Launching a new app-ordered car service for university students that was better than uber or Lyft with fixed pricing, new company-owned (green) Prius vehicles, and uniformed, clean-shaven, professionally trained, ex-military drivers
“Launching a new product like uRide—an app-ordered car service for University students—required a program that would reassure parents and speak with a different and youthful tone and manner to the young Millennial students we serve. Chief Outsiders nailed the planning and execution, orchestrating smart and highly targeted advertising and media buying.”
-Robert Dicks, CEO, uRide
- In small towns where many large universities are found (e.g. University of Alabama, Texas A&M, etc.) the cab companies and bus systems are terrible, there is little to no parking for students’ personal cars, and uber and Lyft are market priced (can cost more than cabs) with sometimes poorly screened, unsafe drivers and cars. Launching a new solution with little funding for building brand awareness and trial was the challenge for uRide.
- The uRide solution was to create a superior transportation option in terms of reliability, cost and safety
- Prices to be non-elastic
- Cars: new Prius (green) vehicles
- uRide drivers are uniformed (embroidered knit shirts and slacks), clean-shaven, professionally trained, and all are conscientious ex-military (they will even escort the passenger to the building’s front door)
- The peace of mind for parents that comes from uRide is a huge competitive advantage (affordable reliable transport and drinking and driving preventative)
- The app-driven aspect gave uRide a high tech/high touch (great service) potential positioning
Instead of spending to run launch advertising to support all markets, uRide was counseled by Chief Outsiders to create a singular test market (College Station/Texas A&M and Blinn College) to demonstrate ROI and proof of concept (that new market launch advertising and a low-cost loyalty marketing continuity program thereafter could be afforded based on incremental sales.
Chief Outsiders found the client a talented ad agency (Tilted Chair) to develop a launch campaign separately targeting students and their parents with modest funding. Chief Outsiders managed the implementation program and even pitched the business plan and proof of concept results to VCs.
- Tripled the number of student memberships within the first 30 days of campaign launch
- Secured second stage financing from angels and VCs to allow expansion to other universities to begin (market number 2, the University of Texas at Austin launched in September 2014)
- Landed new technology partner to develop second-stage app and in-car advertising on embedded touch-screen tablets