Authenticity sells, based on the quote below from incoming Uber CMO Rebecca Messina, who comes from Coca-Cola and, most recently, distillers Beam-Suntory. Dara Khosrowshahi, the CEO who has expanded Uber’s commitment to drivers and rider safety, is the face of the brand, if you follow this logic.
Uber is doing “the right thing” in terms of marketing, said Ms. Messina. “Dara is getting out there right in front, he is humble, he is full of integrity and he means what he says,” she added. “That is what consumers need to hear before any other messages from us.”
But Uber’s marketing challenges are three-fold, and Messina ticks two of the boxes:
1.) Drivers need to know that Uber is dedicated to maximizing their success.
2.) Riders need to know their experience will be safe, pleasant, and affordable.
3.) Investors need to believe Uber’s stratospheric valuation is legitimate before an IPO can be floated in 2019.
Messina does not have the background for investor relations, nor does she need to have it if the company can bring in the right bankers and investor relations people. It is interesting, at least to me, that Messina’s recent experience selling liquor is a strong entry to the late-night Uber-as-alternative-to-driving-under-the-influence. Safety and reliability will certainly be the centerpieces of Uber’s consumer message.