Bringing Trainline into the modern world isn’t the challenge for Simon Darling, it’s getting train customers to follow. The company is trying to change the 200-year habit of buying tickets at a station, to one of mobile ticketing and convenience. Last year, Trainline rebranded to help shake off what Darling describes as an “old fashioned” image and the continued evolution of the business is a task to which he will be applying over 20 years of marketing experience. He says one of his most valuable pieces of advice was from his first job at Unilever: “Each task requires its own approach. There is a natural pace for activity. Respect that that’s not always ‘go fast’.” Such experience is worth its weight in gold, with Darling’s proudest achievement being leading and later selling his own business, FonePark, which was founded in 2000.
Biggest challenge: “How to bring all the academic understanding of consumer psychology into the corporate marketing mix.”