How to ID a Lyft or Uber Driver

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Rideshare identification

MINNEAPOLIS — Rideshare apps are popular and becoming more so, but as they do, will they need to deploy traditional marketing concepts to be a real force to compete with bus transit, taxi or railways? Maybe.

Slanted Mag seems to think so. They recently wrote that Uber and Lyft drivers should start thinking about how to drive as entrepreneurs rather than just chasing a paycheck. This involves being more proactive. They likened it to the bread delivery business. For example, Brownberry/Thomas bread products are delivered by independent route owners. That means it is their business, therefore they treat it as such.

Uber and Lyft drivers that do the same will compete better in the sharing marketplace. Offering services within their vehicles is another way to add value. They should also create their own personal brands as independent drivers for Uber or Lyft, or whatever rideshare service they are using. The photo in this article shows how the Utah Transit Authority used vehicle graphics to advertise their rideshare program. The vehicle graphics are like a mobile billboard and identify the brand well.

Those drivers that are independent contractors are providing a local service to their community. A branding effort will enhance their ability to appeal to local customers both looking for a ride but also wanting to develop a relationship possibly with a local driver they can trust and rely upon to meet their transportation needs. When you develop your own style and brand as a driver, you will be able to better serve these needs because you will invariably be acting as a business owner, operating in your customers' interests to better develop that consistency.

As a driver, you will need to be able to make that initial impression and also develop a local identity for your business. That is what branding is all about. It is also about experiential marketing, that is creating the best possible customer experience. In the same way that apps were developed to do this, traditional methods can also help to create buzz and a certain level of expectation for consumers.

This, in turn, will help you develop better customer service skills, a portfolio of business and a good business plan. You will still likely have to follow the policies for advertising from Uber, Lyft, etc. but those companies do a good job of digital advertising and marketing. Complement this with traditional forms of marketing like business cards, print ads, vehicle wraps or other forms of vehicle identification.

Some ideas have been generated, but it is likely that the drivers will become more entrepreneurial and demand better traditional market to grow their own contracting gig with more leads and sales. Right now, Lyft offers pink mustaches for vehicle grills and Uber offers some type of placard for the window.

Other companies have an opportunity to provide marketing services to rideshare services and their independent operators.

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