Bird Branding: A Case Study

Bird Branding: A Case Study

Picture this: You’re on vacation and decide to go to a nice restaurant downtown. Parking right next to the restaurant is $20 an hour. You drive down the street for a few minutes and find parking for $3 an hour. It’s almost a no brainer right? The only downside to the cheaper parking is that you have a 20 minute walk ahead of you before you make it to the restaurant– and your reserved table will be given away in ten minutes! What do you do?!

There are the obvious fixes– arrive an hour early to make sure you have enough time to walk, or pay for the $20 parking and eat quickly. Or you could take a Bird!

Originally from Santa Monica, California, this transportation company has taken over the country, all because of their killer brand.

The first reason the company has become so successful is their commitment to accessibility. The scooters are now available in more than 20 states and even on a growing number of college campuses across the country– and they’re only just getting started. Bird was founded one year ago, and only just started its funding campaign in 2018. Within 5 months of campaigning, the company’s value was over $1 Billion.

It is likely that the company will continue to grow exponentially, especially after the way they handled the public’s initial concerns. This is the second reason for their success.

Locals were at first very concerned with seeing estranged scooters all over their cities and were hesitant about allowing them on public sidewalks and in bike lanes. Bird now strictly enforces normal pedestrian laws with all of its users and is committed to making sure the scooters are not left in areas where they will affect traffic of any kind.

Aside from accessibility and public relations, the Bird brand has been executed very well. First off, from the user’s perspective, everything is very accessible– they can find a ride and control the scooter from their smartphone, and the instructions given in the app are extremely easy to understand. Users are given step-by-step instructions on how to ride, as well as guidelines of the streets, and even a free helmet if they pay shipping.

You’re probably also wondering how these scooters keep their battery.

Bird has implemented a system in which the public can also choose to be directly involved with the scooters, and even receive a profit (much like an uber driver who works for the company but uses their own materials).

Bird chargers are initially sent three scooter chargers and at the end of every day they can go out and collect the scooters around town and bring them back home to charge them. The scooters are returned to the streets before 7 A.M. every morning to a new and more desirable location (called a nest). These people have the opportunity to earn more chargers and make more money– anywhere from $3-$20.

In their Bird Charger training course, Bird uses vocabulary centered around a bird theme– words like “nest” and phrases like “releasing your birds”. This gives the brand a refreshing dimension that most companies refuse to touch today.

If you weren’t already intrigued by the company, consider some of the other good things they are doing with the public, like their S.O.S. campaign, for example.

The campaign, which stands for Save Our Sidewalks, really appealed to those concerned locals we mentioned earlier. Under this pledge, which they challenged other big transportation companies to sign, Bird provided three ways they are going to combat the problem of overcrowded, estranged scooters in the city:

  1. Daily Pickup: includes charging, repairs, and returning the Birds back to where they are wanted or needed the next day.

  2. Responsible Growth: unused scooters will be removed.

  3. Revenue Sharing: some profits made by Bird will be returned back to the public for construction of more sidewalks and bike lanes and upkeep of the shared public infrastructure.

This campaign raises another concern often accompanying a new mode of transportation: pollution. Riding a Bird scooter when it is available will not only reduce traffic and congestion, but also reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly.

Overall, the Bird company has done an exceptional job on its branding. Users, chargers, and everyone else involved feel heard and have a clear understanding of their involvement with the company. Bird has shown thus far that they are very responsive and adaptive to the public’s concerns. Because of the reasons in this article, we believe they have a huge potential for growth in the coming year if they keep up the good branding practices.

For more information on the Bird brand, visit their website here.