West of England
The Award for Marketing Initiative of the Year sponsored by Passenger Transport
Finalist, New Mendip Xplorer Brand - First West of England
First West of England's service 376 links Bristol with the Somerset town of Street via Wells and Glastonbury. In recent years, passenger numbers on the route have grown steadily prompting the company to make a significant investment in the service in 2015 accompanied by a fully integrated bespoke marketing campaign to accelerate growth. To complement the arrival of eight brand new vehicles, the Mendip Xplorer brand was created to highlight the cross-country nature of the service connecting The Mendips with Bristol, linking Wells, Glastonbury and Street (which have no train services) to the railway and the city. The marketing campaign included a new Mendip Xplorer livery, uniform and name badges, new signage at bus stations and depots, and a large scale advertising campaign targeting commuters and tourists at various points along the route. The success can easily be measured by a 30% rise in passenger numbers in the first quarter of this year.
The judges noted the investment in new vehicles and were particularly pleased to see the partnerships created with visitor attractions and destinations along the route. The increase in passenger numbers speak for themselves.