A look into the Uber business model: Experiences, Branding, and Competition
After constant recommendations from friends, and buzz all over the Internet, I finally decided to give Uber a try (I know I’m late). It was a cold night in October…bored and hungry, I wanted to visit a friend.
Two options: take the bus and have an hour ride at night, or take a free Uber (got to love promo-codes) and have a 15 minute drive.
I went with the latter. It was not only my first Uber experience, but also my drivers, and we spoke about the Raptors, Hip-Hop, and childhood experiences. In the midst of all this great conversation, he let me know exactly why he decided to become an Uber driver that night. He strongly believed in the business model that provides people with the simple opportunity to operate their own business.
If you haven’t heard of Uber, you should consider leaving the rock you are hiding under, but essentially it is a transportation network company that connects drivers with riders.
To get back to the story, this is exactly what Uber is. It puts the power in the hands of the people. An ordinary person with a 21st century model car that’s in good shape, can make hundreds of extra dollars on the side per week simply by opening their car to riders and taking them where they need to go. Sounds great right? Taxi drivers couldn’t disagree more. With Uber giving power to the people, it goes without saying that Taxi and Limousine companies, which earn a living off providing transportation to the public, would have something to say.
In many large cities, there is resistance in allowing Uber to operate freely in the market. Most notably in June of 2015, “Taxi drivers blocked roads to airports and train stations in Paris, as part of a nationwide protest against Uber.” Also through the constant threats of violence Uber drivers and their passengers have received from Taxi drivers, similar to the situation in Ottawa this past September.
Whether or not the Taxi Commission gives Uber the green light, the truth is that they simply don’t need it. They are providing a public service that simply outdoes the Taxi business model in every sense. There is healthy competition in the market that if dealt with the right way will force the Taxi Industry to make positive changes, for the first time in forever.
Everything from the logo, the website, and the app brings a sleek feeling. Upon using Uber for the first time, it is beyond user friendly: from tracking your drivers exact location, to choosing your destination.
Now from all of this you may start to think that Uber sponsors the MAD Mix. The reality is when you’ve had such an amazing touch point with a brand, you want to tell the world all about it. Uber does a great job providing users with an experience. An experience that wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the large network of drivers they provide that truly extend the brand and validate it’s identity.
There is simply a great feeling stepping out of your Uber ride, whether it’s an Uber Black Escalade, or an Uber X Honda Civic painted black. The hassle of payment is already taken care of and the public inability to distinguish you’re choice of transport is present.
Uber is a game changer, however you see it.
Check out Dakarai’s last article on the branding identity behind the iconic Chicago Bulls Logo
Dakarai Turner (Dak) is an ambitious professional approaching his final year of the Advertising & Marketing Communications program at Humber College. Over the course of the summer, Dakarai spent his time working as a Communications Intern for the digital and marketing agency thinkCOMPASS, as well as the Canadian Association of Marketing Professionals as a Marketing Coordinator. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and connect on LinkedIn to learn more about him.