Stagecoach Bus is one of the largest bus operators in the UK, delivering 699 million journeys a year and serving over three million passengers up and down the country every single day. It operates 17 Stagecoach Bus businesses throughout the UK.
Stagecoach came to Access for a research project to better understand the challenges it faces and how it can adapt its marketing and services to ever changing customer needs. Our research focused on the motivations and barriers of bus travel - exploring reasons why people don’t travel by bus and, more importantly, who might be persuaded to re-introduce the bus into their travel habits if certain perceived barriers were overcome.
From our research, we identified three key audiences that were most likely to respond positively to new messaging from Stagecoach Bus.
We also learnt that breaking down the perceived barriers will help commuters consider bus travel but without a destination or a purpose, the convenience and ease of travel is difficult to motivate. It’s the combination of the journey purpose with the ease of making the journey that appeals most to our target audiences and it is essential that the emotional/functional balance of the creative is right.
As a result of our findings, we decided to proactively offer Stagecoach a creative solution. We developed a concept that is deeply rooted in the community - in real life.
Our concept brings the destination to life and showcases exciting new ideas to passengers, informing them of the freedom they have to go wherever they want to enjoy life to the full. It positions bus travel as aspirational.
The destination is the place, but the destination can be many different things. It can be an event, or simply part of a daily or weekly routine. It can be driven by an emotion, or a climax to a story, the start of something new, an achievement or a lifetime experience - Stagecoach Bus provides the means to achieve all this.
It’s about the Destination…By Bus
Access took the key insights from our consumer research to create a campaign concept that taps straight into what people want from bus travel. We love it - and so do our operating businesses. The research has also been invaluable, not only for shaping this new campaign, but to inform other ways that we as a business can adapt and implement new initiatives to ensure bus travel is seen as relevant to everyone.
Lynne Harrop, Head of Marketing and Customer Experience