Nashville Area’s Vanpool Branding and Marketing

Project Highlights

UrbanTrans was retained by the TMA Group, a TMA in Franklin, TN to develop a new brand identity and marketing plan to build regional awareness of the TMA Group’s existing vanpool program. The goal was to transition people that drive alone to work to vanpooling. This process involved primary market research, geographic market analysis and strategic positioning.

To build upon the success of the existing TMA Group vanpool program, our team set out to identify the mindset of current vanpoolers, where they lived, and subsequently target more Nashville-area residents that carry these same qualities.  Our team used GIS mapping coupled with PRIZM research to identify geographic clusters of residents most likely to try vanpooling. A sample target map is included in the project images. The map placed likely commuters in a radius of an hour drive to the activity center of Nashville, and 1.5 hour drive. By using current vanpool rider survey information, PRIZM profiles were built for current vanpoolers. These profiles identified the psychographics for the top four groups of vanpool riders. This strategy provided the TMA Group with a clear target market analysis of those most likely to change their travel behavior to vanpool.

Subsequently, we worked to develop a vanpool brand that would be memorable and relevant to the target audience. Through the PRIZM analysis and focus groups, our team was able to identify the types of media consumption target vanpool riders consumed the most and their impressions of the current vanpool “look.”  Profile insights allowed us to update the existing brand into something the target market could be proud to ride in to work every day. The primary research of focus groups provided insight into the current rider’s opinion of the brand. This was done to ensure current brand advocates would not be lost during this process. This information showcased that they felt the current vans looked more like ambulances or church vehicles. It was clear that the vans’ look needed a drastic make-over.  Through this thoughtful process, UrbanTrans created a new and exciting brand/logo for the vanpool program: VanStar.

Finally, a multi-year marketing plan was developed to identify marketing actions, resources and timelines. Since the completion of the branding and marketing plan exercise, the TMA Group has increased vanpool ridership by over 30 percent.