In PT of Frankfurt there are at least 5 „brands“ on the spot: RMV (RPTA), traffiQ (LPTA), VGF Verkehrsgesellschaft Frankfurt, City of Frankfurt, DB (Deutsche Bahn/German Railways).
The local and regional PT system is characterized by several logos, signs and brands which often confuse the customers in the usage of PT throughout the cities within the rhine main region: Who is responsible? Which information is relevant for the costumer? Who delivers the services? Which tariff is valid? And so on.
Brand Management sets the focus on the customer
To sell a service through different brands that display the structure of organisations and institutions that run the system in behind is not very effective and goal orientated.It is always better to set the focus on one powerful brand instead of confusing the customer with several brands for the same service. What happens behind the scenes is a different story the customer has not to bother. From the view of the customer it is evident that there is only one brand (and one adress) for one kind of service needed instead of branding the structure behind the service.
Giving up a brand on the other hand goes along with the feeling of loosing the power to control the business. This can be overcome by showing the benefits and to see the system from the eyes of the user and other stakeholders involved. Using the brand constellation method participants can see and feel the difference of brand management measures.
A Concept that keeps local identity
Instead of having 5 brands representing a complex structure of organisations running the PT the customer should deal with only. We decided in Frankfurt to establish one common user interface integrating these brands and to switch to an umbrella brand concept that is able to consider the local identity and that is transferable for the other 24 partners. The already existing strong brand of the integrated system RMV is the common base, adding the name of the municipality makes it local and indicates that there may be other features like special tickets and modes but that it is all working within the same system. This gives the partners leeway for the local organisations to keep their own identity and support the umbrella brand at the same time.
"RMV Frankfurt" is piloting
To start the re-thinking process and get the idea of switching towards a localized umbrella brand in the minds of the local partners it is useful to make the benefits and restraints visible. To convince the partners a method called brand constellation is very helpful. Also a strong pilot that is displaying an implementation and the support of the decision makers
Goals / Outlook / Further steps
Reducing the variety of brands in the integrated PT
Avoiding undecided and multiple resposibilities and establish a allocation of tasks
Developing of service standards and quality standards for a strong PT information allover the whole system
Enable co-operations and exchange of information to improve the communication and information of the customer
The concept of an umbrella brand can be implemented anywhere with changing local background where customers need to travel in-between a multicentre area by PT.