Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
28 August 2017
Uber CEO faces tremendous opportunity
It’s not often that a successful brand has a chance to completely rebrand as though it’s starting from scratch. But new Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is facing just that. A revival of a brand whose problems create opportunity.
Khosrowshahi, the CEO of Expedia, is reportedly being offered the Uber CEO job after co-founder Travis Kalanick resigned in June. He takes over a company rocked by internal scandal, lawsuits and too much overhead.
However, this is a plum job. No, seriously. Uber’s sales are rising 17% during the second quarter despite all the hoo-hah. Despite competition from the likes of Lyft, Uber remains the car lift brand of choice.
That’s why it’s surprising Jeff Immelt, former CEO of GE, pulled out of consideration. (Although reports suggest it was because of a conflict with Uber’s board.) The opportunity for the new Uber CEO is enormous.
Oh, there are challenges. Uber still operates in the red, which means Khosrowshahi must cut costs and realign its business structure. Uber is also still looking for several replacements in the C-suite after a mass exodus following the scandals.
“The advantages of branding Uber are numerous. It owns first-to-market advantage. It still has preference. Its technology remains simple, easy to use and downright sleek.”
And, while Uber still reigns supreme, Lyft is gaining ground. But the challenges facing Uber can be overcome with sound business practices.
And a new way to think about branding that has tremendous brand equity.
What the new Uber CEO must do
The advantages of branding Uber are numerous. It owns first-to-market advantage. It still has preference. Its technology remains simple, easy to use and downright sleek.
All Khosrowshahi needs to do is give the Uber brand greater meaning because the opportunity is now. There’s no better time than when new leadership enters the fray and perception of the brand hangs in the balance.
Does Uber need a complete brand repair? Not completely. Instead, it needs to find the most emotionally intensive trigger in the market and align its brand with it. More importantly, Uber has permission to do just that. The marketplace is watching Uber closely to see how it re-emerges.
It’s positioned to take advantage of its past problems, if that makes sense. The potential has never been greater than it is now.
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