Key to successful mobility services: know your local market



What does food and moving around have in common? We do both on a daily basis and want the best quality knowing the farmer cares about the same things we do. We have changed how we eat quite a bit in the past few years: In 2014 we bought 29% more local products because we trust that it is better quality. Buying local has turned into a powerful category in the food industry and I believe understanding your local environment and audience are also keys for successful shared mobility projects.

Historically carsharing was a very local thing: Mobility in Switzerland, the oldest station based carsharing organisation was founded by eight citizens who shared one car among themselves. Zipcar started to make carsharing a global movement in 2006 when they launched their service in Canada and the UK. Today there is a handful of global players and a plethora of local ones. The biggest advantage of a local one is that they know their environment and their audience really well.

Know your environment

We all know that driving standards are different depending on the country: while you can drive on the left in the UK, this is not acceptable in Germany. The same goes for driving eligibility for carsharing members. While it is perfectly ok to do a visual check of the driving license in Germany, operators have to check the driving history in Canada. Even more locally organised are parking regulations because the jurisdiction is on a municipal level. Vancouver allows a resident to obtain a parking permit to park in their neighbourhood 24 hours. In Toronto, you can only park your vehicle outside your house at night with the same type of permit.

Know your audience

People prefer things merely because they are familiar to them. Depending on where someone lives, a person has distinct preconceptions and ideas about safety, convenience and reliability of transportation. While anybody takes a train or tram in Switzerland because they believe it’s the most convenient and reliable way of getting from A to B, North Americans prefer taking their own car because it’s safer and more convenient. When you introduce a new shared mobility service, you need to understand and address these biases. F.i. you do not need to explain a carsharing member in Switzerland how carsharing works, but you will have to convince them that it is perfectly safe and reliable to open a vehicle with a Smart Phone. Conversely, Canadians don’t understand carsharing and are quite hesitant in getting into a Smart car.

These are only a handful of examples where local knowledge is essential. Shared mobility offers a service and not a product and if you want to be sustainable in the long run, you must win your local audience’s trust. And that only works by understanding their needs and adjusting your offer.

Related Reading

EmpowerWISM 2022: Meet the 19 Applicants!

The EmpowerWISM panel of judges have begun the very hard task of choosing the top 5 finalists and winner from this years amazing group of applicants! In case you our new to the EmpoweWISM Pitch, here is a recap:

Our Empower Women in Shared Mobility Pitch is a program dedicated to encouraging and empowering women-led companies within the shared mobility industry. The winning mobility venture (as voted for by our panel of expert judges) will receive a 12 month mentoring package from movmi, a start-up booth at Autonomy Paris and return flights to Paris provided by INVERS.

e received 19 applications in total and wanted to share with you an overview of the entrants. Keep reading to find out the focus areas of each company, where they are located in the world and the women majority of each company!

Read More »
multimodal mobility Brazil

Global Mobility – Brazil: Mode Choice & Travel Behaviour

with native industry experts to give you an up-to-date look at what’s happening on the ground in each country. This month, we are back in Brazil with our partner Humberto Maciel, Founder of OPTAI. In episode two, the panel of experts take a look at how the pandemic affected travel behaviour and mode choice and the challenges public transportation authorities faced in Latin America.

Read More »

movmi’s 12 Top Moments of 2021

As 2021 draws to an end, as a team, we decided to take a look back over the last 12 months at everything we accomplished as a company. In this blog post we will be sharing our top moments of the year, including;

– The projects we’ve worked on
– The people we spoke to and collaborated with
– Our favourite movmi campaigns and initiatives

Read More »

EmpowerWISM 2022: Partners & Prizes

We have partnered with some truly exceptional companies to bring our EmpowerWISM Pitch to life this year including. They have supported us by promoting the Empower Women in Shared Mobility Pitch and by offering a few amazing prizes for the winner! Keep reading to find out what those prizes are.

Read More »

E-Learning Course “Shared Mobility 101”  AVAILABLE NOW!