In 2013, Elon Musk, founder of Space X, announced that he planned to create an underground transportation system that would drastically reduce the time of travel (Baggaley, Kate). Initially, this announcement was met with some skepticism. He then created a detailed description of the Hyperloop, a high-speed train. Beyond being high-speed, the Hyperloop would be environmentally friendly, use city’s existing infrastructure, and fares would be similar to current rates (HyperloopTT) (Marshall, Aarian). While these features all sound ideal, it seems almost too good to be true. Yet, less than a decade later, it all seems very possible. Although Musk originated the idea, his company, The Boring Company, is not the only company working to be the first to create the hyperloop. Instead of deterring copycat companies, Musk welcomes them and sees them as helpful towards the overall goal of changing the travel industry. This is easier for Musk, an established entrepreneur and billionaire to welcome competition. However, for other companies in the hyperloop industry, they need to utilize their marketing strategies to make their company profitable.
Firstly, all of these hyperloop companies (such as Virgin Hyperloop One and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies) will be able to differentiate themselves from traditional means of travel because they are digital disruptors. The travel industry is an ideal market for a digital disruption. According to the article The Signals of Change: Where are the Opportunities by Clayton Christensen, “negative consumer feedback and feedback indicating industry-wide limitations are key signals that the industry is ready for a change” (Christensen , Clayton M, et al.). Unfortunately, the travel industry is no stranger to regular negative consumer feedback.
While the industry is ready for a change, companies will still need to carefully craft their marketing strategy to introduce consumers to this improved way of travel and differentiate themselves from other hyperloop companies. Hyperloop companies should employ both in-bound and out-bound marketing strategies (Gupta, Sunil, and Joseph Davin). Later, when the train is ready to be used by consumers, a mobile application should be developed and offered to consumers. This application should focus on omni-channel marketing. Through omni-channel marketing, consumers will have a personalized, consistent, integrated, and engaging experience across every marketing channel (Valdellon, Lionel). The hyperloop company that implements an omni-channel marketing experience most valued by consumers will differentiate themselves and make their company a leading competitor. After all, “brands that use omnichannel marketing strategies retain 89% of their customers on average. Meanwhile companies with no omnichannel efforts retain only 39%” (Valdellon, Lionel).
Baggaley, Kate. “Elon Musk’s Hyperloop Dream May Come True – and Soon.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 11 Mar. 2018, www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/elon-musk-s-hyperloop-dream-may-come-true-soon-ncna855041.
Christensen , Clayton M, et al. “The Signals of Change: Where Are the Opportunities?” Harvard Business School Press, 2006, pp. 1–27.
Gupta, Sunil, and Joseph Davin. “Digital Marketing.” Harvard Business Publishing , 31 July 2015, pp. 1–47.
HyperloopTT. “Hyperloop Transportation Technologies: HyperloopTT.” Hyperloop Transportation Technologies | HTT, www.hyperloop.global/how-it-works.
Marshall, Aarian. “Elon Musk’s Boring Company Inches Closer to Making Hyperloop a Reality.” Wired, Conde Nast, 19 Apr. 2019, www.wired.com/story/elon-musks-boring-company-takes-small-step-toward-reality/.
Valdellon, Lionel. “Omni Channel Marketing Plan: 4 Ingredients.” CleverTap, 26 Apr. 2018, clevertap.com/blog/omni-channel-marketing/.