Uber Vietnam debuts bold new apparel for uberMOTO drivers
The Uber icon pasted on the windshields of cars around the world has helped customers identify their ride-sharing drivers since Uber debuted in 2009. However, with the introduction of Uber’s Vietnamese motorbike taxi service, uberMOTO, in 2016, the company faced a challenge in ensuring that drivers were equally as recognisable by motorbike.
In 2017, Uber Vietnam surveyed uberMOTO drivers in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City about their experiences working as Uber drivers. The survey led Uber to redesign its driver apparel to increase driver visibility and better suit Vietnam’s harsh weather conditions, such as sun, rain, and extreme pollution.
Uber partnered with branding agency Rice Creative and French-Vietnamese fashion designer Linda Mai Fung to design the new apparel, which they wanted to make distinct not only from competitors such as GrabBike, but also from uberMOTO apparel in other countries, such as Singapore’s bright orange.
Rice and Mai Fung decided on a colour palette of royal blue, turquoise and grey to make drivers more noticeable and to take advantage of what Rice Creative co-founder, Joshua Breidenback, calls “thousands of moving billboards.” Breidenback told Vietcetera, “[Drivers] are going by all the time. At that point, you might decide to use Uber over their competitors.”
Details were where Breidenback and Mai Fung tell Vietcetera they got lost in their work, often conceptualising details that far surpassed Uber’s budget. Despite this, the team was able to keep several details in the final design that they believe makes the clothing both attractive and practical. The clothes all feature fabric swatches cut at diagonal lines, which mimic the intersections of highways. The team found a reflective grey material that matched the grey they had designed for the jacket’s shoulders, which made it safer for drivers to work at night. They also included extended sleeves to cover the backs of drivers’ hands to protect them from the sun. The final touch was an Uber logo patch that is sewn crooked onto the arm of the jackets at such an angle that it looks straight when the driver’s arm is bent to steer the motorbike.
This new visual identity follows Uber’s 2016 company rebranding, which saw Uber’s squared off ‘U’ logo become a simple square inside of a hexagon. The icon represents “bits and atoms”—the software and people that make Uber what it is. The simplified logo allows for consistency across Uber’s ever-expanding collection of brand extensions, including Uber Eats, UberRUSH, and uberMOTO.
uberMOTO’s full clothing range features a t-shirt, a windbreaker, an open-front helmet for drivers, a half-helmet for passengers, and a transparent rain jacket. Rice Creative states, “A cross-roads of brand expression and desired fashion product, this attire makes Uber the most visible ride-share company in Vietnam.”
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