Post launch feedback

“Things are looking positive for Stockton at the moment and the branding was part of that. We’ve had really good feedback from the public and other stakeholders within local authorities etc. who already refer to The Zone buses, when talking about services in the area. The staff like them too, which is important to us.”

Helen Martin

Marketing Manager, Stagecoach North East

Client testimonial
• Bus route branding
• Bus livery design
• Creative design

“We have been working with The Brand Surgery for eight years and always find the team enthusiastic and full of new ideas. Not phased by bigger (literally) projects, The Brand Surgery did a great job of the striking Coastliner 700 buses and the team is now working on more bus livery designs in the North East.” 

Helen Martin

Marketing Manager, Stagecoach North East

Bus route branding bus livery design and pre/post launch campaign for Stagecoach North East

The challenge

Our brief: To create bus route branding and bus livery design for 25 single E300 deck buses which link Hartlepool, Stockton and Middlesbrough. We were to compliment existing elements of Stagecoach branding, creating generic branding or the sides and four different rears. Working around the streetliner on the nearside of the bus (there’s now a centre door on off-side) and possibly having the rear designed so that the lower rear panel for bus adverts can be released for advertising later.

Stockton and Middlesbrough are considered in Teesside but Hartlepool isn’t. However, they are all in the Tees Valley. The area has some quite deprived pockets and is recovering from the recession slower than other areas of the UK. The new buses will have WiFi and they will be the first for us in the Tees Valley.

To help with our task for the bus route branding and bus livery design, we requested some marketing statistics to get a feel for the area and to understand the potential available market. The main local papers are: Hartlepool Mail, The Northern Echo, The Gazette.

  • The 36 in particular is heavily used by the student/college market – with various colleges along the route. It has a young person’s vibe (our VIP product is well used here) http://www.stagecoachbus.com/hartlepool-vip.aspx (Please note that we have separate branding for VIP – used across the North East and this is being updated for next academic year.)
  • This means that the WiFi on the new buses will be a big boost for this market.
  • The 37 serves two big hospitals – North Tees and James Cook.
  • The routes are often used by customers who change from other local buses onto the 36/37 at Middlesbrough bus station and in Stockton town centre.
  • The combined frequency means that there are buses about every 8 mins on the section between Stockton and Middlesbrough (Mon-Sat daytime) with less frequent buses on a Sunday. Services run up to 2300/midnight  – 7 days a week.

The solution

We developed a range of ideas and presented them to our client, receiving the following feedback:

“I have read through this morning and I’m still drawn to The Zone … I love some of the extra ideas you’ve come up with … like Ozone and time zone. So, please work up The Zone ideas. I’m interested in how you develop the style, as I don’t have a fixed idea in mind. I still think the silhouettes are my preferred option. I see the back as a complete design but the sides having some of the elements but on the standard Stagecoach livery. I’d like it to have a ‘glossier’ feel to it though …  Perhaps more depth (3D effect) on the images. I like ‘Totally Tees’ (The Brand Surgery created this slogan). I will need the designs to show how they work around the bus windows, grills, frames etc. for when Phil and the other directors see them.”

After the livery artwork had gone to the printers, we began the pre-launch campaign for The Zone.

  • A4 poster – for use on buses etc., that advertises a launch road show on 7th Nov
  • Press ads – based on above but re-sized as required
  • Banners for Amnet and/Facebook ads as required
  • Artwork for use on promotional items – mostly quite small spaces, with simple messages

Post bus launch campaign

  • A4 poster – for use on buses etc, 4 versions with The Zone messages
  • Press ads – based on above but re-sized as required
  • Outdoor ads – possibly up to 4 versions with The Zone messages
  • Banners for Amnet and/Facebook ads