It has been a bit of a wild ride watching one of the newest ways of transportation grow, change and morph their business. Don’t get us wrong, we at BottomLine feel that Uber has done some great things and hope that they are able to give it another shot in Calgary, but in the meantime, we have learned some valuable lessons from them.
Uber has gained major traction since its inception in March of 2009 and has grown into a $62 billion world-wide organization. Many people would argue that they have done a stellar job, which we feel they have. However, there are a few lessons one can learn from their mistakes.
One of them being extensive research into cultures and regulatory hurdles. This affects businesses not only from an operational front but a marketing front as well. Examples of this were largely seen when Uber tried to move into Frankfurt, Germany. They lasted a whopping 18 months before they eventually pulled out. In November, the company did the same in Hamburg and Dusseldorf. The issue comes down to knowing the market from a cultural and regulatory perspective.
You may ask, “Well so what? Uber is still worth a ton of cash!” Although this statement is true, they would be worth a whole lot more if they had done their homework. How does this affect companies from a marketing standpoint? Market share and brand integrity. Although Uber has a great thing going, it wouldn’t take long for that same mistake to continue to repeat itself. Once a brand image has been tarnished, it can be difficult to change customer’s perspective, especially when it has offended someone on a cultural level.
The vast majority of companies wouldn’t worry too much about this. However, when your target market is one that either “loves or hates you,” it’s better to try and stay on that love side when your brand is concerned.
We over here at BottomLine heeded one good lesson and reminder: Do your market research- even more-so when you are moving into a new culture. It is a completely different target market and what one country may like, another may hate.
We’d love to hear your take on Uber! Any lessons you have taken away from both their success and their mistakes?