THE SITUATION

 

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. 

SCENARIO PLANNING

Brand
 
UBER
Location
 
Pyeonchang, South Korea
Year
 
2018

CONTEXT

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.
Functioning Services:
 

-UberBlack

-UberTaxi

Country Sentiment:

 

-Brand rebuilding ties with government

-Riders default to local competitor Kakao Taxi

Futures Considered
While there were countless things we could take into account, we focused on four core effecting factors and what the future held for them.
Transportation:
 

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.

Mass Events:
 

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.

Technology:
 

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?

Accommodations:
 

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?

The challenge here was to think about the future, but only the immediate future. We had to be logical about what possibilities were realistic and which were thinking too far ahead. Our research had to be precise and our analysis had to be optimistic, yet grounded.
Atendees are. . . 
 
-A part of an athlete’s entourage
-Sports fans
-Travel aficionados
-Bucket-listers
-Sponsors
-Volunteers
-Sports, travel or news writers
-Locals
Steakholders include. . . 
 
-Drivers
-Riders
-Uber corporate
-PyeongChang locals
Constants
These things we knew would remain the same, despite the scenario: Weather, Traffic, Locals being displaced, Uber as a foreign company

SCENARIOS

 

We created four different scenarios using two key drivers of change, dispersion and app performance. We found these to be high in uncertainty as well as impact, making them critical scenario drivers. 

App performance
As per usual with all high volume events, there are bound to be problems with technology and cell service. While one can plan for such events and supply as much preemptive setup, the chance and severity of possible problems is unpredictable. We lumped all technology issues together, including cell service, app malfunctions, and so forth.
Dispersion
With Airbnb as the official alternative accommodations partner to the Olympics, the possibility for major change in where people stay, as well as how many people attend, was evident. There would be more affordable stays, meaning more attendees. However, this also meant staying further away, increasing the need of drivers and length of rides.

STRATEGY

Get there. Your day belongs to you.

We decided to leverage Uber's current strategy, ‘Get there. Your day belongs to you.’ We see this strategy being dual purposed. The first (Get there) is to state that they are in the business of moving people; because Uber’s ultimate goal is to get you where you need to be. The second (Your day belongs to you) states that Uber is in the business of giving you time. They want your day to be spent doing the things you want to do, not getting to your destination.
 
By utilizing this strategy, we were able to assure all bases were covered. It allowed us to position Uber to its strengths as well as to what consumers needed most in that particular scenario.

HIGH DISPERSION

FRUSTRATION

LOVE

BAD APP

PERFORMANCE

INDIFFERENCE

SATISFACTION

GOOD APP

PERFORMANCE

LOW DISPERSION

LOVE

FRUSTRATION

INDIFFERENCE

SATISFACTION

1/2