Somerset County Council

Somerset County Council

Tactical campaign, stakeholder engagement, audience segmentation and brand guidelines

Reducing road congestion for Europe's largest construction project.

The Brief

The Client Hinkley Power Station, the first nuclear power station to be built in the UK for twenty years, is the largest construction project in Europe. The impact on the local infrastructure is significant. 

Merchant has been appointed on a then year contract to manage the communications around road congestion and improvement during this massive project.

 

The Background 

The historic market town of Bridgwater in Somerset has long been a major port and trading hub for the South West of England, but with the number of road users in and around Bridgwater at an all-time high, traffic congestion in the town, and surrounding highways, had become an urgent issue 

As the governing council in this part of the country, it was up to Somerset County Council to intervene and take proactive action in a bid to alleviate congestion on its roads. After a nationwide tender process, involving multiple UK agencies, SCC appointed Merchant to be its primary communications partner for the full 10-year lifecycle of tactical campaign aimed at cutting congestion in this part of Somerset county.  

 

The Objective 

Create the brand to support road traffic congestion easing projects in and around the Somerset town of Bridgwater. 

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What we did

Identifying our audience: engaging local stakeholders In collaboration with SCC it was decided that a localised countywide campaign would be the most effective and efficient way to tackle the traffic congestion issues arising in the Bridgwater area. We travelled to the county to meet with local stakeholders first hand. Conducting a series of discovery sessions to learn more about Bridgwater's travel challenges from those invested in the area and experiencing the situation on the ground day-to-day.  

These engagement sessions helped us gain deeper insight into Bridgwater's core demographic of road users, from which we were able to develop a series of personas of each of our target stakeholder groups, which included businesses, commuters and schools. Identifying and segmenting our target audience in this way ensured the brand materials and messaging we developed had the potential to bring about the behavioural changes required of Bridgwater's resident road users.   

Somerset County Council Public Sector Brand campaign Print poster example

Keeping it local: repurposing an existing brand asset 

The key takeaway from the campaign would be a reduction in the number of road journeys made throughout Bridgwater, as well as an increased uptake of cycle paths, car sharing schemes, and walking, as viable travel alternatives. With an existing cycle path, branded the Bridgwater Way, already within the area, SCC decided the best way to resonate with the local market would be by repurposing this already established brand asset 

Our design team sympathetically adapted the Bridgwater Way logo, while keeping the core essence of the brand intact. This then became the basis for the entire visual identity of the campaign, while Bridgwater Way itself became a wider campaign message, promoting the use of cycling, walking and car sharing as "the Bridgwater way." Changing the meaning of these words from a simple place name within the town, to a meaningful ethos, empowers SCC with a campaign slogan that not only resonates with the local catchment, but also instils a sense of pride within the community

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Spearheading a 10-year change cycle Before finalising the campaign, we once again connected with our local stakeholder focus groups in Bridgwater to engage their feedback on the visual identity and brand messaging we created. Final tweaks were made to accommodate key takeaways from this session, ensuring the completed campaign would resonate fully with Bridgwater residents and deliver a meaningful message that struck a chord among its intended target audience. 

Print Branding campaign banner examples for Public Sector client Somerset County Council

Once the campaign was officially signed off, we created a comprehensive set of brand guidelinesexpressly outlining the campaign's application across varying touch points, from physical signage and photography, to social media, website and videographyAnnotated examples of each application are included throughout the guidelines, ensuring the integrity of the campaign remains intact across every visual asset generated for the duration of the project's 10-year lifespan, for which Merchant are SCC’s communications partner.   

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Call us:+44 2380 225478

Email:paul@merchant.agency

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