Saturday, 20 June 2015

What's in a Name [1]

Copycat Brands Again.
Once upon a time it was all very simple. Bus companies had names that were easy to remember. There was ...
... The Birmingham and Midland Motor Omnibus Company with its obvious RED buses.
From Nottingham we can remember the West Bridford Urban District Passenger Transport Department ...
... with a rich brown livery.
Of course, fbb's favourite was the snappily titled Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley and Dukinfield Transport and Electricity Board ...
... in a fetching green, a notable contrast with the greyness of the industrial north.
All very memorable names that slipped mellifluously off the tongue.

Nowadays branded rouites and networks are two a penny, which is, perhaps, why the names used tend to get "borrowed". A few blogs back, fbb reported on First's "Loop" in Falkirk, following the lead (?) of Stagecoach in Thanet and Eastbourne. fbb will take a look at Arriva's "Loop" in the Medway towns in due course.

But here is First in Leeds, extolling its chosen super-smashing and trendy brand.

First Bus in Leeds has today unveiled a new, easily recognisable brand named ‘Pulse’ for its extensive network of high frequency buses.

Many customers across the First Leeds bus network already enjoy the high-frequency convenience of services every ten minutes or better Monday to Friday daytime. This convenience together with excellent connectivity across the network and great value fares is now being brought together under one recognisable brand.

The branding will be applied to over 250 buses of the 400 bus fleet with distinctive front and side pink vinyl to deliver strong impact. First's high-frequency network extends across all the main corridors in Leeds providing Monday to Friday daytime buses of at least every ten minutes on over 50% of the bus network.

And the brand is (breathless pause whilst opening the golden envelope) ...
...  PULSE .
Paul Turner, Head of Commercial for First in West Yorkshire said, “Pulse brings together high frequency, network connectivity and great value fares into one simple distinctive brand. The benefits of using the bus in Leeds are wrapped up into one simple brand that helps customers and new customers know what to expect. Whilst we continue to work hard improving our services, we believe this new campaign will help promote the simplicity of using the bus and attract more people out of their cars.”

"Simplicity" - now there's an idea for a First Bus brand!
But travel 217 miles due south and you come to Worthing. Here Stagecoach is king of the buses.

And lookee there; running from Durrington ...
... via Worthing to Lancing ...
... is ... Tada!
Pulse every 10 minutes.
As the Stagecoach pulse beats with more psychedelic adornment ...
... let's hope the garish livery doesn't raise the pulse rate of some of Worthing's more "mature" and frail residents.

Now where have we seen that Stagecoach bus-back grinning stars before? Surely not First Bus in Aberdeen?

 Next bus brand blog : Sunday 21st June 


  1. All these garish brands, logos and liveries just highlight the superior work of Best Impressions....

  2. Perhaps we should just have a white livery with "BUS" written on the side?

    As an aside, didn't W&D used to have a Pulseline in Salisbury?

  3. Go North East also used the ‘Pulse’ route branding for many years for an hourly local bus service linking the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead with communities in South Tyneside – this particular route-branding was withdrawn in July 2014, when a revised timetable was introduced

  4. Wilts and Dorset used the branding 'PulseLine' for a bus service between Bemerton Heath and Woodfalls via Salisbury City Centre and Salisbury District Hospital from February 2006 to March 2010.

  5. A pretty poor branding exercise in my view. The pulse logo appears to suggest wildly fluctuating frequencies, which may well reflect the reality. And what will the average customer make of the catchy claim 'Up to every 10* mins or better'? If this increases ridership I'll eat ALL my hats!

    1. Could be a Paddy Ashdown moment!!

      Pulse could also be interpreted as being an essential signal of life...