How Uber Can Fix Its Reputation

“An arrogant behemoth”

From Yahoo Financial:

Dean Crutchfield, a New York-based branding specialist, struck an even more dire tone than Kerris.

“The first thing they have to recognize is that brands, like people, get sick,” Crutchfield explained. “Uber needs to admit it’s slightly broken. This was a cool, game-changing brand, and now it’s an arrogant behemoth. It sort of lost itself in its success. One has to respect customer and driver’s emotions, and I think they’ve forgotten about that. It’s a problem not just of their business, it’s a problem of the leadership. That leadership reflects poorly on the brand.”

Crutchfield pointed to United Airlines’ (UAL) recent controversy, in which a passenger was forcibly removed from a flight. United CEO Oscar Munoz exacerbated the public backlash by initially blaming the passenger for the brouhaha. United subsequently issued several apologies and promised a sweeping review of policies, particularly around crew behavior and passenger incentives.

“[T]here was a real arrogance where the CEO did not recognize their weaknesses and faults,” Crutchfield said.

Uber, for its part, knows it has a serious problem on its hands. Kalanick told employees in March he planned on hiring a COO “who can partner with me to write the next chapter in our journey.” Uber board member Arianna Huffington, meanwhile, is helping lead an “urgent” investigation into one engineer’s sexual harassment claims against the company.

But while that’s certainly a start, it’s clear company-wide changes to Uber must go far deeper. Full article.