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Developing a new brand for a regional rail network management company in Italy

Ferrovie Emilia Romagna

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Ferrovie Emilia Romagna is the company managing the regional railway infrastructure in Emilia Romagna, Italy. In 2012 the company - that was previously in charge of both local railway service operation and infrastructure management - was reorganized and its mandate spoiled by the direct execution of rail services and redirected to two key areas: local rail network infrastructure management and contracting authority of regional rail services, a change that had to be reflected in a revised branding and communication strategy.

Our role

At the end of 2013 Steer Davies Gleave was tasked with developing a brand for Ferrovie Emilia Romagna, defining its core company values and articulating them through a visual identity to be applied to all of the company’s touchpoints.


How we did it

The project started with a stakeholders workshop aimed at defining the company brand values and aspirations to be communicated through the visual identity.

The biggest challenge was to support the company in their efforts to move on from being essentially a business to business, formal and engineering-centered to a more outward facing and customer-caring organisation - but carefully establishing the boundaries of its influence to the realm under their direct control. The process of identification of the various touchpoints was therefore the crucial next step.

At the same time we carried out a brand positioning exercise and a benchmarking study to assess the current and potential position of the Ferrovie Emilia Romagna brand.

The subsequent development of a new logo and a new visual identity has seen the formalisation of the widely-used company’s acronym ‘FER’ as the main name. A new colour palette has been introduced inspired in part by the local environment and architecture, but still retaining a link with the old logo. Communications have been streamlined so that they all have a consistent tone of voice in line with the company’s aspiration to create a closer relationship with its customers. These developments are further supported by internal organisational changes reflecting the brand values and focus.

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