The Streisand Effect of an Uber Awkward Lyft
With their use of technology putting users back in control, Uber and Lyft are causing a stir in the taxi industry, and a headache to regulators. Andrew and Ian discuss the Streisand Effect of the dirty tactics used by Uber to bully Lyft, who have seen increased awareness, reputation and business in return.
Ian: The Streisand effect of an Uber awkward Lyft! What’s uber awkward about this?
Andrew: I have no idea.
Ian: Alright, Uber and Lyft are both new taxi services using technology.
Andrew: Relatively new.
Ian: Relatively new technology.
Andrew: No I mean the companies are relatively new
Ian: They are relatively new. They are causing a little bit of a stir because the law makers and the regulators of taxis are a little bit on hop. So they’re trying to shut them down or at least trying to regulate them more than what they have been. People have been doing what they normally do with any technology that is like this; they have been given the ability to organize themselves which is why their popularity on Facebook is so huge. Once again, people are organizing themselves into cars, sharing rides and so on. Does that sound a bit ominous?
Andrew: It does. But how does this relate to Barbra here? This is Barbra, meet Barbra. She’s our mascot.
Ian: She’s a bit quiet today though, she’s normally a little bit chirpier, probably needs another coffee. This says Mad Scient-Barb
Andrew: Hold on we better do the profile shot, there you go.
Ian: Oh that’s better, excellent.
Andrew: The Barbra Streisand effect, how does it work with this?
Ian: In this particular case what’s been happening is because of the disruption in the rivalry between these kinds of companies, Uber has been trying to aggressively muscle Lyft out of the way.
Ian: You tell me.
Andrew: You read it, I didn’t read it. In my humble opinion, they’re been doing some really dirty tactics such as setting up ghost phones to ring up Lyft and organize a car to be sent out to an address, and then not turn up or cancel the call so they’re taking up the time of the Lyft drivers. Sometimes they even put Uber drivers or employees into the Lyft cars as a passenger and then the employee’s try to get the Lyft guys to come and work for Uber, it’s just not right.
Ian: That was one of the ones I thought was really strange. You hop into the car of your opposition and try and convince them to work for you.
Andrew: I just think that’s dirty business. Well it’s probably not illegal but it’s just not right.
Ian: It’s absolute scum it’s like the equivalent of those people that used to get paid or probably still get paid to click on other people’s ads to deplete their spend.
Andrew: On their AdWord accounts.
Ian: Yeah, so they run out of money and they get non-targeted leads.
Andrew: It’s also like poaching employees.
Ian: Yes. That’s been going on for years, it still goes on.
Andrew: But until I actually read this I’d never heard of Lyft before.
Ian: I hadn’t either. So this is the Streisand Effect at work in a number of ways really, creating more and more awareness for Lyft, Lyft is looking like the good guy because they’re being bullied by Uber and Lyft is going to get more business out of this I expect.
Andrew: Well you’d hope so.
Ian: Plus Lyft has a big pink mustache in front of their cars. What do you think about that?
Andrew: Yeah… not much, but it’s not a prerequisite though apparently. I’ve read that drivers can have it if they want to look different so they can be recognized. I wouldn’t, personally I wouldn’t hop into a car with a pink mo on it, you’re advertising ‘hey I’m getting a cheap ride here’, what does that say about me?
Ian: Yeah, well maybe they should advertise something else that’s pink, what about a pink flamingo? The pink Barbra could be the mascot, the pink flamingo.
Andrew: Well that’s not so far-fetched. A company I used to work for that’s no longer around so I can mention it, it was called Phone Talk. We were driving around in these little black vans with a giant plastic phone on the top of the van.
Ian: I remember those, I saw one of those.
Andrew: I felt like an absolute tool driving that thing.
Ian: Yes I probably saw one of those and said in my mind ‘what a tool’. But yes.
Andrew: But it was effective, we actually got stopped in car parks when we were grabbing some lunch or something, all we had to do was open the back doors, pull out our little deck chairs and sit there and connect people.
Ian: Billboard on wheels.
Andrew: I felt like an absolute idiot but anyway. So pink mo on your car, still some people love it, it works whatever.
Ian: Maybe that is what you need to do to get decent reception, just have a really big phone attached to your car.
Andrew: It was plastic.
Ian: Oh, well that doesn’t really work.
Andrew: If you flicked a switch it lit up, it looked like a driving billboard although that’s not far-fetched anyways.
Ian: The thing that irked me about this, yes I said irks, look it up on Google. I think that if you’re confident in your product, if you’re confident in what you’re doing, for god’s sake don’t try these sorts of tactics to muscle your competitors out of the way. Just run a great business, run a great service, hire great people.
Andrew: Just do it better.
Ian: Do it better, exactly.
Andrew: I guess it’s like any business, there’s competition everywhere you look, but you differentiate yourself, you make yourself better, you offer a better service in whatever shape or form that is, that’s up to you. But don’t do dirty tactics because you’ll get caught out and you’ll have the opposite effect, the Streisand Effect of what you’re trying to achieve. We tried that in nicely.
Ian: Beautiful. Nobody likes a bully. Thanks very everybody [email protected] is our email, we just got a digital health check just literally before we came into the room.
Andrew: We did. And they corrected your spelling of pigeon.
Ian: They did, I love that. We’ve got a little bit of a trick question on our contact us page, if you pick carrier pigeon you’re probably not our ideal client.
Andrew: You can’t afford anything!
Ian: That’s right so thank you for the health check inquiries, keep them coming. We’ll look at your website and give you a bit of an idea of what we can do for you or what you need to do on your website to improve the performance.
Andrew: And as usual, any complaints, any queries, worries…
Ian: …Call my home phone.
Ian: 555… Who is that? Vermont.
Andrew: Someone somewhere.
Ian: Thanks guys.
Andrew: That’s Barbra’s number.
Ian: Yeah that’s Barbra’s home phone number. No it’s Beverly Hills so she would be 310
Ian: That would be a great phone number 310 90210. Alright see you guys!
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