Influencing Customers Globally Through Unique Branding and Positioning Strategy: A Case Study of Uber

Influencing Customers Globally Through Unique Branding and Positioning Strategy: A Case Study of Uber

Namrata Maheshwari (J. D. Birla Institute, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6980-0.ch008

Abstract

Uber has brought innovative changes in the transportation sector and popularized the online booking habits worldwide among customers. They introduced the use of internet and social media marketing to develop and position their brand. Within a decade, the customer's support has taken them into a secured place in global market. The customer's internet friendly behavior has supported the business, but simultaneously their unique marketing strategies also helped them in getting worldwide recognition. They provided customized products and services according to countries and customers' requirements. They offered drivers a partnership of the organisation which was a unique strategy and referrals and social media marketing strategies brought a new height to the business. The study covers the marketing, branding and positioning strategies of Uber and suggests a framework for better implementation of strategies.
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Background

Technology and digitization have led to a new development in the transportation sector. The dependency on Mobile Phone and technology gave birth to the rise of UBER cab services all over the world. Peer-to-peer shared mobility has gained momentum as part of the latest cluster of developments in transportation. A technical marvel known as a mobile phone application or “app” arranges a ride or introduces a rider with a driver “sharing” his or her private vehicle. This is conveniently ordered by tapping your cell phone and, within minutes or seconds, not only is the chore of setting up transportation achieved, but so is compensation for the trip.

Uber Technologies Inc. is an American company that develops and offers the Uber mobile application, the application that connects potential passengers with drivers who use their own vehicles. The company was founded in San Francisco in 2009 and started marketing the free mobile application in 2011. That same year Uber expanded to New York City, Chicago and Washington, D.C. and later that year in Paris, France. Since then they continued their expansion to Toronto, London, Sydney, Singapore, Johannesburg and other markets such as Seoul, Tijuana, Peking and Delhi. 2014 saw them entering smaller markets such as Warsaw, Anchorage, Copenhagen and Lagos. As of April 2016, Uber services are available in 405 cities in 60 countries on all 7 continents. In October 2015 Uber came to Zagreb, the capital and the biggest city of Croatia.

Uber Inc. (hereafter called Uber), since its foundation in March 2009, has experienced significant growth during recent years both internally and externally. Internally speaking, the company has been successful in expanding its service capacity in all the cities where it operates. Externally speaking, Uber has been strategic in developing not only its company name-value, but also in acquiring additional funds. Recent Uber’s strategic partnership with Toyota (U.S.) (Bloomberg.com, 2016), a top global automobile company, shows the on-going business dynamics of the company and prospective business future. At the same time, market valuation of the company shows an outstanding growth, which could be interpreted as one of clear indicators of such excitement and business expectation. Uber’s core business is providing a market for the ride-hailing service supported by point-to-point software technology and mobile phone application, connecting drivers and passengers. In this paper, based on the “qualitative” case study “Uber: Changing the Way the World Moves” (Moon, 2015).

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