The first brand advantage

The train is too expensive, airplane is worse. You are passenger of your family car and you see that most of the cars are empty with only a driver and you think that instead of have 5 cars with 5 drivers, we could have 1 car with 1 driver and 4 passenger, you don’t have car or you don’t want to take yours because you are tired. Now happened a new concept : Covoiturage. Blablacar has the solution for you and has been the first one to be in the mind of the consumers at least in France.

Blablacar is a platform which will provide service of transportation. People who are taking their car and have some places left will put it in the platform with a certain amount which is quite low regarding the others transport and a certain luggage maximum depending of the size car. The platform will take a little commission in each operation.

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People are getting used to it. Also it has been possible thank to a strong presence in the social medias principally Facebook, where they have more than one millions of fans and 24 000 peoples talking about it. They use Facebook to relate histories about cars and riding and have some partnerships with some festivals in order to have an easier access to the huge amount of cars which can go there and have been carrying about customer’s satisfaction and security.

Sans titre

Now when people are going to look for this kind of services the first one will run in through their mind will be blablacar. At least in French market because they have been the first one in the market and the first one to reach customers minds even if others competitors as carpooling are also very strong competitors (as Coca-cola and Pepsi Co for example). You can see blablacar present in many countries. This theory has been introduced by Greg Stine, president of Polaris and enhance that being the leader in a market is not about the quality of the product or the marketing budget but about be the first on in the scene in others words first in our minds.

Langues

Could you give me others concrete examples which enhance this theory?

References:

http://www.polaris-inc.com/assets/pdfs/9_principles_of_branding.pdf

http://www.appannie.com/apps/ios/app/341329033/

Blablacar facebook page

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6 Responses to The first brand advantage

  1. ramintaaukstuolyte says:

    Hey, thank you for the information it was interesting to know about the brand more cause I only heard about them but have not actually engaged in the process. In Lithuania we have a similar “thing” which is launched only for facebook users called (direct translation: I drive from point A to point B) and they function in a similar way. People say how many places they have left in the car and at what time and where they are going.
    I think that this type of branding when the main focus is social media is great for such start ups as these organizations. Being the first ones in the market gives the brand an advantage to establish and settle down before any competitors come in. Therefore, social media is a perfect tool to spread the word as well as to create communities of people who use their service. I agree with the point that it is important to be the first ones in the consumers minds and I think that BLABLACARS is doing a great job in that since as a person who is not from France I have already heard about them.

    • cayuelajimenezalexandre says:

      Thank you for your comment Raminta, I am glad if my topic give to you more knowledge about “share car” services. People are satisfied by this service because of the monetary aspect of course, it’s a win-win situation where the driver will win a certain amount of money to pay is fuel for example and the passenger will pay less money than taking the train for example or his / her own car, so everybody is happy but is not only about the money aspect because most of those persons you are using this service are persons you want to communicate with others persons and share their experiences, so in this sense there are also satisfied because they are surrounded of people like them.

      About your Facebook concept, we are also using it in a smaller scale than those platforms but people use to do it because they don’t have to pay commission to blablacar, put they have a risk than the person doesn’t come and they will lose a place in the car and some money because now, most of the time (depend of the trip, sometimes you can choose) in blablacar the driver put the price, the passenger pay by credit card the website and the website who is an intermediary give the money to the driver, once the passenger has given the code that the driver has to put in the website in order to certify that they did the trip together, so it’s safer.

      Anyway, if you don’t have this concept out of Facebook, Raminta you already know what you have to do. 😉

  2. julesponsolle says:

    It is interesting to read your post because being French, I know exactly how the brand started and how it works now. I agree on one point, the fact that being first on the market can be an incredible competitive advantage. But you know that the Blablacar’s services changed since the company exists. At the beginning, you just had to register on the website without paying anything to the website but just to the driver (price per person established before the journey). Now, (what is almost comprehensive in order to earn more money), customers have to pay a contribution for the services provided by the website. I don’t think that the social media really helped the business of Blablacar. If people have the opportunity to pay less, they will catch this opportunity. Lots of groups (on facebook for instance) have been created in order to pay only the driver, as the facebook page our business school possesses to propose different journeys between students. But it is just my point of view 

    • Hey Jules,

      Your opinion is interesting and I respect it. I asked me the same question, has really Facebook helped Blablarcar service to growth? Well I came to the conclusion that if people from outside France know the brand, could be for many factors but one will be that when someone will search for reach a destination and will post it in Facebook, friends of this person will advise him/her to go in Blablacar web page and to search because they will have a wide variety of choice and not only in France anymore. Moreover if the brand is nowadays with more than one million of “Facebook liker”, I definitely think the social media had an impact or has an impact now because Blablarcar is interacting with the community and the community seem like appreciate and in exchange seem like loyal to them.

      Regarding to the concept of “Facebook page” to avoid fees, I already answered in Lili post so if you don’t mind to have a look there but I’m totally agree, when people will have the opportunity to pay less, they will catch it but you know is not always like that, some people don’t think about the opportunity and take the easier way and not everybody is using facebook are we are using, some people just don’t have time to search for it and take some risk with someone they don’t have information about.

  3. Lilly says:

    Blablacar also enjoys growing popularity in Germany. I did not know that the brand is French, so thank you for this information! I remember that we had another car sharing platform called http://www.mitfahrgelegenheit.de/ , but since their service is not for free anymore, people began to switch to alternatives. The funniest feature is that you can select which type of “communicator” you are 🙂 Hopefully, Blablacar does not make the same mistake like “Mitfahrgelegenheit” in Germany!

  4. Hey Lilly, thank for your interest in my post.

    I didn’t know this sharing platform beforehand but look like blablacar. Blablacar also called covoiturage is know the property of the SNCF which manage the railways market in France.

    As said in my post, Blablarcar is taking some fees as intermediary. It’s true that some people switch for some alternatives but are they really many and are the alternative always interesting? Indeed the commission that take Blablar is quite low regarding to the total amount of the transaction, for example for a travel of 20 € is maybe 2 € that the platform take, but when you know that for the same travel in train, its 80 €, you don’t care and you prefer to pay this 2€ of fees. In addition, the service is very well managed, you can see the driver, some commentaries of the last travelers, you know that you money will not be taking out of your account before you give the code to the driver and the most important, its fast! In some clicks you have directly access to all the information you need and you can order while in Facebook for example, you have to search all the post, you don’t know the person, it cannot come at the end and many others factors that push people to use a safe platform as blablacar but if you like to take risk and your quite adventurous, you will hope for Facebook.

    For me, I prefer to use Blablacar because it’s safer, I find what I want quickly and I meet new people but if I have to do a short travel that I use to go, I deal with some friends.

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