Google’s popular navigation app Waze has always had a more playful personality than their other app, Google Maps. Whereas Maps uses a straightforward, data-driven approach, Waze depends on its 140 million users to help other drivers find smoother routes by reporting accidents, street hazards, and construction zones in real-time.

Using data from QuestBrand, we see Waze’s brand equity jump from August to September 2021, as the brand creatively provided users with a more delightful driving experience.

In select cities, Waze pioneered a Too Good To Go campaign that allowed restaurants with surplus food to sell items to drivers at a discount. For approximately a third of the typical retail price, drivers could order surprise bags of food. Waze’s initiative simultaneously reduced food waste and delighted their app users with affordable, and tasty, food options. Drivers could see participating restaurants through pins on the Waze app. To order, drivers would download and place their order through a separate Too Good To Go app.

In July and August, Waze partnered with Halo and PAW Patrol, allowing drivers to have some of their favorite characters lead them to their final destination. The app also released a limited-edition Cat & Dog theme so animal lovers could receive turn-by-turn assistance by either an upbeat dog (in the Woof Wagon), or a neurotic cat (in the Meow Mobile).

While driving can often spike frustration as drivers cut in front of your car, or traffic slows to a crawl, Waze’s innovative choices take the edge off the worktime commute. Their playful solutions reduce the stress of an otherwise mundane drive, and keep drivers pleasantly engaged.

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These creative partnerships help explain why “innovative” (30.7) is one of the emotional descriptors consumers familiar with the brand most often used to describe it. This descriptor was selected by consumers second to only “dependable” (32.7).

When comparing Waze’s brand data from 7/1/21-8/31/21 to 9/1/21-10/31/21, we see the brand’s consideration increase by +7.4. This growth highlights that consumers familiar with the Waze brand were more likely to consider using the app in September and October than they were in July and August. The brand’s momentum increased by +5.2, reflecting consumers’ belief that the Waze brand is on the way up. These results demonstrate the positive consumer sentiment that brands can foster from using creativity to delight their consumers.

Waze’s Change in Brand Equity

Waze Brand Equity

QuestBrand. Base: Familiar with Waze brand. 7/1/21-8/31/21, n=685. 9/1/21-10/31/21, n=718.

Catherine Ake

Senior Marketing and Content Strategist

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