Turning Bad Behavior Into Brand Opportunity

 The founders of Luxe have created a new spin on designated driving and it’s the perfect example of a brand turning potential bad behavior (consumers driving drunk) into brand opportunity. Luxe is an app that provides on demand parking and valet service in busy cities. By using the Luxe app, customers can drop their car off anywhere and a valet will meet them, park the car and return it later to a designated location.
As if that wasn’t game-changing enough, the Uber meets valet service has just upped the ante on its offerings with an additional service, Drive HomeUsers will be able to use the Luxe app to request a drive home at the end of the night. As long as their destination is within a 50 mile radius, a valet will pick up their car and drive users home (in their own cars) after they’ve had one too many vodka tonics. The best brands know how to solve customer problems–sometimes even before customers realize they have a problem. And that’s what makes Luxe so ingenious. It provides a new way for busy urban dwellers to navigate city life sans the headache of looking for a parking spot or making an unwise decision after a night out. Although it’s not the first business to offer a drunk driving alternative, it’s the first to create a seamless smartphone solution.
A Luxe valet in action. Photo: Luxe

The potential for adoption is promising, but Luxe does have a few barriers that may slow the process. Namely, the Drive Home service will cost $25 for the initial pick up then $3 per mile. Depending on how price sensitive the target audience is, drivers may decide to drive drunk rather than pay that fee. According to CEO Curtis Lee, this price may decrease with time. Additionally, what if a user is too drunk to use the app? Can Luxe enable a partner mode functionality so a friend can ensure they get home safely?

So what, if any, impact will this have on reducing incidents of drunk driving? Well if a recent report by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Uber is any indication, the increased availability of reliable transportation options (such as ride-sharing services) lead people to make safer choices. According to the report’s findings, 78% of residents surveyed in Chicago said that friends were less likely to drive drunk after Uber arrived in their city. In California, the report’s findings uncovered that monthly alcohol-related crashes decreased by 6.5% (or 59.21 per month) among drivers under 30 following the launch of uberX ride-sharing in California in markets where Uber operates.

Only time will tell what impact Luxe will have on reducing drunk driving. It’s clear that Uber has given drivers a viable alternative to driving if they are headed for a night out. Drive Home will make it possible for people who have already driven to think twice about driving themselves home.

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