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.
Urbanization – Increasing urban density is making sharing feasible while car ownership in the city is becoming more of a cost-prohibitive burden.
Environment; – Global demand for finite resources is a growing concern and personal challenge for environmentally conscious consumers.
Sharing Economy – Technology has empowered collaborative consumption as social media fuels and reinforces a community mind-set.
Global car-sharing membership is expected to grow from 2.3 million in 2013 to 12 million by 2020.
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.
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.
#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.
#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.
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.