Ride-hailing service takes a strong stand on principle—but it’s great marketing, too.
In a Sunday morning blog post, Lyft co-founders Logan Green and John Zimmer committed $1 million in donations to the American Civil Liberties Union, to be spread over the next four years.
The statement read in part:
The ACLU led an emergency legal action Saturday night that resulted in a temporary stay of some parts of the Trump administration’s executive order restricting many travelers and refugees from Muslim nations from entering the U.S.
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While clearly a principled move, the statement acknowledges that the donation is also in line with Lyft’s brand, whose goal is to be “diverse, inclusive, and safe.” The strong statement contrasts with more measured comments from rival Uber, mostly focused on impacts on its drivers and employees. Uber is also facing a firestorm of criticism for the (probably unfair) perception that it sought to undermine taxi drivers protesting the travel ban at New York’s JFK airport.
While Lyft has run a distant second to Uber in the ride-sharing market, the smaller company has assiduously cultivated a more friendly image. That includes aesthetic touches, such as Lyft’s now mostly-retired pink car mustaches and longstanding front-seat riding policy.
And though its labor disputes and clashes with regulators have sometimes paralleled Uber’s, Lyft has managed to cultivate a much more positive reputation than its larger competitor. Currently, as #lyft garners mostly positivity on Twitter, #deleteuber dominates the social platform—yet another demonstration that bigger isn’t always better.