In our article 'Our meeting with LNER's Loyalty Manager' we mentioned that it was time to have a rebrand of our own. The main reason is because the name 'Save East Coast Rewards' is outdated, it was only intended to be used for the first few months and then if it was decided to continue the name would change to something more appropriate that indicated we were about more than Rewards. But as initially Virgin Trains East Coast seemed to be doing a decent job the loyalty scheme remained one of the areas were they were poorer than what East Coast offered. We hope LNER get on top of some of the issues that affected VTEC in their final year such as issues with reliability and catering but we do need to be prepared in case there's no improvement.
We need to think of a new identity and it's also important to ensure we distinguish enough from LNER that nobody thinks we're officially connected with them. So you won't see anything like this...
We want to work closely with LNER in areas where they're willing to engage, but need to be able to provide a way for passengers to share experiences and we can make sure that issues are highlighted. Where there's a particular group who needs their issues highlighted (e.g. passengers with disabilities) we will make sure we will highlight those. Effectively the aim would be to become an online user group that's open to all users of LNER (and perhaps other East Coast Mainline operators) as a way to share our concerns. If LNER is willing to engage more with the group then we'd also be happy to assist finding volunteers for any focus groups they have or to take part in any other feedback events.
It will be great if LNER decide that we can be a useful resource they're happy to collaborate with rather than see us as a thorn in their side. Of course, it's important that whatever we do we're not afraid to speak up when we think things need improvement. There'd be no point existing if all we do is say how great LNER is, on the other hand the balance shouldn't go in the other direction and we only concentrate on the bad stuff!
An achievable target to relaunch will be the beginning of 2019. First of all we have to agree on a new identity and then agree on the direction it will take. There's been a number of contributors over the years and so they'll be contacted to see if they want to get involved. We will love more volunteers in the future after we put together the tools to make collaboration easier. Once we have agreed on a plan we will publish it here so you have the opportunity to give feedback.