Get Alfred: “We Are Looking for Drivers Who Need Parking Service!”
“Get Alfred” is definitely an excellent example to show all challenges and issues startup would face in the startup business. “Get Alfred” office was on fired few days before the meeting with us, but to let us explore the “look” of a startup company, the CEO of “Get Alfred”, Ronald, still picked the original office to conduct the interview.
Any methods that can provide good promotions are good methods
Before starting “Get Alfred”, Ronald was devoted himself to build the image detection engine CliPcik, and took a role of business advisor at Gogolook.
In 2015, Ronald decided to do business in O2O (Online to Offline). “Since cell phones become such convenient devices, it must be able to offer the service to help us save time. I came up with an idea that by applying the service to ‘automobiles’,” said by Ronald. So far, they have conducted a valet service “Get Alfred” and parking service “Parking Alfred”.
Ronald admitted that they faced many challenges at the beginning of promoting the O2O service. There are two ways to efficiently find O2O users, Ronald said. First, the huge budget in marketing. For example, Uber provides good and cheap deals to consumers; second, the transfer of the similar business. For example, due to the similarity of Uber and the taxi industry, the taxi industry can easily transfer its employees into parking or valet services. However, it is hard for startups to follow the same way because of the lack of industry background. Thus, they tried many different and “unique” methods to promote its service, including the idea of “holding up the sign on the street.”
Some people have doubt on marketing such innovative service by using traditional marketing methods, but sometimes, we cannot ignore the original marketing strategy to promote the innovation idea, service and products. Any methods that can provide good promotions are good methods.
“We are looking for potential drivers who need parking everyday, but in fact, they are all on the street!” said by Ronald. “Parking” is an immediate need for drivers, and thus they started to market its service by standing in parking lot. They tried any ways to promote it service, including innovative strategies and traditional methods, online and offline.
Another challenge for “Get Alfred” is to let drivers call them whenever they need parking, which is also the reason “Get Alfred” keep promoting its service – to remind every drivers they are always there!
Analysis of parking information by Open Data
“Get Alfred” will continue to emphasize the service of “Get Alfred” and “Parking Alfred”. Ronald hopes they can become the leader to monitor the parking in Taiwan.
“We can monitor the availability of parking lot, and which parking lots are more popular and the needs of parking services by analyzing the statistics of Open Data. By knowing this information, we can provide different services to different parking lot,” said by Ronald.
As an experienced entrepreneur, Ronald does not encourage everyone to enter into the innovative industry. “After all, you have to bear the high risk on your own.”
“Innovation is not a trend. You have to understand clearly your goal and purpose to motivate yourself to devoted to the business,” Ronald said. “There is no key-factor to conclude whether you will succeed in your business.”
Note. Dec.28, 2015, Get Alfred announced that they will terminate “Get Alfred” service in January 2016 and focus on “Parking Alfred”.