Lancashire’s bus boys show the route to success

The Diary is well aware that all its readers are high-powered marketing directors with multi-million pound budgets and a seat on the board (as well as a flat bed in BA First Class). All the more reason, then, to remind you that successful marketing doesn’t have to involve draping the London Eye in a giant sarong or running four-minute ads in Corrie.

This is the story of the X1 and X2 bus services, “a vital link between East Lancashire and Manchester” which, but for the brave efforts of Lancashire County Council’s professional marketing team and bus operator Lancashire United, could have been cut forever. The brave minnows mobilised their resources to promote the route to students and commuters, and came up with the WHAM two-for-one promotion. The team’s strong and vibrant branding has rescued the service and gained a nomination at the Bus Industry Awards.

In a speech worthy of any patronising studio film about noble-in-the-face-of-adversity Northern folk, the last word must go to Cllr Jean Yates: “The X1/X2 campaign clearly shows that bus services can thrive if they are promoted in the right way. It shows that in public transport marketing makes the difference.”

Beat that, Mr Multinational.

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