10 Killer Branding Rules
     (—David D‟Alessandro, Brand Warfare)
1. It’s the Brand, Stupid: “Focus Like A Laser”
2. Create Co-dependency
3. Great Messages, Bucking Broncos—Don’t
    let go!
4. Fight for Great Advertising
5. Sponsorships: Remember P.T. Barnum
6. Don’t Confuse Sponsorship with the
7. Crush Scandal: 10 seconds can destroy a
8. Make Distributors Slaves to the Brand
9. Use Your Brand to Lead to A Better Place
10. The Brand Is Strategic: Starts with the CEO
      We Can Be/Are Good At This!
      (In fact, this should be a natural)

1.    Focus and Simplicity: “Go Gold”
2.    Codependency: Choice Riders “Dependent”= TOD
3.    Great Messages, Bucking Broncos—Don’t let go!
4.    Fight for Great Advertising—Metro Rapid Billboards
5.    Sponsorships: Remember P.T. Barnum
6.    Don’t Confuse Sponsorship with the Spectacle
7.    Crush Scandal: 10 seconds can destroy a century
8.    Make Distributors Slaves to the Brand
9.    Use Your Brand to Lead to A Better Place
10.   The Brand Is Strategic: Starts with the CEO
    Branding Theory Applied: Do‟s

   Be clear and consistent
   Choose branding that resonates
   Communicate a shared vision
   Create a community
   Lead with brand as symbol of vision
   Get CEO/Board Buy-In
   Branding Theory Applied:

 Don’t overpromise
 Don’t undermine brand with service
  decisions later
 Don’t forget to coordinate brand
  strategies (rail, bus, BRT) but
 Don’t overcomplicate
 Don’t be afraid of losing a little
  community control
 Don’t let go
 Don’t go/stay on vacation during crisis
          Suggested Branding Matrix:
          Interrelated Techniques

           Integrated Strategy Is Essential
                    Brand Customer Service                % of Ridership
    Strategy                                   Benefits
                    values Ease/Use criteria                Increase

 Vehicle Design

 Station Design

Logo/color scheme
Maps, brochures,
Advertising, DM,
  website etc.

 Most successful systems have strong branding
 Largest System Performance Impacts:
    Capacity (Vehicles + Frequency + Route Speed)
    Speed and Acceleration
    Reliability/On Time Performance
 Largest System Design Impacts
    Branding
    Vehicle Styling
    Cleanliness/Maintenance/Advertising Policy
    Driver/Customer Service Courtesy
 The Brand Invites ’Em, But Performance Keeps ’Em
FTA Document:
Characteristics of BRT
for Decision Makers

            “BRT Toolkit”

 Publication tools for BRT
 WS-CS and industry
 Excellent outreach videos on
    Simple Solutions on Curitiba
    BTI video on Curitiba, Bogotá
     and Brisbane
        Thank you

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