New limousine service hits the town - entrepreneurs invite us to sit back and enjoy the ride.
Someone once said that there's a great story behind every great business. When Gerard Tannam met with the owners of a new chauffeur-driven limousine service, the business had yet to begin telling its story. This was one that would have to be created from scratch.
It certainly appeared that way. The business was not yet up and running. The five marvellous Lincoln stretch limousines, in silver and in white, that would form the core of its fleet, were still being built in the US. Meanwhile, the elegant 1954 Bentley was in transit from its former home in the UK. That first limousine ride was still some five months away.
What story was there to tell? The owners soon pointed Gerard in the right direction. Although the limousine fleet was still under wraps somewhere far away, the wheels of the business had begun turning for the the entrepreneurial team long before then.
As they described their hopes and ambitions for the business, the story that the brand would tell began to emerge. As Gerard recalls: "Like almost all owners, they wanted their business to be different. Unlike most others however, they were prepared to invest in building a business that was driven by a distinctive set of values from the outset."
It struck the team that this was something of an old-fashioned world, a magical place where the prospect of an evening out was charged with images of enchanted castles, beautiful ladies in elegant gowns, fine champagne and attentive, chivalrous gentlemen.
Such a world had briefly existed during the time of the Kennedy presidency. Images of the time are of the handsome prince and his beautiful princess, playing host to the lords and ladies of the lad in the castle that was the White House. This was a time when famous faces from cinema, sport and politics mingled freely and glided from one glittering event to the next in beautiful cars.
This world could inspire a thrilling new story, one that the two owners could tell for themselves and their new business. The most immediate impact was on the choice of a name and the design of a visual identity. It also set standards for the drivers, the delivery of the service and the way in which the business introduces itself to new customers:
"We set up Liberty Limousines for two simple reasons. One, we wanted to share our enthusiasm for automobiles. Two, we believe a journey is just as important as a destination - the world is a better place when you see it through the window of a truly luxurious vehicle."
What Happened Next?
The Visual Identity
The Brief: To create an identity that speaks of a classic world of American glamour and prestige and reflects the brand's essential values of integrity, respect, dedication and judgement.
Primary Audience: There were a number of distinct audiences for the brand: - Wedding Planners - PR and Event Managers - Corporate Buyers - Debs Ball Groups
Outcome: The new identity, which was designed by Jenny Browne at Creative Inputs, sports some distinctive elements which evoke so many of the classic cars: the grille and emblem.
The Bottom Line
The business has substantially exceeded its targets during its first nine months of operation. Liberty Limousines has secured a leadership position in the special occasion markets (e.g. weddings and graduation balls) and is making serious inroads into the corporate market. The chauffeur and administration teams receive a steady stream of thank you cards from grateful guests. Liberty Limousines has been selected as a finalist in the National Business Awards 2005 for Excellence In Customer Service (we're keeping our fingers crossed for the Award Ceremony on April 9th).
Direction: Gerard Tannam of Islandbridge
Design: Jenny Browne of Creative Inputs
Photography: Jenny Browne of Creative Inputs
Copy: Denis Goodbody of Adept Advertising
PR: Gillian O'Loughlin of Host Public Relations