CoachMarque moves up a gear
Quality assurance scheme is to be boosted with additional marketing and a new team, as Chalkwell Coach Hire’s MD, Roland Eglinton, gets his feet under the table as its new Chair.
CoachMarque, the quality assurance scheme, is to go through a makeover, with more marketing of the brand to hirers.
At a Zoom meeting with CoachMarque Chair, Roland Eglinton, delegates were told that the scheme has been re-evaluated and, although membership has continued to grow, the main concerns were awareness of CoachMarque among both coach operators and among hirers and tourism operators.
Listing the problems of lack of marketing and limited resources, coupled with the distractions of the pandemic, PSVAR and other issues, Roland said: “But membership has grown to around 50. We have built up modest cash reserves.”
At the start of the pandemic, CoachMarque gave members six-months free, reflecting that they had no income. Now, it is setting its sights on more active future, with the ‘customer value proposition’ ‘Showcasing the best coach operators in the UK.’
CoachMarque members have to go through an audit process which underlines their business fitness and, upon joining, get the benefit of the branding and trade discounts, together with membership of the Global Passenger Network – a scheme which centralises audited operators for foreign and domestic hirers, and forwards hire inquiries. The audit can also be carried into other schemes, such as the Guild of British Coach Operators.
Going forward, delegates heard, the scheme has engaged We Are Buzz to raise the public profile of CoachMarque. The marketing company’s MD, Claire Rawlinson, was at the meeting to explain how she sees this developing: “At the beginning, we will improve the website, and set about bringing people to it via social media and communications,” she said.
Support from the Confederation of Passenger Transport comes from newly-appointed Phil Smith, just five weeks into his role as Coaching Manager. Membership support is also being provided by former CPT stalwart Allan Edmondson, through his company Transport Partners Ltd.