Uber may be a company who doesn't know exactly who they are, but they do seem to know what they need: drivers. As the company continues to try and expand the number of markets in which they operate, the only way they can support this is with enough drivers for the demand for rides. The problem they have encountered, however, is a general disinterest in their target demographic for people to use their own vehicles to drive others around.
This week, the company announced that, rather than trying to adjust their marketing toward their target, they have adjusted who their target is. As part of this reconsideration, Uber announced a new relationship with Live Reimagined, a division of AARP. For those who don't know, AARP is an organization that reaches out to the older population. They tend to offer discount on services, events and special incentives to their members.
In this case, the partnership with Uber will provide 2 things: a marketing channel for Uber to reach out to a new crop of potential drivers and a financial incentive to their members to give it a try. If a driver signs up through the AARP partnership and complete 10 trips, they will receive a $35 bonus. This bonus is intended to offset their first tank of gas, which should be about equivalent to the amount used on these 10 trips. Theoretically, then, this should create a zero cost opportunity to try out the service.
David Plouffe, Chief Advisor for Uber, said of the partnership,
Uber and AARP's Life Reimagined working together is a natural fit. Uber is used by many people over 40 to supplement their income, and it's a great way to make money, meet people and serve the community. We are thrilled to work with Life Reimagined to spread the word about this opportunity to their members throughout the US.
It will be interesting to see if the company does anything to try and offset the perceived dangers of driving for the company. Across the world there have been issues with riders, as well as riots by riders and taxi drivers, and it has certainly created a scenario in which drivers' personal and property safety could be in danger. As Uber attempt to woo older drivers with promises of supplemental income, protecting those drivers should become an essential priority.