Students seek strategies to attract target market to new eco-friendly taxi service
Students from all over Montreal came up with recommendations and strategies to attract customers to an eco-friendly taxi service at this year’s John Molson Sustainable Enterprise Committee (JSEC) case competition held on Nov. 17.
The Concordian group paired up with Téo Taxi, a cab service that is 100 per cent electric,the company is looking to create a new service geared toward students, called TéoPool. Based on the idea of carpooling, Téo customers could choose to share their ride with a stranger headed in the same direction to split the bill, diminish the number of cars on the road and have the opportunity to socialize. For this competition, students had three hours to develop a marketing strategy that would attract the target market while keeping in mind the company’s brand and commitment to sustainability.
“We want the leaders of tomorrow to leave this competition determined to educate others on sustainability,” said JSEC co-president Anthony de Souza. “Our goal is to spread the word to all Montreal students.” In teams of four or five, students from different backgrounds, universities and majors—ranging from industrial engineering and economics to English literature and anthropology—presented their ideas to a panel of judges, including a Téo Taxi representative as well as John Molson School of Business professors and alumni.
“We focused most of our strategies not so much on leveraging the whole eco-friendly aspect, but more on how to target students who are very price sensitive,” said Anaïs Roger, an international management student from McGill and a member of the winning team.
Among the strategies presented by Roger’s team was “gamifying” the application, which would keep loyal customers enthusiastic by offering them rewards and cheaper rides. Other ideas included, such as collaborating with Tourisme Montreal to introduce the brand to foreign students, and offering women-only rides catered to women who would feel more safe and comfortable sharing a ride with other women.
“I don’t think there is any contradiction between profit and sustainability, and you students have given us amazing solutions and a glimpse of the future,” said Patrick Gagné, CEO of Téo Taxi and a member of the jury, at the end of the event.
“As millennials, we actually do care about the environment because, if we don’t do something right now, the way things are going, there will be nothing left for us in the next 20 to 30 years,” said Safwan Hye, another one of the competitors and a Concordia student double-majoring in accounting and business technology management. Although there could only be one winner, the teams ended the competition with new connections and the motivation to keep an eye out for future sustainable solutions.
Photos by Mackenzie Lad & Sara Chahrour