Uber became a global behemoth on the back of its referral programme, where riders were rewarded for bringing in new customers. But what was once quite revolutionary now appears woefully behind the times and unfit for purpose. Let's take a look at the cab-calling app’s programme and assesses where they may have gone wrong... and where you could go right.
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, 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 in 2011, Uber Co-Founder and CEO Travis Kalanick wrote that "95% of all our riders have heard about Uber from other Uber riders”; but that word of mouth wasn’t organic, it was proactively