Lyft Uses Election to Boost Public Image

Sometimes in marketing, timing is everything. Other times, it’s about finding a niche need and meeting it in a way that catches attention. When you can do both, well, you get Lyft’s “Ride to Vote” campaign.

Fresh off one of its best years ever, bolstered by a higher public image and its chief competition dealing with a string of PR crises, Lyft has introduced an idea that is sure to get them positive press. The initiative encourages people with transportation needs to take advantage of special deals on Election Day.

The press release breaks down the nuts and bolts of the program: “it is estimated that over 15 million people didn’t vote in 2016 because of transportation issues… That’s why we’re providing 50% off rides across the country, and free rides to underserved communities that face significant obstacles to transportation…”

The campaign was announced on the lead up to primary election season, giving Lyft an excellent platform from which to launch this initiative. By focusing on a specific issue and offering a concrete reason for the move, Lyft comes across as caring, thoughtful, and forward-thinking… a company that is looking out for its customers.

By placing the need they are responding to out in front of the campaign, Lyft reinforces the idea that the brand is socially conscious in a constructive way, as well as committed to trying to help solve the problem.

Couple that with the timing — the campaign was announced in the midst of primary election season — and you have a winning combination. Because people who are talking about the election are also talking about the importance of voting, a company that comes in and says, “We get it and we’re here to help” wins a ton of goodwill for itself.

Plus, once people download the Lyft app and use it to get to the polls, they will be more likely to use Lyft in the future, thanks to that positive experience. And, of course, even those who don’t need Lyft to make it out to vote, have a specific reason to smile when they think about the brand’s commitment to helping people get their voices heard.

While it’s true that, in many cases, negative emotional reactions can be stronger and last longer, a specific positive emotional connection tends to cause people to like and trust a brand more, especially when that brand follows through with excellent customer service.

So, it’s possible this campaign will be a big win for Lyft. What it will definitely be is a big opportunity to start a customer relationship that could last.

 

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