From 0 to 80,000
Question: When launching a new public service, like a BUS SERVICE, where do I start?
Answer: I'll give you the short answer: outreach, design, logo, brand guidelines.
The long answer goes more like this. . .
Staff working for the City of Lone Tree, CO had a huge task ahead of them. Not only were they charged with building a new transit system – one of this kind that had never been done in the area before – but they needed to work with five funding partners to brand, market and launch the new service as well.
Slate was hired to work alongside city staff to create a recognizable brand identity that clearly communicated the new service. As seasoned transit communicators, Slate founders have had over 11 years of experience in transportation marketing, we were able to successfully work with city staff to develop a unique, identifiable brand, and market the new service, which quickly began to exceed their ridership goals.
Establishing the brand’s foundation started long before the shuttle service had a name or logo. We met one-on-one with all the funding partners to get a clear understanding of the community; profile prospective riders; and identify the transportation needs in the area. This month-long listening tour, followed by an online survey aimed at potential riders and their transit habits, resulted in a clear roadmap for developing what would become the shuttle service’s identity.
Building upon feedback gathered during the listening tours and the results of the survey, Slate went to work translating those findings into a name, logo, creative foundation, core messages, and a detailed marketing plan to bring the brand and service to life.
Stakeholders chose to name the new service the Lone Tree Link. This name perfectly describes its purpose – a shuttle that conveniently links key areas of the community and serves as the missing link to get employees from the Light Rail station to work.
Since the service launched in September 2014, Slate helped:
- Custom bus wraps
- Lone Tree Link website
- Custom marketing pieces (posters, email templates and fact sheets)
- Collateral materials (route maps, stop signage, rack cards, brochures, monthly newsletters and annual ridership reports)
- Special events
- Local media engagement
- A Video testimonial
- 62,000 unique boardings in 1st year of service
- 30 percent increase in ridership totaling over 80,000 boardings in 2nd year
Beginning with thoughtful research, followed by consistent messaging and detailed marketing, it’s safe to say that the Lone Tree Link is now a well-used, identifiable brand and transportation fixture in the City of Lone Tree.