While ride-sharing service Uber continues to endure a run of bad PR - facing a rider boycott, dismissing executives for poor behavior, and shutting down its self-driving vehicle program - arch-rival Lyft has quietly been positioning itself as the light side of the ride-sharing Force to Uber's dark-side reputation. Now Lyft has added cause marketing to its arsenal of marketing tactics with a new program that allows riders to donate to selected charities.
TechCrunch has the story, which details Lyft's current test-marketing of its "Round Up & Donate" program allowind riders to round up their fares to the nearest dollar and donate the difference to a select group of charities. Money quote from TechCrunch:
"The new feature is reminiscent of another recent 'light side ridesharing alternative' move by Lyft, namely its decision to commit $1 million in donations to the ACLU over the next four years, as a response to Donald Trump's initial Muslim immigration ban. Lyft's new program is in line with its founding principles, the company says, and not tied to any behavior by the competition, but it's definitely a contrasting image given the circumstances."
According to the Verge, riders will pick a charity from a list of select charities in the app and will be able to opt out of the program at any time. The company also said that "it will explore ways for passengers to vote on other [charities] for inclusion."
That's the true benefit of adding a cause marketing component to your loyalty program - by removing friction in the donation process, you enable your best customers to leverage your marketing infrastructure to do good - and you create a stronger emotional connection to your brand.