Deutsche Bahn case study: control on track

01 Dec 2009|Added Value

Ever wondered what it would be like to drive a train? How about an entire rail network?

Deregulation and market access in Europe changed the way companies were doing business. The notion of building a brand as a profitable engine for growth could no longer be avoided. Even for former monopolies like the German rail network Deutsche Bahn.

Their goal was not only to maintain their established position as a top travel provider, but to build on it. But positioning and brand development can either be a ‘trial and error’ process or an analytical and systematic one.

In a complex firm, success means getting on track with an aligned brand focus. A clarification of internal terminology. A clear definition of positioning target figures. And the creation of a common research framework.

We partnered with Deutsche Bahn to develop a solution where all of this could be brought together in one useful navigation system. A key performance indicator (KPI) dashboard. A web-based internal marketing control system, now with over 200 registered users.

The dashboard quantifies an agreed set of central performance aspects and marketing activities. It also reviews external or non-controllable factors, and their effect on image and brand value. Based on this information, individual marketing activities can be optimised where necessary.

This represents the core of our long-standing work with Deutsche Bahn. On the basis of the ‘Mobility’ dashboard module, ‘Corporate’ and ‘Logistics’ modules have been gradually integrated into the system. With this innovative radar we can support the brand management process at Deutsche Bahn, from the corporate brand to the business segment brands. And right down to the product and service brands.

Taking this as a starting point, we have also been working on the passenger transport business segment, covering technical brand potential as well as recommendations for managing the interaction between the business brand of Deutsche Bahn and its product and service brands, including ICE, IC, Regional network, suburban trains, 1st class, BahnCard rail card and stations.

The online portal has offered another instrumental benefit. Over the last few years we have been working with the company in preparation for the planned IPO of Deutsch Bahn. From the continuous feed of new information, comprehensive time-series models can be developed for the IPO consultation phase. Allowing the team to gauge the impact of critical events, both internal and external.

How did we Add Value?
We helped Deutsche Bahn develop a tool that could drive, manage and assess all their marketing and brand activities. A powerful internal engine to keep them on track with future brand development.

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