How Enterprise Puts Useful Into High Gear

by T3 Marketing

“Let’s just get through this and get to our destination” is a common theme for consumers renting cars. We’ve all sat on the rickety shuttle from the airport to the rental office and spoken with impersonal associates at the rental desk. The entire lackluster “rental car” atmosphere contributes to consumers’ unease in this category. In our Useful Brand Travel and Hospitality Report, consumers called out car rental brands for lack of innovation. As one consumer put it, “It would be nice if they could be more like Uber. With Uber, I land, I open the app, I get to the car, and I go. When I have to rent a car, it adds another 20 to 30 minutes to my trip. Heaven forbid there’s something wrong with my reservation.”

Enterprise was the only non-hotel brand that made it into the top five in the travel category, meeting or exceeding consumers’ expectations across all elements of usefulness. Similar to Southwest Airlines, Enterprise overcomes the category trend, outpacing all others in its field. In fact, Enterprise met or exceeded customer expectations in every category of usefulness.

Here are three strategies that car rental brands should employ, modeling after Enterprise, to drive usefulness:

1. Enterprise is in the rare position of being close to undisputed category dominance. Focus on over-delivery in the elements of empowerment, availability, consistency, association, value, and trust. Receive extra credit for over-delivering in the areas of friendliness and efficiency.

2. While Enterprise is in a position to control its own destiny, car rental brands can quickly make up ground in areas such as empowerment, availability, consistency, and ease. This would inject a fresh sense of choices for travelers who’ve traditionally been in search of options outside of cost.

3. Move upmarket by designing programs meant to build up confidence and dispel the notion of being solely focused on being a lower cost provider. This could serve to elevate three key performance elements: confidence, safety, and trust.

Download the full Travel and Hospitality Report to see how 24 airlines, hotels, car rental companies, and online travel agents stack up.