Union Station CMO Gets Centenarian Brand Back On Track
When the relaunch of the historic train station in Kansas City as a destination site didn’t live up to expectations, Michael Tritt came on board to reroute its marketing strategy.
Marketing a virtual or technological product is never easy, but what about a train station? Union Station KC (short for Kansas City) is a 100-year-old, 850,000-square-foot historic railroad station that has been converted to a destination site, featuring a science center and planetarium, traveling museum exhibits, movies, restaurants, and business offices.
What’s the key to marketing to Union Station KC? “It goes back to telling a great story and telling a story that has some life over time,” according to Michael Tritt, the CMO of Union Station. It doesn’t hurt that Tritt comes from classic agency stock.
To protect the heritage of the brand, Tritt decided to leverage the agency model to service the marketing needs of the businesses inhabiting Union Station. He also adopted a philosophy that has served him well in the past: “Keep the guest in the center of everything, listen to them early, learn from the often, and move fast to leverage what we capture into action.”
He summed it up best when he said, “Listen for the whispers, and listen for the screams.” Wise advice from a seasoned marketer.
Other highlights from this episode of Marketing Superstars include:
- History of the brand (4:00)
- Building brand claims (6:10)
- What is the Union Station brand (7:30)
- Building out an agency model (10:30)
- Protecting the brand asset (15:10)
- Social listening posts and why they are key (17:00)
- Owning the brand–for better or worse (19:30)
- Other tricks of the trade (21:30)