Service with a Smile

With the local taxi scene dominated by a large single business, City Taxis, accompanied by Uber and a few small independents, launching a new private hire taxi business in Sheffield required the creation of a brand and positioning proposition that delivered strong differentiation from the existing market.

During several months of discussions and planning, we identified real points of difference in the A1 service offering. Uniformed drivers; cash, card or contactless payments; accessible and electric vehicles; all featured highly alongside the owners’ ethos of a friendly, reliable service.

For the branding we decided on three core elements: a strong and simple logo, a brand colour that A1 could own and a bold statement that this was not just another taxi company. The outcome adopted all three of these aims, with the “A1 smile” denoting happy customers and the addition of Sheffield into the strap line to ensure relevance.

Launching the service with modest budgets meant the marketing communications programmes had to be focused on quick wins. Most of our spend was on paid and organic search, content marketing and social media backed by a short run, city centre outdoor advertising campaign. Cards were also distributed by black cabs picking up fares at venues like the railway station enabling A1 to handle return journey previously lost to the competition.

A market presence was established very quickly with a very strong click through and conversion rate on the digital marketing activity. Since launch the company has gone from strength to strength, with the green branding prominent around the city.

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