One word I detest in my world of marketing is the word “digital disruption”, exactly what does that mean? What the mobile phone all of a sudden wakes up and changes your world? It’s like saying guns kill, when in fact it’s people that kill!
So in the world of “consumer disruption” (the actual “geek” word every digital expert is meaning to say), there can be no one more disruptive than Uber and Lyft et.al! Within a very short period Uber created a consumer experience, that connected with the consumer, an easy to use mobile driven experience to get us from A to B from almost anywhere, the world’s largest taxi company that owns no taxis . . . I could go on.
So, what went wrong?
In the initial days, it was a great consumer experience. Open an app, enter your location and destination and within a fairly quick moment, there was a car waiting for you.
Now generally, it was a great consumer experience, you knew what you were paying for, the driver was usually an interesting person doing another job, the car was perfection, water-bottles, phone chargers, massive amounts of leg space and well enough groomed to be able to eat your lunch off the seats. All in all – a “great consumer experience”, that you thought was built around you, it just worked!
But, as all strategically and greed led aggressive growth strategies go, they have let go of their differentiator, the “consumer experience.”
You see, there’s nothing new, innovative or differentiating about Uber, lots of other “venture” money realized that it’s not that difficult to build a competitive set (when you don’t own anything but an app and the ability to employ anyone)!
So where does this leave Uber?
In Chicago (where I live), they are a total disaster, the cars are dirty, beaten up, clueless drivers are mesmerized by “Waze” leaving the common-sense of direction well at home. With the inaccuracies of the navigation downtown in Chicago and the hyper inflated “surge-pricing”, the whole concept becomes an inept, expensive waste of time, that just makes you angry!
So, will big-money win over consumer experience, will this “joke” of a concept finally float and repay some $’s to the speculators of nations bank-accounts. I think not!
But as Forbes pointed out recently, many of the top 500 companies of today will not exist by 2025, will Uber, be the Blockbuster of the “car-pool” world, or will it get it’s head out of it’s ass and realize that their consumers (experiences) are beginning not to give a crap about their business?
Lets wait and see, however in the meantime, I do hope that my “Ubereats” doesn’t take a wrong turn!