Communicator of the Week: First Great Western

Every brand, every product, has a story. Find it and tell it. Sound advice from Carmine Gallo, best selling author of 'Talk Like TED' and 'The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs'.

This is the approach taken in a new campaign from one of the UK's most maligned brands, First Great Western. FGW - dismissively referred to by customers who use their service as Last Worst Western - have a track record (sorry) of poor service and late trains.

Its low point came with the destruction of the main rail line to Cornwall at Dawlish in severe winter storms. A major crisis that seemed to ignite a previously moribund passion in the business.

In many regards it was a damaged brand but has spent the last couple of years fighting back with a new found swagger. This includes a new campaigns approach including a fly on the wall documentary focussed on their individual employees, robust and quick fire rebuttal, plus a focus on the positive impact they have on their customers.

It's this last point where they have once again caught my eye. Mixed in with the expected claims of 'refreshed' trains and better service is a well-pitched advertising campaign using individual First Great Western customers to help FGW tell its brand story.

One example is a small independent record shop chain with stores in some of FGW's main commuter centres including Worcester and Cheltenham. This simply designed ad tells a story of how FGW helps Rise Music to travel to meetings in London and to do business. The ad describes how Rises's Managing Director uses the onboard free wi-fi to "plan gigs, order stock, e-mail suppliers".
It's positive, plainly written and relevant to many.

For taking the time to find the positive and relevant stories that bring their brand to life, I make First Great Western my Communicator of the Week.

Communicator of the Week is written by Ed Staite.


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