London Black Cabs have lost another court battle against Uber. This time, London Black Cabs were contesting the license to operate issued to Uber in relation to alleged unlawful dealings.
It seems that London Black Cabs are determined to do everything that doesn’t involve them directly to stop Uber. And, put simply, it is not going to work.
In essence, Uber is like any other minicab company operating in the UK. The only difference here is the scale and strategic effectiveness of Uber that is blowing most of the competition out. (We talk more about this here).
(Imagine Booking.com taking Airbnb to court – it will be equally ridiculous. Each of them have their own market and hence, value for customers).
This gave us the idea to examine wider competitive strategic options for Black Cabs in London. Let’s begin with what has been happening already.
1. Stopping Uber from Operating in London
This one is wishful thinking. London Black Cabs have a rich history and the best they are able to do currently is to find ways to stop Uber completely rather than compete with them.
(I will go a step forward and call it childish too. You would expect more from an institution like Black Cabs).
Dragging your competition into unnecessary court proceedings gives the illusion of – “well we are doing something”. But, the reality is, while the case is in court, your competitor is allowed to keep operating. And, most probably, you are going to lose at the end and you have technically not done anything except waste your time. Plus you end up paying for the court proceedings too.
(In all fairness, Uber is banned in a few countries, e.g. Bulgaria and Hungary, but there are other complications in the matter. This is not going to work in the UK so easily).
2. Learning to Coexist
The second option for London Black Cabs is to do nothing. (This is not far from option 1 and usually the path of a disheartened business).
The problem with this approach is, you will eventually die at the end. The pace of this death is simply determined by the customer and the competition.
(Well, hopefully, I don’t have to declare this strategy useless. In fact, it is not a strategy at all – This is accepting defeat).
So, what is the final option for London Black Cabs.
3. Rebranding and Retargeting
We believe that this is the way for Black Cabs in London.
Based on the history of this institution, there will always be an interest in the service. (People are still riding horses – come on).
I still remember my first black cab ride in London when I came to the UK for the first time in 2011.
And, if the Black Cab in London standardise the behaviours and level of service for customers, the company can turn to the upper end of the market.
Add this to the fact that you can catch a Black Cab on the street, and you have at least three areas to target and focus on.
Tourism, business and luxury travellers, and the shear simplicity of finding Black Cabs.
Lesson for Businesses
It is easy to blame someone else for your situation. It voids you from the responsibility.
But, in most cases, the change must come from within.
The way you tackle your competition begins from within. If your business needs a boost, you need to look into your options instead of accepting defeat or getting into wasting everyone’s time.