Client: FirstGroup

Discipline: Branding, Digital, Strategy, Rail Industry  


So, where should we start? We’ve worked with the bid team at FirstGroup on quite a few projects, most recently the bid for the South West Trains franchise in 2016. The project went well, and after FirstGroup MTR were successfully awarded the franchise, we were asked to join the marketing mobilisation team, putting the bid plan into action and preparing for the launch of the new South Western Railway.


Our roles in the team were to implement the franchise rebrand and the digital marketing approach, working with key stakeholders and third-party suppliers.


Brand: The rebrand involved undertaking a complete recce of existing branded collateral across the franchise and working over three months to roll out the new brand on elements including; consumer and staff documentation, digital channels, station and depot signage, staff uniforms, office spaces, livery, train and vehicle interiors, timetables, stationery and any other collateral used by the operator. Working with world renowned agency for people as the brand agency, we developed the new South Western Railway brand and managed the application across collateral and the physical roll out of key elements.


Digital: Working with the IT team at FirstGroup MTR and their third-party agencies we were responsible for the management of the build of a new SWR website in three-month period. We pulled content from across the organisation to set the full site up and pulled an all nighter for the launch – providing support to the IT team for the 3am switch on. We also worked on the establishment of new CRM system & set up of all workflows / trigger emails for SWR customers.



Brand: Successful rebrand of all consumer facing brand assets for launch including; timetables, customer information and all digital assets. Full rebrand of Waterloo station, Wimbledon depot, Southampton central station for launch and the successful introduction of the new SWR brand identity.

40% Increase in spontaneous brand awareness. Improvements across 23 tracked brand attributes. 5-point increase in net promoter score.


Digital Successful migration of all social media accounts, accompanied by a three month launch social media strategy, & training for SWR’s 24-hour social media team to ensure new culture & tone of voice embedder


PPC: 1,907,889 impressions, 

Brand Display ads: 46,281,372 impressions ROI: 1:3.3