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Yay or nay: ComfortDelGro's rebrand of taxi app with new name

Yay or nay: ComfortDelGro's rebrand of taxi app with new name

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ComfortDelGro's taxi booking app will be relaunched as CDG Zig on 20 April and the app will appear on users’ phones as a stylised “Z” icon. CDG Zig is an amalgamation of ComfortDelGro’s taxi booking app and its now decommissioned lifestyle app Zig, which was integrated with the ComfortDelGro platform last month. The company first alerted consumers about the rebranding through its app and a video teaser on social media channels.

The CDG Zig app will offer users taxi and ride-hailing booking features and lifestyle options such as restaurant reservations, as well as new services such as electric vehicle (EV) charging. According to a press statement, the app will continue to grow with the addition of more ComfortDelGro services from its range of businesses, from car rental to driving lessons. 

Jackson Chia, CEO of ComfortDelGro’s Private Mobility Group, said that decision to rebrand the app into an all-in-one CDG Zig app is "a step forward" in its strategy to offer customers access to its range of mobility and lifestyle offerings via a unified digital platform. "We have retained our core services such as taxi booking and dining reservation in CDG Zig, and have also added EV charging service as our latest offering as more fleet and vehicle owners switch to EVs," Chia said. EV owners will be able to use the new CDG Zig app to locate and navigate to the nearest available EV charger operated by the Group’s joint venture company, ComfortDelGro Engie. 

ComfortDelGro also has plans to add more of the services under its wing, including private bus, car rental, learner driving and medical transport into the app progressively. According to Chia, the intent is to cross-market transport solutions to bring greater convenience to the different communities that it serves. According to Chia, Zig, which was launched last year as part of the Group's foray into the lifestyle mobility scene was "an eye-opening experience" and enabled the company to develop its skills in this new business area without interrupting its service offerings previously to its taxi users. "The time has come to merge the two so we can make it easier for our customers to get everything on just one app," he said.

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to ComfortDelGro for additional information about the rebranding. 

While the newly launched CDG Zig app definitely touts a range of offerings for consumers, a Telegram poll conducted by MARKETING-INTERACTIVE found that over half (56%) of the respondents would still rather address the app as "Comfort", compared to only 4% that said they would address the app as "CDG Zig". Around 40% of the audience remained indifferent, at the time of writing. 

In a conversation with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, Graham Hitchmough, regional chief operations officer, The Bonsey Design shared that it made sense to bring the two platforms together and create efficiency and simplicity both operationally and from a consumer point of view. "The brand approach itself seems sensible. CDG obviously has the heritage in land transportation but has consistently struggled to keep up with the likes of Grab and Gojek from a technology and innovation perspective."

Hitchmough added:

Zig may not have great usage or awareness yet, but it makes sense to park any planned ecosystem of services under this new, neutral name rather than CDG, which will always struggle to move beyond its ‘taxi uncle’ roots.

Essentially, even though Zig might not be well known, if the ambition is to create a multi-service platform, then it makes sense to move on from CDG, he further explained, adding:

Using the CDG prefix, for now, retains the link, but also there will be thousands of vehicles with the new name emblazoned and millions of app refreshes, so building awareness of the name shouldn’t be an issue

However, at the end of the day, for the new entity to really succeed and win customer loyalty it will need to be on at least par with other players technologically while being seen to address the issues of rising prices, driver welfare and vehicle taxi availability that are currently blighting the market in Singapore.

Jas Seow, founder and CEO of ABrandADay, said the rebranding is a necessary strategic move considering the company's strategy to expand beyond transport booking hence to remain in the current branding would not be relevant and may even confuse the consumers. In short, a necessary evil. However, she added that "Comfort" might have been a better option as CDG is not known to consumers.

"When rebranding a familiar brand name such as ComfortDelGro, it’s all about the communication plan and the go-to-market strategy. It's beyond an announcement, as seamless customer experience for existing customers and attracting the new users will also be paramount and should be part of the plan," said Seow.

Last month, ComfortDelGro sent out a mass text blast informing users that Zig is moving under the ComfortDelGro booking app. Zig also stopped posting on its social media channels since October 2021, a previous check by MARKETING-INTERACTIVE found.  When Zig first launched last year, the app touted an interactive map-based interface to allow users to search for lifestyle services. MD and group CEO of ComfortDelGro, Yang Ban Seng, said previously that mobility in today's digital world is no longer about transporting people from one place to another.

“It is about bringing services to people wherever they are, whenever they need," he added. Compared to ComfortDelGro, Zig had a more sassy youthful personality. It made headlines for its series of ads on Facebook telling Singaporeans not to be boring. 

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ComfortDelGro's new Zig app roasts SG folks for being 'just too boring', takes jabs at competitors
Analysis: Is the Zig app ComfortDelGro's one chance to disrupt Grab's dominance?
ComfortDelGro steers into lifestyle scene with new app

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