Hey, Girlfriends! Lookin' good on the curb. But those shoes would walk with more style steppin' out of that black car behind you. GO LIMO!
The news that the taxi industry has smartened up in its battle against Uber with the recent launch of the CURB app highlights another front in the ground transportation industry’s competition with TNCs.
So far, the focus has been almost exclusively on the regulatory front. What’s needed is an equally strong push on the marketing front. Here's where the limousine industry has the most potential of any ground transportation service. But the sleeping giant has run out of snooze alerts.
Along with promoting an app comes the image. Uber and CURB are apps marketed mostly to young, urban, corporate professionals who value instant mobility in major cities. These are Uber’s bread n’ butter.
Now if Uber can do it, and the taxi industry is doing it, the limousine industry can do it better. Think about the terms: UBER vs. CURB vs. LIMO.
Yo, Dude! She'll be more impressed on the first date if you're ballin' it up in a LIMO. Just GO LIMO, and see what happens tonight!
- UBER has spent huge sums in the last five years making its brand a verb. Younger riders by now know what UBER means, as in “Let’s Uber to the club.” But Uber is still a new term, without a legacy or story, and it will take far more exposure and marketing to get it beyond its core base, especially to potential clients older than the beautiful people pictured in marketing materials.
- CURB is a clever term for the taxi-industry, and shows a sincere, savvy push for younger riders as CURB'S official promotional press photos in this blog post reveal. Beautiful people can ride in cabs, too, CURB implies. But CURB takes some explaining, since you are not quite sure at first what type of vehicles it refers to. All vehicles can pull up to curbs.
- LIMO, on the other hand, packs the punch of multiple meanings all-in-one. Everyone knows what a LIMO is. It’s a legacy concept with a long history. All generations have favorable impressions of “LIMO,” including younger people who use stretches and limo buses for proms, weddings and parties. LIMO can refer to a sedan, a stretch or an SUV. LIMO implies black, classy, sleek, discreet, hip, safe, VIP and sophisticated in one simple term. You don’t have to explain LIMO to anyone, or teach the public what it means.
And therein lies the vast potential for marketing in the LIMO industry in an increasingly app-driven world. “GO LIMO” would be a powerful promotional name for a LIMO industry app.
And just picture the marketing slogans.
How about: “Keep It Safe & Smooth: Just Go LIMO”
Or: “Keep It Simple, Smarty. Just Go LIMO”. Another version: "K.I.S.S. In A LIMO"
Or: “Swing With Style. Go LIMO”
Hey there, Hip Girl! You know how to move, but if you're going to sit in the back, make sure your ride is all black. Just GO LIMO!
To make this work, the limousine industry would have to market an image beyond that of corporate travelers and top one-percenters over the age of 40. Ditch the gray-haired rich guy in a suit with the young lady next to the black Lincoln in front of the Ritz (Oh, please), or the woman in a business suit talking with laptop and cell phone in the back of a luxury sedan. LIMO already has those core markets.
It’s time to go after UBER on its client turf. LIMO needs to pursue the upper middle class, and break into the under-40 demo groups. Nothing would be cooler for a younger urbanite than to have an easy, classy way to “GO LIMO.”
Don’t let Uber and TNCs take the spotlight. The chauffeured transportation industry has all the resources, infrastructure, knowledge, capital, equipment, and know-how to beat UBER, CURB and whatever else comes along. Now, go connect and coordinate.
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