Subsidiary reinvented: Establishing a new brand identity for ÖBB TS

09. Februar 2021

Wintersemester 2020 - ÖBB Technische Services


The Austrian rolling stock maintenance provider ÖBB TS faces two major challenges which need to be overcome for substantial and long-term competitiveness. First, the ongoing European railway market liberalization, which will be finished by the year 2029, will change market conditions significantly, as many strong competitors are going to gain access to the Austrian railway market. Additionally, large groups of the company’s current employees will have gone into retirement by 2026 and need to be replaced adequately in order to be able to maintain the current competitive advantage as a quality service provider.

Mastering these obstacles requires the implementation of an entirely new branding strategy and presence which appeals to potential customers in the B2B market of the European transportation and logistics industry. The main goal of this project was thus defined as delivering valuable insights about how this key stakeholder group may be attracted. Additionally, ÖBB TS’ new branding strategy needs to convince regarding the employer branding perspective, hence further recommendations will be given in order to ensure constant inflow of talented and motivated engineers and graduates. Only then quality delivered by ÖBB TS can stay at such a high level and satisfaction rates.

Overcoming the stated obstacles required different methodological approaches: First, the relation of the subsidiary to its mother holding was defined using the brand architecture model. Analysing the current status quo of the competition within the market environment required a benchmark analysis, where the five main competitors were monitored by how they are communicating their brand presence to potential and existing customers. In order to gain insights on all perspectives of ÖBB TS, surveys have been sent out to current customers as well as to potential employees. Furthermore, qualitative research in form of an expert interview as well as employee interviews delivered valuable further understanding. Last, a best practice analysis, analysing successful subsidiaries both from an analogous market and a direct competitor, aimed to show opportunities to perform better regarding a refined branding strategy.

The results of this project imply the need of ÖBB TS to strengthen their brand presence both on- and offline as a quality service provider which is supporting its customers with the fastest and best service. According to the conducted research, the core brand values have been derived and a concrete branding strategy with appropriate communication channels has been defined.

Cooperation Partner

  • ÖBB Technische Services
    Grillgasse 48, 1110 Vienna

Contact Person

  • Jörg Schirnhofer

Student Team

  • Marco Huber
    Christopher Meixner-Alter
    Niklas Schmidt
    Ann-Kristin Schnell
    Elisabeth Stüber
    David Weissenbrunner

Project Manager

  • Sophie Quach, MA

  • Caroline Fabian, M.Sc.

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