We like a challenge, especially a branding challenge.
So when asked to pitch concepts for Cumbria Tourism’s Travel initiative, we jumped at the chance. The question was, what would you call a brand aimed at encouraging tourists onto public services?
Sometimes the answer is right under your nose and that was the case here.
With a distinctive identity sitting alongside the parent brand of The Lake District – Cumbria, Cumbria Tourism has already invested significant time, effort and financial expenditure in creating, developing and growing GoLakes as a brand which promotes the county. Essentially, a GoLakes travel sub-brand could enjoy a high profile stature almost immediately thanks to direct links with parent brand.
This approach, we proposed, would take less effort and be more cost effective to communicate than a completely new brand identity. By using an already recognised identity means the values it represents are already known, leaving greater scope for communicating key messages to the audience. The new brand was also well received by audiences and seen as smart thinking by the client (especially in times when public sector expenditure is under scrutiny this would be an example of supporting best practice in procurement) which would help tremendously with buy-in as the project is developed.
It would also be an easy choice for customers: they would only need to remember one name, a one stop shop for travel, accommodation, activities etc.
Choosing GoLakes meant the solution was extendable and adaptable: GoLakes by Bus / GoLakes by Train / GoLakes Together / GoLakes Today. And further afield, GoLakes by… branding will easily extend to out of county messaging.
A lot of ground would also be gained by simply removing old, out-dated and conflicting messages in the public domain used by the various travel operators – in essence, giving the brand room to be heard
And finally, it does exactly what it says on the tin!
Obviously a brand is only as good as the products and services that support it – alongside the creative suggestions we presented ideas on how to improve perception of public transport for tourism.
> Experience tours and dedicated entertainment on board buses which would present the local area and history to tourists.
> Clarity around ticketing, ticket options and pricing.
> Clarity in presentation of information, specifically timetables.
> A dedicated App for latest travel updates, real time arrivals and departures and special offers.
> A dedicated GoLakes Travel website where tickets could be purchased and through mobile phones.
> Campaigns promoting the benefits of travelling by bus; for example the stunning views and family time gained by travelling on the open top buses.
> Promotion of walks and excursions that can be accessed from tourism hot-spots without the need for transport.
On this occasion, our suggestions were successful!