Case Study

High-Velocity Digital Transformation for High-Speed Rail

Services Engaged

Digital Strategy
Product Delivery
Digital Marketing
Data & AI
Adobe Experience Cloud

Increasing Ridership and Revenue

Brightline, a high-speed rail service based in Florida, sought to modernize their digital experiences to match the seamlessness and luxury of their physical train rides. However, fragmented systems and data silos constrained marketing efforts, and inconsistent digital touchpoints frustrated riders.

With Brightline preparing to open their new Orlando station, they needed more intuitive, dependable, and scalable digital solutions.

To achieve their vision of fully modernizing train travel, Brightline partnered with WillowTree's entire end-to-end suite of capabilities to deliver a revamped website, native apps (iOS and Android), kiosks, digital signage, and a digital marketing engine fueled by Adobe Experience Cloud. The resulting transformation is delighting travelers with a best-in-class digital experience worthy of Brightline’s premium brand.

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2024 Honoree
General Apps: Travel

2024 Honoree
Website & Mobile Sites: Travel & Lifestyle

Digital Strategy

Research Reveals Opportunities

WillowTree first conducted immersive research — including field interviews, usability testing, an analytics deep dive — to uncover opportunities to improve Brightline’s digital presence. We also tapped our WillowTree Expert Network, engaging academics from the Dutch Railways Innovation Lab as well as European train travel influencers to implement a Rail CX Model for Brightline.

Customer journey mapping and benchmarking against global rail leaders suggested that streamlining booking, expanding self-service, and increasing reliability would substantially improve customer experience.

These insights drove a three-tiered strategy focused on: Foundational improvements, Personalization opportunities, and a forward-looking Transformation roadmap.

“Our Foundation recommendations focused on improvements in booking, self-service, and product reliability, aiming for greater speed and ease across the board to drive ridership and revenue.”

Margo Bulka
Senior Director of Product Strategy, WillowTree

Rail CX Model

Brands that invest in CX outperform the broader S&P 500 market by 108%

An image of a pyramid graphic displaying WillowTree's three-tiered strategy focused on Foundational improvements, Personalization opportunities, and a forward-looking Transformation roadmap.
adobe experience cloud

An Integrated Digital Ecosystem

To unify customer experiences and resolve friction points,
we centered on a strategy that first required the team to consolidate data sources and transition to Adobe Experience Cloud. A unified stack for Brightline’s ecosystem would enable WillowTree to originate a more personalized door-to-door customer experience, but the 12-week timeframe to get Adobe CDP up and running required a breakneck pace.
We first migrated Brightline’s website and content to Adobe Experience Manager, empowering marketers to instantly update experiences for riders. Stakeholders prepared centralized data pipelines to ingest real-time interaction events into Adobe Real-Time CDP so marketers could push offers to riders via Adobe Journey Optimizer. Successful IP warming put the team on track to leave the station...


Designing Premium End-to-End Journeys

Tight collaboration between WillowTree designers produced an aligned vision consistent across Brightline’s digital touchpoints. Inspiration from rail leaders in Europe and Asia shaped how we considered user experience flows for trip planning, booking, and account management.

Redesigned booking made it easier for customers to purchase tickets and inspired more customers to choose premium upgrades. New trip management tools increased self-service, reducing the burden on Brightline staff. Dynamic destination content enabled travelers to plan activities at their destinations to enhance delight and encourage travelers to book again.

A collection of screens and graphic elements from Brightline's digital products, showing Brightline's design system.
digital marketing

Unified Data Powers Personalization

Consolidated data profiles within Adobe Real-Time CDP revealed deep behavioral insights previously hidden in silos. For example, urban commuters would benefit from targeted parking deals, travelers to planned destinations could use a few venue recommendations to enhance their trips, and real-time upgrade promotions would make end-to-end experiences more seamless.

Now Brightline can align content and offers with individual traveler preferences. Greater personalization will continue to emerge as data utilization matures.

“Brightline can now build segments based on any data source we’ve set up, and leverage their CDP alongside Adobe Customer Journey Analytics and Adobe Journey Optimizer to drive personalized messaging to those segments.”

Rebecca O’Connor
Senior Growth Manager, WillowTree
Two screens from the Brightline App showing features that enable users to explore their destination, book a ride from the station, or add a parking pass.


weeks to implement Adobe Real-Time CDP


reduction in time to book in-app


increase in app downloads


increase in unbranded organic traffic


Modern Train Travel Reimagined

With integrated experiences launching across Brightline’s digital platforms, the future of modern rail travel is here. Since implementing WillowTree’s solutions, Brightline has experienced tremendous early outcomes.

By using Adobe Experience Cloud, with its Real-Time CDP, to unify customer data and experiences across channels, WillowTree helped Brightline connect physical and digital touchpoints into a brand journey that delights customers, from booking to arrival.

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