Aligning internal culture and shared ownership to reveal a brand advocating for sustainable, shared transport

Brand StrategyCreativeDigital

The brief

Passenger develop transformative digital experience platforms for operating companies and market-leading apps for their passengers.

When we first started speaking to the team at Passenger, they were coming to the end of their BCorp Impact Assessment. As part of this process, they drafted some confident statements around their mission and values. We were asked to help validate the results of this internal work, collaborate to reveal a stronger brand position and evolve the identity to better, and more confidently, reflect a new, shared reality for the growing business.

We were also engaged to apply this new brand and visual identity onto a completely redeveloped website, carrying a new value proposition and tone of voice, better suited to customer needs.

We want to inspire people

From culture & insight to alignment & value

We ran a series of workshops with the entirety of the team at Passenger, inviting everyone to contribute to the process. And, as every member of staff is invited to become a shareholder in the business, it was in everyone's interest to be involved. In what can only be described as the most beautifully competitive brand workshops we've ever run, we found an incredible culture at work. Every person was encouraged to contribute, and everyone was heard.

We witnessed a team united by their potential to make a real difference to each other, their industry and the environment. So, we leant into this culture ensuring that internal alignment to real purpose shone through. We helped to reveal, even at this early stage, a group of people ready and willing to advocate together with the rest of their industry not only to encourage passengers back on the bus post-Covid but far into the future.

Sustainable Mobility
Passenger Team

“ The directors were viewing everyone’s involvement as an investment, not a cost. ”

At a time of growth, with open roles and recruitment efforts at full speed, Passenger needed us to align both the customer facing proposition and ensure balance with the employee proposition. Documenting the culture of the organisation and helping to create the rallying call of building a world where shared, sustainable transport is the norm has enabled recruiters and potential employees find common ground.

“ In initial recruitment conversations, it’s much easier to communicate who we are, what we do and what our values are because they’re so clearly defined. ”

Further research into developments laid out by the Government’s National Bus Strategy, as well as considering views of several industry groups and the competition, enabled us to establish a number of contexts within which to differentiate Passenger’s offering. We helped create a clear space in their market around customer experience in shared transport, which not only fulfilled the direction that the industry is moving in, but also chimed with breakthroughs in understanding the potential of their technology.

Once we had laid claim to a defensible position in their marketplace, we helped Passenger determine how to structure the propositions around both their platform and the various products, apps and websites, they offer. These propositions are threaded through their messaging, and begin by encouraging clients to simplify, amplify and optimise customer experience using the underlying customer experience platform.

Passenger Image Treatment

Dependent on the scale of the client organisation and their needs, three levels of product are offered: options to expand and enhance existing capabilities or fully integrate Passenger’s technology to create seamless customer experience straight out of the box.

Passenger Duotone

“ We now have what we didn’t have before… the confidence to make decisions, and the brand is the framework. ”

Passenger Old Logo
Passenger New Logo

Evolving the identity

Changes to the visual identity were evolutionary rather than revolutionary.

In application, however, we introduced a new visual element, based on the murmuration of starlings. Originally meant as a metaphor for humans travelling together, in development it came to represent more; the sharing of data, crucial to making Passenger's technology work across many regions, people and devices; representation of the shared purpose of the Passenger team, and the fact that internal alignment and shared ownership promotes such an incredible culture within the business.

The outcomes of this stage are a more robust identity, with improved legibility of the logo and the word mark, a new colour palette reminiscent of the colours of dusk (when murmurations typically occur) and a series of graphic applications of the murmuration patterns.

As a guide for further development within the internal design team, we showed the identity working across many touch points, bringing existing assets from the previous identity into the new one.

Once the brand and identity had been developed, polished and presented, the redevelopment of the website represented the first real-world application of the new brand.

Passenger Sign
Passenger Brand Bag
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Digital-first application

Re-engineered from the ground up and adopting the new visual styling, the website is no longer a legacy of the digital agency that Passenger once was. Using the strategy work as a basis, we were able to work together to determine structure and navigation centred around more considered value propositions, and a focus on values and purpose allowed the culture to shine through to support the rapid expansion of the team.

The marketing team delivered a phased content plan and, with that in place, we collaborated and accurately planned the initial stages of design and development for the new site. Our flexible, modular approach allowed us to focus on giving the team the tools they needed to build the site out, with full control of the content management system. Our SEO team were on hand to manage the transition to a new domain, more focussed on the Passenger offering, and support the marketing team through this change.

Passenger website display
Passenger mobile rollout

“ I was truly impressed by the levels that Salad immersed themselves in the world of Passenger and public transport to be able to guide us in defining the value we bring to the market. The levels of support, expertise and commercial savvy they brought have given us a brand and website that reflect who we are today and who we aspire to be in the future. ”

Matt Lawrence,
Marketing Manager
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