Marketing Lessons from a Cab Driver
If you don’t think of a cab ride as one of life’s unique experiences, you’ve never ridden in Mansoor Khalid’s cab. It’s filled with free candy, a multi-color lighting system, and a powerful stereo that his customers can plug into to listen to their own music.
Following the 2012 death of his young son, the New York City driver set out to ease his grief by making other people happy. He quickly realized how badly that service was needed.
Today, Khalid’s car is known as The Candy Cab. His story has been featured in a New York Times video (below), a Daily News article, and a Yahoo! Shine piece. He also has more than 4,000 Twitter followers, great word of mouth, and lots of repeat customers.
There are a few lessons we can take away from this driver’s approach to his business.
- Khalid knows his audience. He works from 5pm until 2am, not during the 9-to-5 work day. He understands that, after the whistle blows, his customers are ready for a little fun.
- Through marketing and consistency, Khalid has created an expectation of what his service will be like and how it will be different from the experience that thousands of other cabbies provide. As a result, people actively seek out his cab.
- What he’s doing came out of a true desire to make people happy. His motivation was sincere, so his “message” resonates with customers.
- The $300 monthly candy budget. The lights. The stereo. Khalid invests in his environment to create an experience that his customers will never forget. (How can you do the same with aroma, audio and video?) In the Yahoo article, Khalid is quoted as saying that other drivers think he’s crazy for spending so much money on his cab. His response: “They don’t know what I get in return.”