Uber: lagging behind in the rearview mirror

As you may have read, we've recently launched a cutting-edge referral programme for London’s most trusted business-class car service, Addison Lee. Now, the first thing you might think when you hear "referral" and "car service" is Uber, but our intention isn't simply to replicate Uber's referral programme, but dramatically to improve upon it. If you think that's a tough call, let's step back and examine Uber's programme in more detail. You'll be surprised how much it leaves to be desired. But first, some context.

Uber's dramatic rise via referral

Back in 2012, if you’d walked up to a Londoner and said the word ‘Uber’, they probably would’ve started looking for neck tattoos and a copy of the UKIP manifesto sticking out of your pocket. Today, as Uber approaches its fifth birthday here in the capital, everyone knows you’re talking about the £50 billion cab company - and, what’s more, they probably know why you’re talking to them about Uber in the first place. You’re shilling your referral code in the hope of earning a free ride.

Referrals are one of the main reasons why Uber grew from tiny startup to dominant upstart. Back


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Man’s best (refer a) friend

First, subscription boxes revolutionised the beauty industry, with the likes of GLOSSYBOX and Birchbox. Then along came Trunk Club and The Chapar and the same subscription model turned the fashion world on its head. Now, in 2016, you can sign up for monthly boxes stuffed with everything from delicious cocktails to tools to help you get through the zombie apocalypse (we’d argue that those two are, actually, one and the same).

One of our favourites is FlinkBisk, a dog-owners’ subscription box from Norway’s Zentio Group - who also offer subscriptions across northern Europe for everything from razor blades to laundry detergent. And, as of today, FlinkBisk gets even better, with the addition of a refer-a-friend programme powered by Buyapowa. Existing customers are now equipped and incentivised to get their (human) friends signed up for regular deliveries of toys, treats and cool dog gadgets. For every friend who gets on board, they’ll receive a discount against their next payment, while the friend gets their first box for free.

Zentio are using the Buyapowa platform to handle everything from initial outreach all the way through to reward distribution, making full use of the platform’s super-simple but highly-effective plug-and-play


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Space NK: Three is the magic number

When it comes to referrals, one size definitely does not fit all. What works for a supermarket won’t work for a luxury fashion brand. What works for a mobile phone network won’t work for a casual dining chain. And, if there’s one sector which is all about finding the perfect match, it’s premium beauty - where the slightest variation in shade, smell or effect can make a massive difference.

So, it’s no wonder that the refer-a-friend programme from celebrated cosmetics retailer, Space NK, is every bit as customised - and that’s something they’ve only been able to achieve by using the uniquely-configurable Buyapowa platform. Unlike standard referral programmes, where advocates receive a reward each and every time they get a friend shopping, SpaceNK are holding back their extra-generous reward until a participant gets three friends shopping.

Now, that wouldn’t work for, say, an automotive brand but, in the world of premium beauty - where every customer is likely to have numerous friends with similar taste and style - it makes perfect sense. And, it’s something SpaceNK are able to double-down on with another unique Buyapowa feature: the referral leaderboard, where the


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