Ultimate Choice, Hertz, Jodi Allen, marketing, interview, Dollar, Thrifty, business, car hire, rental, women, female
Hertz' Ultimate Choice (photo: Hertz)

“Smart investments” and “putting the ‘her’ into Hertz

The car hire giant Hertz is fighting back after some challenging years. That includes reaching out to female business travellers.

Celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, the car hire giant Hertz has started to turn its finances around after several challenging years. In an interview with Business Travel News, Jodi Allen, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, talks about this process.

The company has indicated it is in investment mode. Allen says quarterly earnings are starting to grow again, with 7% revenue growth in Q2, which comes after “smart investments” in the fleet.

“We have an improved car mix,” she says. “We have improved trim, more leather and more of the features that our customers want, whether that’s Sirius or [reverse-view] cameras.”

She says the investment is also from a marketing perspective, “to re-establish not only Hertz but all three of our brands – Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty – and we are investing in technology for the long term to have a sustainable platform [from] which to pull.”

That includes a new website with an improved app and mobile-enabled website for Hertz by the end of the year, plus a new app and websites for Dollar and Thrifty in the first half of next year.

Allen says the Florida-based corporation is working hard to achieve globally consistency in its work processes, as “our system needs to be global and our approach to things like the loyalty program needs to be global.”

The company is expanding what it calls Ultimate Choice, which allows a renter to choose a car at the lot, now available at 55 sites in North America including Canada, but Hertz has not yet decided whether to roll this out to other regions.

Business clients
Hertz is setting its focus on winning over the frequent business traveller, re-establishing its brand equity with a new visual identity and bringing back the tagline, “We’re here to get you there.”

This includes reaching out to the woman business traveller, Allen stresses, as “a place we want to play in a bigger way than we have in the recent past”.

“We did a very good job of highlighting professional women in our ads back in the ’40s and the ’50s, but the whole industry has not catered to the woman business traveller in a long time so the online videos that we have out there right now very much cater to the female business traveller.”

She concludes: “We are fortunate in the fact that the first three letters in our name are ‘her’, so we are working on putting the ‘her’ back in Hertz. The work we have online right now very much shows that”.

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