When Uber first hit Australian shores a few years ago, it did so under a bit of black cloud. Legal battles, concerns over safety and a vocal taxi industry left many Australians somewhat sceptical about the ride-sharing service. But, as time has gone on and it’s become legal in most states, I’m wondering what on earth did I do before Uber?
In an Uber home last week, the driver introduced me to GoCatch. It’s an Australian ride-sharing company, launched to take on Uber and promising cheaper pricing, which includes no surges – one of Uber’s only bug bears. My driver had signed up to drive for both and he eagerly encouraged me to use his promo code for a free first ride.
I’ve yet to trial GoCatch but it’s a brave move to attempt to take on Uber. Seen across the world as a technology golden child, the company has not only revolutionised the way we travel around cities, but also how a company markets itself.
From kittens visiting you at work to free ice cream, partnerships with the Red Cross to UberJET competitions, the Uber team have delivered a huge range of promotions, not to mention a stream of more functional services such as UberEATS and Uber for Business. I’m consistently impressed with the brand’s ability to find innovative ways to get people to download and use the app.
So, as GoCatch attempts to grab a piece of the ridesharing pie it will be really interesting to see whether it follows a similar approach or attempt to differentiate. GoCatch are currently offering Qantas frequent flyer points – definitely an attractive benefit if you’re a regular ride-sharer!
In the long term, who knows whether it will be successful enough to rival Uber. It will certainly need to find new ways to be relevant to Uber’s loyal existing customer base. Just this week, Kahoo, an Uber-rival in the UK was declared dead after six short months and $250 million in funding.
In the short term, I think a host of people will adopt GoCatch and use it alongside Uber. No surge pricing means it’s likely to attract people at peak periods and the right incentives could sway current Uber users.
Now, where’s that promo code…
Gemma Boucher is an Account Director at BCM