Starting with this post, the Creating Fans blog in cooperation with our strategic think tank Trendbüro will bring you regular product and service tests, all based around the question “Will it trend?” Every other week we choose a possibly life-changing innovation and have three of our employees put it through its paces. This week we tested the #UBERICECREAM offer. Yes, we know, this hardly classifies as “life-changing”, but it was a really hot day, ok?
When taxi drivers across Europe went on strike in protest against the Uber car sharing app last month, they did exactly what they tried to avoid: They popularized the taxi alternative across the old continent. Uber saw an 850 percent increase in sign-ups compared to the week before. We at Avantgarde have been fans of the app ever since it was launched in 2010 (and brought to Germany this past April). We like the fact that they have innovated a seemingly timeless business model (taxi driving), brought in a good deal of share economy (after all, everyone with a relatively new car can be an Uber driver), and help improve your every day life (it is often faster than a taxi, trackable, and a completely cash-free operation). On top of that, the social convenience that comes with being greeted by your name and being able to communicate with your driver even before he picks you up.
However, we were surprised they sent an email to their users offering them an ice cream delivery on last Friday. Which made us think: What if we tested this service and had a few of our workmates give us their opinion on it? We were eager to find out. We launched the Uber app on our phone, entered the promotion code, and waited for the ice cream to appear.
Here are some obvious pros: It took only 30 minutes from order to delivery and we were able to track the entire process. The driver was extremely nice, and handed out the delicious goods from Munich-based ice cream parlour Bartu. Judging from the trending hashtag #UBERICECREAM, at least in terms of publicity and virality on social media, this promotion was a smashing success.
And here are the cons: The ice cream appeared to be deep-frozen and took about 15 minutes to reach edible temperatures. Also, while the service was for free for new customers, regular Uber users were charged 15 Euros for 4 servings of ice cream (usually 1.70 euros each).
Here’s what our testers had to say:
Ben (25-year-old junior art director, DJ, cool cat)
What I think about this idea? Ordering ice cream via Uber comes in pretty handy when being at the office, unable to leave, but in want of some ice cream! Great idea, despite the fact that it is a little expensive, even though the price is certainly justified.
Greta (thirty something, account director, young mother, electronic dance music veteran)
What I think about this idea? I think the idea was great in terms of generating new business and clients for Uber. However, the quality of the ice cream wasn’t convincing. When I need a taxi next time I will give Uber a try, but when I crave ice cream I will still go to my local ice cream place.
Bärbel (senior accountant, the heart and soul of our company)
What I think about this idea?
It’s a neat idea and the ice was really tasty. I would use the app as well.
Will it trend? ★★☆☆☆