Uber is Disruption. It’s almost pure disruption, including in its ethical approach. But, one area of Uber disruption that might have gone below the radar is inside big business. One recent Uber driver gave me a smart insight into how Uber is disrupting ordinary businesses, too. It’s much like services such as Dropbox, Google Hanghouts or Skype that ended up as embedded business tools without having passed through the purchasing or IT department. As this Uber driver recounted to me, a major industrial company in France solicited RFPs (aka bid for their business) with regard to its on-demand corporate taxi services for the company’s managers.
Whereas all the other major taxi companies and chauffeur services dutifully handed in their offers, Uber did not show up for the bid. When the head of Uber France was finally reached by the company’s procurement’s head, Uber just replied: “Why should we bid, we’re already in.”
Naturally, the French company management didn’t take kindly to this. But, they were then faced with a terrible conundrum: how to refuse to reimburse Uber receipts and not piss off its employees?
Businesses are being disrupted by myriad technologies that share a common thread: not invented here. As a result, businesses are being disrupted in many aspects of their business, not just in the final good or service they are selling.
Uber disruption in its DNA
Uber is disrupting the transportation industry and governments around the world; but in its very DNA, it is a form of disruption for business in general. People are benchmarking the services and apps against the Uber experience. Uber has become to some degree a transcendent reference point for consumers everywhere.
The Uber benchmark
Questions every brand marketer needs to ask him/herself:
- How does your app stand up versus the Uber app?
- How does your brand’s UX (user experience) stack up against Uber’s?
- How much convenience and value does your brand provide versus Uber?
All is not tranquil at Uber, to put it mildly (including the big achilles heel issue — its drivers!). All the same, the Uber disruption is happening — unknowingly — within many businesses. It’s like water.
Your thoughts and reactions welcome!