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Millennials Aren't Giving Up on Uber

But the company’s brand is weakening

April 3, 2017 | Retail & Ecommerce | Demographics

Ride-hailing giant Uber has experienced a slew of bad press over the past few months that has bruised its brand image.

While Uber continues to go through a rocky period, it has also become the default urban transportation for millions of users, most of them millennials.

And according to March 2017 data from LendEDU, a provider of student loan debt consolidation and refinancing, this group isn’t going to stop using Uber anytime soon.

Indeed, 93.0% of US millennial Uber users polled said they won’t stop.

US Millennial Uber Users Who Will Stop Using Uber, by Gender, March 2017 (% of total)

“Millennials who use Uber likely think of it as a quickly famous brand they put on the map, so maybe this makes them inclined to cut it some slack when there are bad news reports—until, that is, they have a bad experience with it themselves,” said eMarketer senior analyst Mark Dolliver.

“And since lots of millennials rely on the ‘gig economy’ to support themselves, maybe they’re more indulgent about the travails of a company that’s part of this economy,” he added.

There’s also that layer of convenience that most millennials are accustomed to.

“Most of those people aren’t going to give up Uber right away since it works for them,” said Yory Wurmser, senior analyst at eMarketer. “They have the app, and they’re comfortable using it—and it has the scale to provide more coverage in more markets.

“Uber also has more tiered options of services that its competitors don’t,” he said. “So it has some real advantages to keep its customer base sticky.”

Even so, one media firestorm after another has weakened the brand, which could curtail growth and open opportunities for competitors.

“If competitors can match or beat Uber in service, more people will start to switch,” Wurmser said. “So although the immediate drop-off is minimal, the company has to get its act together to stave off a fleet of innovative competitors.”

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