Like everyone else here in the mean streets of Makati City, I commute to work and I think you’d be crazy not to with the traffic, parking issues and fees that cost just about as much as feeding a family of 4. Point is, it’s easier and cheaper. Our home association created a numbering system for cab riders convenience and safety, which is cool and all, but it doesn’t really make things easier and faster.
The Discussion and Recommendation
After talking to my bosses, Clayton Wood and CEO Itamar Gero, a few weeks back about an app that gets a car to pick you up, how convenient it was and how great the experience was, I decided to try something similar. So yesterday, while I was queuing for a cab (with mostly females – you’ll see why this matters later) I decided to use GrabTaxi/GrabCar. I was 8th in line. There’s no way I will make it to the office on time. I booked a cab which was 10 minutes away. I waited in silence thinking how good it would feel to cut that long line and how the people queuing would be pissed off, that because I am a tech savvy spoiled little nerd with a smart phone and GrabTaxi, I get to have what they’ve been waiting for, for almost an hour. Which I think is what all GrabTaxi users feel every time they get into a cab.
The Mixed Emotions
One of the great things about GrabTaxi is you get to see the cab’s exact location based on the map on your phone. I watched the small icon, hit stoplights, and make U-turns. Finally, it was at the corner of the street on my phone, so I stood up to look for it. I see a pink car turn the corner and look at my phone and wondered… I gotta tell you, every inch that pink car moved towards me, I was thinking, “No… No… Please no…” Then it stopped in front of me with the GrabTaxi logo on its side and the driver had a huge smile on his face calling out my name “Marc! Sir Marc!” The women in line behind me were laughing, giggling (which I didn’t really mind because it was really funny) and taking pictures. Why you might ask?
That’s why. I got in the cab feeling somewhat embarrassed. Of all the cabs that a man in a line full of women can get, I just had to get the Pink Sexy Fox cab! And when you get a cab before everyone else, ALL eyes are on you. Once you’re in it though, everything gets better because every stop that the cab made, there were always people waving and taking pictures. It was a head turner. Here I am, a corporate guy, getting dropped off on the streets of Ayala Avenue in a pink sexy fox car with foxxy ears and a tail to boot. I got off with my chin up as corporate suits passed me by. Whaddup?! I have to admit, it was awesome! Oh, did I tell you that the ride was FREE?!!
As a marketer, I’ve seen a lot of great automotive digital efforts lately, some from Vernon Sarne from Top Gear Philippines. This is another great one by the GrabTaxi Team. Ideas like this that translate an offline service into the digital space where it gets talked about socially and strengthens your brand — a great move by the people behind the marketing wheel in GrabTaxi. One thing I really like about GrabTaxi is its user interface and great usability. They really put some thought into user experience and this effort with their sexy cabs just proves they’re really pushing their marketing and brand even further. Great job guys! And if you are reading this, reach out to the driver Liberio Cruz. Kudos to him as he was very entertaining. Such an awesome character!