One of the classic symbols people associate with New York City is the yellow taxicab.  The streets are teeming with them. I’ve lived in the NYC area for over 25 years, and every time I go to Manhattan I delude myself by thinking it will be easy to hail a cab any time I need one. But the reality is that when I need one most, like when it’s raining, freezing or snowing, or it’s rush hour and I’m in a real hurry, I can never get one. This happens time and time again. Why? Because there was no other alternative – until there was UBER.


UBER is a brand that noticed how people struggled with a problem and then put themselves into the driver’s seat to solve their customer’s problem via their brand promise: to alleviate the insecurity and uncertainty in finding a ride by providing a reliable car service that’s available whenever we need it. The real need wasn’t for more cabs, the need was to make the process of getting one, better.


UBER’s taken an old-school service and reinvented it. UBER has created a hybrid car service by twisting together two traditional ideas: the call ahead private car service and the spontaneity of a yellow cab. But unlike cabs or other car services, they made the process of getting a ride easier by simply embracing today’s technology: You use a computer or mobile app to “call” for a car, right when you want one. No cash is necessary. Receipts are delivered to your cell phone or email and disputing a bill is easier with a record, which speaks volumes for their brand transparency. You know up front approximately what the fare will be and how long of a wait it will be before your ride arrives  With UBER you know what you’re getting, with no surprises and no waiting in the rain.


Focus on one specific need that your target market has. Put yourself in your market’s shoes (… desperate for a ride in the rain) to discover a solution. You’ll find ideas that will give your service, product or brand the fresh twist it needs to be truly valued and noticed.

Sometimes you need a good road map and clear directions to chart a route.  The road to developing a strong brand can have many detours and steep climbs. Brand School, our highly effective, premier branding program, gives you the tools you need to keep your brand on the high road and use it to make your business hum. Receive more information about the next semester and free brand-building tools and tips when you join our mailing list.

This post is part of our Brands That Twist series celebrating innovative brands. Read about other breakthrough brands and more ways to grow your business and brand here

“Brand School had great examples of real companies. I was able to dig even deeper, think of things in a new way, and get new ideas for my brand.It was well worth the fee.”  – Brenda Dillion Cavette, Founder Fashionista Tea
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Julie is the Founder and CEO of BrandTwist, a brand consultancy that helps entrepreneurs and corporations build stronger, more profitable brands.


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