Let's strip ourselves of anything that makes us even a tiny bit unique

Lyft is toning down it’s quirkiness, per an email sent to users about how it’s okay not to fist-bump drivers or sit in the front seat.

Here’s part of the email:


I think it’s a mistake for Lyft to tone down it’s brand. 

Especially now, when Uber is under heavy attack for having a sketchy corporate culture, crude drivers, and a misogynistic CEO. Lyft should be playing up the fact that they care about people and are friendly - not making themselves a commodity.

I agree that sometimes you don’t want to talk to a Lyft driver. But drivers/passengers weren’t really doing that as of late anyway. Lyft should reduce the pressure people might feel about talking to drivers, but do it in a positive way. For example: “Friendly, always. Conversation, optional.”

Uber is much larger than Lyft in all ways. It has 12x the revenue of Lyft, offered 7x more rides in the US, and has a much bigger international presence. 

You can’t outdo the incumbent by being more like the incumbent.

That’s like Method soap trying to beat Tide by being more generic, affordable, and inoffensive than Tide. That’s like American Apparel trying to beat the Gap by offering more widely-cut t-shirts in navy, white, and brown. 

If Lyft wants to win, they need to ramp up strategic partnerships and business development to take some chunks of market share. Ride-sharing is becoming more common. It’s a race to be the app that everyone uses as the default.

But it shouldn’t be a race about being more “me too.”

MarketingWes KaoMarketing