Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Uber: Breaking through both cities and generations

I was surprised to hear last week some interesting reviews from my friend's parents about how much they loved Uber X. To be honest, I was kind of surprised - could our parents really understand and utilise an app and service that works so fast I almost can’t even keep up? Well of course they can! They’re competent, and intelligent, and most of all, still young at heart - and that’s why I think they really love Uber X.

Uber, the alternative and customised taxi-like car service, has tailored a unique car-pooling service to young college students or part-time available car owners. These car owners can work a few hours a day, with their own personal car (model has to be newer than 2006) and make some money picking up fellow stranded city-goers. Not only does this create jobs that are flexible to people with pre-scheduled activities, but it opens up safer transportation to people who would potentially not have enough money to pay for an official taxi service, or who would drive their own car otherwise and not necessarily be capable of doing so safely.


Speaking of affordability, above you can see the base rates and continuing rates for Uber X. In this case, you’re meeting a potential new friend and saving some money! No wonder all of the parents love it. It’s quick, cheap, and has many “on demand” options to fit their needs best. Additionally, our parents have been our long time supporters and budgeters, so they definitely know how to pick a deal when they see one. After all, having an app that stores your credit card information securely, removes the hassle of payment at the end of your ride, customises your ride to your needs, and can pick you up at your exact pin point location, hasn’t really forgotten anything.

Following the type of company Uber runs and the services they provide, you begin to wonder how they even create all of these masterfully solved city “puzzles.” Well, check out their company culture throughout this video.

Company culture is not only an aspect of crucial internal marketing, but it is also the fundamental core of doing business and being adaptable. Companies like Uber that have now gone multi-national, have truly mastered an understanding of people, functionality, and even law in the cities/countries in which they are involved. Additionally, capturing the business and consumer market needs and wants is only half of the business. Again, you have to remember they’ve already solved two core problems in the market that has helped bring to life new jobs: making travel cheaper, and making it more accessible. Some taxi companies may fight the disruptive tactics being utilised by Uber, however, disruption just makes for more creative solutions in the future, so I suggest we sit back and relax.

So maybe I should get back on my Uber X game, as I have only ever utilised Uber Taxi. Additionally, I would encourage my car-owning counterparts at uni to get in on this flexible and accommodating job. You may end up with our Uber X-loving parents in your car, but we kind of owe them some driving around after the many years they’ve done it for us.

Christine Drpich
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

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