The winter Olympics are soon approaching and as we've all seen before, big events mean big possibilities (both good and bad). And in order to eliminate surprises, prevent disasters, and (as any smart brand would do) take advantage of opportunities, one must plan ahead.
Pyeonchang, South Korea
Uber & South Korea as it stands
Uber has had a rocky history when it comes to South Korea. They entered the country’s market in mid 2013, launching UberBlack. However, many laws existed at the time, restricting riders to particular sets of people (foreign travelers or disabled passengers for example). While technically illegal, Uber continued to operate within the country. However, once they company launched UberX, where regular drivers use their own cars, it seems lines were crossed and they were forced to shutdown. As of late Uber has been slowly rebuilding their relationship with South Korea. While UberX still remains illegal, UberBlack and UberTaxi still remain functioning services within the country.
-Brand rebuilding ties with government
-Riders default to local competitor Kakao Taxi
While there were countless things we could take into account, we focused on four core effecting factors and what the future held for them.
Where would transportation be in two years? Self-driving cars are a definite part of our future, but they likely won’t be available for mass use by 2018. What other innovations could play a role? What other forms of transportation could be available or even just improved? We had to consider all possibilities, even the ones as simple as accessible and reliable internal Wi-Fi. Any one thing could change the game for Uber.
What will attending a big event be like in 2018? Who will be motivated to attend these events? Will we travel to these grand events more often, as traveling becomes easier to do? Or will we avoid them as global turmoil increases travel fears? For example, the 2016 summer games have seen a drastic drop in attendees due to the Zika virus.
Being that Uber relies on its app to connect to consumers, the future of technology was important. What would change in regards to cell networks, Wi-Fi connections, or phones in general mean? Would we be accessing Uber in a different way? Would alternative forms of connecting derail Uber’s intention of creating a seamless ridesharing platform?
Airbnb has completely changed the way we travel. What more will they do in two years? Will new competitors rise? Will old players, such as traditional hotels or hostels find new ways to disrupt the category and win back consumers?