Over the past months, Brisbane has been stormed by the emergence of the new rideshare company DiDi. It seems like overnight they have become the market leader in ridesharing and put world leaders Uber on the backfoot. I don't really know how the next few months will pan out and whether or not DiDi is actually here to stay but I can say that they have completely shaken the marketplace. Here is what I have learnt from their elaborate marketing campaign and introduction to the Brisbane market.
First To Market Doesn't Matter
If there is one thing that we have learnt from DiDi, it is that first to market doesn't matter. We've already seen this with the likes of Apple and the iMac and Richard Branson with Virgin Airlines. Many people thought that Uber couldn't be knocked off its perch and they still might not be but DiDi has come to play. They've improved on the foundations which were laid by the likes of Ola and Uber. Their App experience in my opinion, is the best we have seen. It’s slick, easy to navigate and doesn’t include the niggly bugs that seem to plague rideshare Apps.
DiDi is a perfect example of how you can shake up an established market by attacking it with a different approach. Their focussing heavily on the benefits which their drivers receive as well as offering extreme sign up benefits which haven’t been matched by any other provider! These include $20 ride coupons for the consumer and 100% earnings for the drivers during the first 6 weeks of their launch.
Gorilla Marketing Works
Everywhere I go I seem to hear or see DiDi. Some would argue that this isn't Gorilla marketing but mass marketing. However, I believe DiDis stroke of genius was by leveraging the manpower of the drivers on the ground. By offering drives substantial perks and discount codes to hand out to rideshare clients, whilst they are providing a service for another provider is pure brilliance. DiDi is using the market dominance of Uber and Ola to help promote their own product! And drives are now leaving these companies to focus more on the services provided by DiDi.
Understanding Your Target Market
DiDi has nailed this on the head. The rideshare industry has two markets; One being the drives and the other being the passengers, without one you can't have the other. DiDi is marketing and promoting to both sides of the coin. They are taking lower commissions off the drives and offering substantial discounts and sign up benefits to the riders. Because rideshare is an already established market, DiDi doesn't use corny terms like "Getting your there faster" or "Going Places, We'll get you their" because these are expected from our rideshare provides. The headlines I've seen are more direct and to the point; "Switch to low fare rideshare" directly targeted to a consumer looking for a cheaper ride. As well as "Start driving towards better earnings" directed at offering the drivers fewer commissions and more money to take home. These two headlines are heavily targeted towards financial benefits, something which I am always sceptical of when it comes to marketing but time will only tell if it pays off.
User Experience is Everything
With the introduction of DiDi we have seen what looks to be the immediate death of Ola. Interestingly, Ola was offering very similar perks to DiDi but their product, branding and business image just lacked a cutting edge feel. Their App was clunky, riddled with bugs and their marketing just didn't have the sharpness of Uber and DiDi. Both drives and users were put off by the poor user experience of the Ola App and despite still having a reasonable following the emergence of DiDi and the crispness of their product casts a very large shadow over their future.
So whats next? Will we see the collapse of Uber and monopoly of DiDi?
I don't think so, I actually think Uber was probably well aware of the situation a long time before it unfolded. I'm excited to see how these companies continue to leverage technology and adapt the way we travel on a daily basis...Driverless cars, Long term vehicle leasing, Hoverboards?? Watch this space because it's going to be exciting!