Building a dynamic long-term brand strategy for a new railway line

Brand Strategy
Service & Experience Design

Client : East West Rail

The challenge

Building a brand strategy from design to delivery

East West Rail (EWR) is a new rail link under development which will connect communities between Oxford, Milton Keynes, Bedford, and Cambridge. They had an existing brand identity that was complex to express, with many stakeholders involved. EWR challenged us devise a simplified long-term brand strategy, that all stakeholders could align on. A flexible strategy that would evolve throughout all their programme phases – from planning, engagement and consultation, design and construction to the operation of the new railway. Our role was to develop that brand strategy with them, and illustrate it to a level where EWR would be able to clearly brief a full-service brand agency.

The approach

Researching with industry professionals & end users

We conducted desk research to provide a detailed understanding of branding within the rail industry, before speaking to a cross section of future service users from communities along the line. New insights from our ethnographic research were pooled with pre-existing data to provide an evidence base, aligning stakeholders across the company around a singular a Brand Vision.

The strategy took into consideration how it would feel for customers to interact with the brand in the future – at stations, on trains and across digital touchpoints.

The impact

  • Alignment

    A co-created strategy that everyone is happy to own and implement.

  • Sustainable

    A brand strategy that will work for all phases of the new railway from its conception to launch.

  • Customer facing

    A brand which responds to what customers want from their new railway line.

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