CAR-SHARING BRANDS HEAD-TO-HEAD

context

Disruptive innovations and industries are taking shape at the intersection of macro trends and technology. Rapid urbanization, shifting social behaviors, and a generation of tech-driven consumers are creating ripe conditions for new ideas, markets, and brands.

Car sharing is one such industry currently enjoying rapid global growth, with big-name automakers and car-rental brands getting into the game.

As a company passionate about brand relationships in tech-driven markets, we wanted to assess how major car-sharing brands are connecting with consumers. So we took them for a test drive.

Macro Trends

urbanization

URBANIZATION

Increasing urban density is making sharing feasible while car ownership in the city is becoming more of a cost-prohibitive burden.

environmental

ENVIRONMENT

Global demand for finite resources is a growing concern and personal challenge for environmentally conscious consumers.

sharing enconomy

SHARING ECONOMY

Technology has empowered collaborative consumption as social media fuels and reinforces a community mind-set.

Membership growth

Global car-sharing membership is expected to grow from 2.3 million in 2013 to 12 million by 2020.

challenge

We needed new plants for the office, so we decided to compare car2go, Zipcar and Enterprise CarShare via a practical car-sharing task: a road trip to Ikea. From sign-up to drop-off, we assessed the experience of each competitor to determine which brand relationship we’d want to continue.

challenge download

insights

Along the way, we uncovered five key insights that shaped our overall decision on which brand would win our love.

#1 The app is the experience

Car2go’s app was sublime in its simplicity, opening immediately on a map to find cars nearby. This unfettered practicality embodied the essence of the brand and echoed its name.

The app is the experience
The app is the experience

#1 The app is the experience

Car2go’s app was sublime in its simplicity, opening immediately on a map to find cars nearby. This unfettered practicality embodied the essence of the brand and echoed its name.

Vanilla ain't thriller

#2 Vanilla ain’t thriller

Enterprise CarShare had the most reliable brand experience. But it lacked the personality to spark a meaningful connection beyond its utility. It felt like just another rental.

#3 Keep sign-up smooth

Zipcar suffered from a poor start in the customer service department. Signing up was problematic for a brand that’s been in the game a while, and that sent things in the wrong direction.

Keep sign-up smooth
Keep sign-up smooth

#3 Keep sign-up smooth

Zipcar suffered from a poor start in the customer service department. Signing up was problematic for a brand that’s been in the game a while, and that sent things in the wrong direction.

Manage your pain points

#4 Manage your pain points

A key benefit of car2go is the freedom to park almost anywhere when you’re done—almost. Street parking can be a nightmare for city drivers, leaving a bad taste after a fun drive.

#5 Little differences matter

From the names Zipcar gives its vehicles to car2go’s personalized welcome from the satellite navigation, we found that nice touches like these enriched the experience.

Little differences matter
Little differences matter

#5 Little differences matter

From the names Zipcar gives its vehicles to car2go’s personalized welcome from the satellite navigation, we found that nice touches like these enriched the experience.

The full notes

Once the scores were tallied and the keys were returned Zipcar emerged as the brand we bonded with the most. Despite a rocky start with customer service, the brand made up ground with some positive differentiators. Find out more with the full notes on our experience and assessment, available as a download below.

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Field Notes is an initiative by MBLM that explores brand relationships in the digital age through firsthand experience and assessments.

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