the French train company branding with ooh, la, la

Ouigo is a French low-cost train service based near Paris, with a relatively small number of routes serving the north, the north-west and the south-east of the country.

The concept is based on budget airlines like easyJet and its approach has a number of similarities, although many are alien to the rail industry. 
  • Tickets can only be bought online and printed at home or bought through the app in which case your phone becomes the ticket. They must be purchased at least four hours before you intend to travel.
  • There are luggage restrictions. One piece of luggage up to a maximum size is allowed free of charge per customer, with larger items being paid for.
  • There is no customer service phone number or e-mail address, so the only way customers can contact the company is via their website.
  • Ouigo uses some non-major railway stations like Marne-la-VallĂ©e for Paris instead of Paris-Gare de Lyon, as they have lower fees imposed by the rail network company. Savings one assumes gets passed on to the passenger.
  • The trains lack a buffet car and used for up to 13 hours a day, compared to just seven on regular TGVs.
However, what I really like about this company is its branding - it's simple, stylish, memorable, and certainly doesn't portray 'low cost' or 'budget'. Their livery is a non-fussy mass of vibrant blue with a dash of pink,  not something you'd forget in a hurry and this colourway is carried consistently through ever piece of communication I could find. What more could a customer want?

Bravo mon amis, bravo.


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