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Subject category: Marketing
Published by:
Darden Business Publishing (2014)
2 May 2016
Revision date:
15 pages
Data source:
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By late March 2014, the ridesharing company Uber was on a roll, rapidly expanding service to untapped markets and gaining new, enthusiastic customers, as well as a few vocal and visible detractors. Uber's innovative organization of the supply-demand matching process produced eager customers who recruited others. Buzz marketing and aggressive recruitment of drivers augmented growth. This case presents Uber as an example of a middleman adding real value for consumers and upstream suppliers (limo drivers). Unlike Tesla, which battled to sell cars directly to the public, Uber created value by adding a layer between limos and prospective riders, organizing the market for convenience and transparency for both sides. Where Uber stirred up the competitive equivalent of a hornet's nest was with expansion from the livery car market into the taxi service market with UberX. The material allows for a lively discussion around disruptive digital technology and the firm's business model.


Lean startup; Innovation; Supply demand; Government; Regulation; Transportation; Marketing:advertising & promotion; Marketing:branding strategy; Marketing:consumer marketing; Marketing:marketing strategy & planning; Marketing:public relations

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