CAREEM and You’re There

What can we learn from Careem?

Careem is a mobile app to hire a chauffeur-driven car service. The app operates in most cities of the Gulf countries, as well as in Pakistan and Egypt. A brilliant idea similar to the US Brand Uber that also launched in the region, recently. So coming back to my question: What can we learn from Careem (i.e. its Brand Promise)?

  • Careem’s Business Strategy is crystal clear to passengers, travelling from one point to another through mobile app booking
  • The Business Strategy requires a Focused Brand with great Values. Careem’s customer experience starts from the moment the customer books a car online till the drop off
  • This leads to 2 types of experiences for the Customer/Passenger: Digital (the mobile app) and the Service (Chauffeur-driven Car)
  • Careem’s promise ‘And You’re There’ is simple yet precise and requires humans with basic skills and good behavior to deliver the experience. Great example on how Careem came up with a promise that balances across all touch points with minimal threats to the Brand
  • Careem can manage the Digital promise but not chauffeurs and/or cars. They’re 3rd party service providers but Careem was able to to train and share the Brand Values to ensure that the Brand Promise is a reality for their customers
  • If economy cars are not available to book, Careem ultimately finds the solution and sends Business Class cars
  • Careem’s Brand Promise struggles in areas such as King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh (a distant pick-up point within the city’s parameters). Hardly any driver is available in the area for a late night arrival and waiting for them could take up to an hour. It is in such locations, the Promise ‘And You’re There’ fails leading to frustrated users/passengers

Careem is a Focused Brand with great amount of simplicity. The Brand is perceived as some-what affluent. While Careem suffers from distant touch points, the company still manages to keep the promise intact

This is the difference between those that think of Brand as a promise to thier audience vs those that think of brands as mere logos used for Billboard/Out-door Advertising

Said Baaghil is the ‘Unconventional’ Branding and Marketing Adviser to reputable companies in the Middle East, author of many reputable books including the ‘The Power of Belonging’ and a Speaker. Baaghil appeared in books published by America’s experts on Branding and Marketing such as Dan Hill and Libby Gill. Most recently Baaghil was interviewed by world renown Brand Consultancy firm Siegel+Gale on Branding in the Middle East

He can be reached on AskBaaghil.com

The article was first published on Linkedin Pulse on 31st December, 2014

Saudi Market and Branding

Commodity Yes! Brands No!” is the mantra of the Saudi Market, unfortunately

The Saudi market is Commodity-driven (Price) and not on Brands’ Desire. Over the years, Multinationals have used local markets within the region as their Trading Forte and introduced basic forms of Marketing such as the Marketing Mix and Advertising which is why today we have Commodities instead of Brands

We have consumers who are nurtured to be Product Quality and Price Sensitive rather than nurtured to follow their desire for a Brand which is why Saudi products will always suffer from an increase in the price bar due to shopper habits in the Kingdom i.e. Commodity-driven (Price), not Brand Exclusivity

Over the years Companies in the region have used tactical strategies to create Product Awareness rather than implementing Brand Desire strategy and the way the status quo prevails, it doesn’t look much promising

Said Baaghil is the ‘Unconventional’ Branding and Marketing Adviser to reputable companies in the Middle East, author of many reputable books including the ‘The Power of Belonging’ and a Speaker. Baaghil appeared in books published by America’s experts on Branding and Marketing such as Dan Hill and Libby Gill. Most recently Baaghil was interviewed by world renown Branding Consultancy firm Siegel+Gale on Branding in the Middle East

He can be reached on AskBaaghil.com

My Mind Predicts…

Within the next 10 years Facebook messaging will take over Emails. Furthermore, the number of social media users will most likely equal the population of the entire Asian continent. Facebook will maintain its position as the largest outlet of Social Media and instantaneous communication

Social Media’s interactiveness, one on one and channeling will be the number one source of reference and trust for consumers to relate their Brands with. Public Relations, as an industry, will flourish thanks to Twitter, while traditional Advertising, as an industry, could hit the slumber, but what will top them all is The Power of Belonging on Social Media.  The Middle Eastern social media users will grow in numbers and might even reach to 50% of the regional population in areas such as North Africa and the Levant, also witnessing steady growth are the Gulf States. The leading saleable industry from the Middle East on social media will be companies that root their marketing in Social responsibilities due to the current changes and public demands. On the global front, the following industries will flourish enormously on social media: Education, Apparel, FMCGs and Entertainment

Let’s take the Banking industry as an example. It will change its image from Conservative to Liberal specifically on their spending outlooks. The change will also be on products and services, which would include the fall of the ‘Grand Pa Joe’ as a logo. If the CEO is a social media addict and smart to follow the trends then consider seeing pictures of more relatable logos on several funds. The Credit card market will witness astonishing growth in the Middle East, while the ecommerce industry will witness substantial growth. The regional Financial industry such as Investment Banking will suffer to capture the new generation of audience unless they follow the current trends and believe in Marketing

The cell phone users on Data packages will double in numbers and we will witness an enormous decline on landlines, but the question still remains: would the landline become extinct? All regional newspapers and magazine will head online and print copies will be at minimal, some might even just disappear with the wind. I might sound ‘off the wall’ to you right now, but reality will demonstrate what I just said, so catch the drift before it’s too late

Oh, one more thing, PayPal is now fully operational in Saudi. Our foresightedness will change the region and a new generation of proactive minds will lead our Brands to be consumed by global audience. I’m lovin’ it!

Said Baaghil is the ‘Unconventional’ Branding and Marketing Adviser to reputable companies in the Middle East, author of many reputable books including the ‘The Power of Belonging’ and a Speaker. Baaghil appeared in books published by America’s experts on Branding and Marketing such as Dan Hill and Libby Gill. Most recently Baaghil was interviewed by world renown Branding Consultancy firm Siegel+Gale on Branding in the Middle East

He can be reached on AskBaaghil.com