What’s there behind Uber’s Growth? Let’s find out.
If you are keen about mobile app development and anything in this industry, you must have heard the phrase “It is Uber for (This),” maybe a million times.
That’s the impact Uber has created on all of us. It affected everything from regular people’s lives, entrepreneurial dreams, the startup world, and the way people do business and pitch ideas.
Undoubtedly, its story is fascinating, and problematic, but worth reading if you want to be truly successful in the on-demand industry. Even after disrupting the transportation industry, it calls itself a technology company (Uber Technologies Inc) and also functions like one.
It is the first organization that defined the concept of “the sharing economy” by introducing the idea of Uber to the world. Here are some of its achievements that make Uber the leader in on-demand apps:
Over the last ten years, Uber has become popular for being the disruptive startup that almost transformed the gig economy. It is a prime example of the gig economy at work but its road to fame was full of many obstacles and challenges.
In this article, we will look at all of them and Uber’s Journey to drive important key takeaways for budding entrepreneurs who desire to walk a similar road. So, if you are ready to embark on a different type of Uber ride, let’s get started.
The story of Uber began in 2008 on a cold night in Paris. The founders, Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp were in Paris to attend an annual tech conference and were trying to get a taxi to reach there. They faced difficulty in finding a cab that night and the idea struck.
“What if we could just book a ride from our mobile?” said one of its founders. After attending the conference, they both went in different directions but when Camp came to San Francisco, he thought of exploring the idea and bought the domain called UberCab.com.
While he was the CEO of another company at that time, he began working on building the app prototype and there was no looking back after that. They built the app and launched it.
Uber’s MVP allowed users to book a cab with a single tap. A GPS identified the location of the rider and payment was deducted automatically from the card.
Its ease of use fueled its popularity among investors as well as users and the startup became one of the biggest companies in San Francisco very quickly. Today, it is the biggest ride-hailing company around the globe.
But, in the journey, the brand faced many challenges, setbacks, and hiccups around the globe.
What an inspiring story! The brand faced a lot of challenges mentioned above but even after all these obstacles, Uber is today an incredible example of growth hacking. Budding entrepreneurs can learn several things from Uber’s journey as they take new decisions to position their businesses for fast growth. If you are keen to know more about Uber and how does it work, find out the details of Uber Business Model here.
Let’s put the spotlight on what you can learn from Uber’s Growth in our next section.
Products and services that are built to solve real-world problems find success fast and are embraced by customers without any friction. If you are planning to build a product that you want your target market to embrace, invest in solving real-world problems by leveraging technology.
Uber’s founders used mobile technology to transform the transportation industry. They found the following problems with the current transportation system and solved them with their product:
The founders found that there are several infrastructural problems not in one but in many cities around the globe and taxi companies lack in solving them. Taxi companies do not provide the best service and those who do, provide services at a much higher price that nobody could afford.
Uber solved this problem by providing cabs at much cheaper prices than traditional taxis and gained a lot of traction with customers.
They realized that drivers play an important role in satisfying cab booking customers but there was no way using which customers could hold drivers accountable for what happened over the trip. Sometimes they didn’t even know the driver’s name.
To solve this problem, Uber gave customers the power to rate their experience with drivers. It improved customer satisfaction rate by ensuring that only sensible and dedicated people work at Uber.
The founders’ team at Uber sensed that customers desire convenience more than any other thing. And traditional taxi model never provided that. In fact, it forced riders to wait on the road for hours to wait for drivers to come.
Uber sensed this problem and solved it by providing a real-time tracking feature on the app. Today, customers can track their drivers and find out how far they are – comfort at another level.
So, Uber solved the above-mentioned three problems for its customers and got immense traction in return. Thus, if you are looking to build a solution like Uber, make it your priority to provide features that solve real problems for your users.
If you are building a product whose revenue depends on the quantity of its services, try to build a scalable business model for more profits. Uber built its business model in such a way that it is easy for the brand to expand to new markets fast and add more customers to the list.
From the very beginning, Uber focused on scalability. It used a warlike mentality and determination when entering a new market and winning was its only goal. After its launch in San Francisco, it received a cease and desist order from authorities but the brand dealt with the situation in a clever way. It released a statement that said:
Uber is a new-gen transportation technology and we should recognize that regulations from authorities were not written keeping future innovations in mind. If there is a need, we are happy to educate the regulatory bodies about this technology but our services will remain available for Uber’s customers and drivers.
