Industry Research

Limo Industry Prepares To Pivot In New Directions

Posted on July 2, 2014 by - Also by this author

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Scott Solombrino, Ron Sorci and Vince Wolfington on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at the LCT Leadership Summit in Miami Beach, Fla. Listen to what these leaders have to say. They know what's coming.
Scott Solombrino, Ron Sorci and Vince Wolfington on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at the LCT Leadership Summit in Miami Beach, Fla. Listen to what these leaders have to say. They know what's coming.

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — LCT’s annual Leadership Summits often spark vital conversations about the course of the chauffeured transportation industry. This year’s event, held May 18-20, went even further. Experts explored in tandem the three mega-trends transforming this industry: Social media, technology, and service delivery. How operators respond to these unstoppable trends will determine the look and function of the industry in as soon as a few years.

Social Media Backstory
Keynoter Gary Vaynerchuk explained the underlying shift in customer attitudes and culture, and how it will affect business. Vaynerchuk, the founder of winelibrary.com turned social media entrepreneur and author, urged operators to go on the offense in relating to their clients. “We are battling for people’s attention. If you want my attention, you need to be where I am. Technology is sucking us all in. Run your business the way you are using personal technology and social media.”

That means businesses must compete in a world of everyone looking at smartphones and tablets, everywhere, about all the time when not sleeping. “Social media is word-of-mouth on scale,” Vaynerchuk said. “Every business will go into the media business, applying old business practices into new platforms.” Building a distinct brand and knowing how to talk about it on social media can create what Vaynerchuk calls a “value proposition.”

“Use information from people’s calendar schedules to assess ride needs and demands,” he advised. “You have customers’ names and should do something unique for them. Everyone is revealing consumer preferences via social media.”

Social media spurs a more youthful culture, as evidenced by 42-52-year-old women who are the fastest growing “selfie” demographic, he said. That means they love to take pictures of themselves and put them on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram. “We are living in the youth-i-fication of society — how we shop, things we do, entertainment. The average 45-year-old woman is acting like a 29-year old woman. We act much younger than our parents did at our ages. Technology is dragging us [back to] youth and changing our expectations.”

Youthfulness, with its penchant for speed and instant gratification, can save time when applied to the consumer arena. And time is money. “Limo companies that create a new value proposition to capitalize on will succeed in the world of Uber,” Vaynerchuk said. “Saving time matters and is a priority. Once people understand the economic value of time, supply is easy. People want to use the service because of the value of time.”

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