Greyhound buses set for UK debut

FirstGroup is to introduce the US bus brand Greyhound to the UK.

The transport operator has appointed branding agency Start Creative to devise a positioning for the brand. The agency will also work on a series of ads using the strapline 'The Greyhound has landed'.

With fewer seats in each vehicle, and free wi-fi, power sockets and air-conditioning, FirstGroup is aiming to attract consumers who would not ordinarily consider using coach travel.

Target groups for the service include students and sports fans. The core customer base is expected to be style-conscious and technologically savvy consumers aged between 16 and 24.

Despite fares for journeys ranging from only £1 up to about £12, plus a 50p booking fee,the company does not plan to focus its marketing on price messages. This is in contrast to the strategy of competitors easyBus and Megabus.

A teaser print ad ran in the regional press last week, and a full print, outdoor and digital campaign is due to break next month.

Greyhound buses will begin running on 14 September on two routes: London to Southampton and London to Portsmouth. A national roll-out is expected next year if the service proves successful.

The 95-year-old Greyhound brand was bought by FirstGroup from Laidlaw International in 2007.

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