With such a strong mindset, Uber always moved forward and continued to expand into other parts of the world.
The company realized early that if it wants to grow exponentially, international expansion is crucial. After San Francisco, they launched their services in Paris and grabbed the interest of new investors. But, soon after this launch, they realized that they need an expansion checklist to expand internationally fast.
In the beginning, Uber treated every city as a new project and it involved a lot of work. To cut down this time and operational cost, the team at Uber built an expansion checklist and expanded fast. The Uber’s growth checklist looked like this:
The checklist was created by a brand-new local team with an entrepreneurial manager, who used to report directly to Kalanick, the CEO of Uber at the time. Another strategy behind Uber’s expansion was the acquisition of competitors. It acquired 38% of Russia’s Yandex Taxi, 15.4% of Chinese Didi, and 23.2% of Southeast Asia’s Grab very soon after its launch.
No doubt Uber is a popular app known all over the world for how it transformed the ride-hailing industry. But, you can not ignore the fact that it also faced criticism from the public as well as governments of various nations as mentioned above.
While some customers claimed that Uber drivers assaulted them sexually, others sued them for charging higher prices and so many other reasons. Some of those stories were true as well but some never saw the day of light after rising once.
So, that means if you are going to build a startup, you need to have safeguards in place to handle these scandals and optimize any negative publicity that someone tries to throw at your brand. For Uber, its potential was its customers and they helped them fight these allegations and emerge as winners.
The brand’s early adopters were people who were not happy with the traditional cab services. After Uber launched, these people became their brand advocates and helped them turn all setbacks into successes. Uber also took help from their customers to fight scandals.
Here is how:
Uber’s growth strategy revolved around customer convenience and it took the role of a disruptor to build brand image and identity. If there were haters, lovers too existed. They started a socioeconomic campaign towards changing old practices in ways that were beneficial for consumers. And from time to time, they invested in building brand loyalty – which later on helped them fight laws and regulations.
It takes determination to prevail in the startup world. For Uber, that grit often led to problems and allegations from the leaders like Apple, Google, and more. But, the company kept on pushing everything that came forward to stop it from succeeding – that is the mindset you need to thrive in a startup that is no less than a rat race.
The key takeaway here is that be proactive about the outrages that could influence your association and have an arrangement for how you’ll deal with any that emerge.
The most essential part of Uber’s growth strategy is its seamless omnichannel nature. With its solution, Uber just didn’t fix one part of the problem. In fact, it invested in building the whole experience. From mobile hailing to better cars, seamless payments, and driver rating – the product tapped into consumers’ lives in a revolutionary way, and nobody could stop the market from loving it.
While this is just a small picture of Uber using an omnichannel approach, it did not stop there. Here is how the brand took the omnichannel experience to the next level:
While your business probably won’t have its eyes on offering such countless services, there’s still a lot to learn from Uber’s marketing game. They’re blending data with mobile technology to provide a holistic customer experience.
One reason behind Uber’s growth is that its advertisers never consider their customers as faceless and feelingless entities who come to the business for a single thing. Instead, customers are seen as people with different needs and desires – they understand that their target audience needs better prices, comfort, and acknowledgment.
Uber was the first technology company in the transportation market with unique services and this early mover advantage helped it to secure a large share of the market. While it faced competition, as we all are aware of the Uber and Lyft battle, Uber always had a stronger brand image than all its competitors.
If you come to the market first, you will establish a strong image in the mind of consumers and your brand name may even become the service name. For example, in the USA, people often say “let’s book an Uber” instead of “let’s book a cab.” No matter what service they are going to book.
The best option to accelerate your time to market is a Minimum Viable Product. If you have any idea in mind, validate it by building an MVP and get the early mover advantage.
Uber is and will always remain the prime example of how startups can get success in the sharing economy. Doesn’t matter what your industry is, you can implement the learnings from Uber’s growth and success story to thrive in the market. The company surely faced a lot of battles along the way, but it always emerged stronger and never fell. If you think you can’t scale in a market that is occupied by traditional practices, look at Uber and take some inspiration.
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