An investigation of the targeted customers of a peer-to-peer car sharing company and how the company’s value proposition should be developed accordingly
Abstract: Background and Purpose: Most countries in the world are becoming increasingly urbanized, which implies challenges related to transportation within cities. More individuals in cities, and hence more cars, has consequences such as increased congestion, limited parking space, as well as increased pollution. This means that there is a need for smarter and more sustainable ways of car usage. One potential solution to the problem is the practice of car sharing, or more specifically peer-to-peer (P2P) car sharing. A start-up company that has recognized the business opportunity related to P2P car sharing is Ciao Ciao Carsharing, which the researchers have collaborated with in this research. The company has realized that a deep understanding of its targeted customer segments is currently missing and believes that this understanding would enable them to better reach their targeted customers. The purpose of this research was therefore to obtain a deeper understanding of Ciao Ciao Carsharing’s targeted customers, as well as to investigate suggestions on how the company’s value proposition should be developed in order to create value for the targeted customers. Methodology: A combination of a qualitative and a quantitative research, referred to as a mixed research method, was used in this research. The research started with semi-structured interviews in order to gain a deeper understanding of the underlying motivations of each interviewee and thereby generate insights regarding the company’s targeted customer segments. A quantitative questionnaire was thereafter used in order to test whether the findings from the qualitative interviews were possible to generalize over a larger group of people. The findings that were generalizable were considered to be useful for the company as well as for the purpose of this research. Findings and Conclusions: The findings and conclusions include an overview of the most important factors that were found regarding the targeted customer segments, as well as suggestions on how the company should meet these. These suggestions include; the company should focus on (as well as invest in) what is most important for the targeted customers, they should create value together with the customers, as well as emphasize efficiency and utilitarian benefits rather than community building or sustainability concerns. It was further concluded that it is essential that the company meets the motives of both car owners and car renters, but also creates a match between the car owners and the car renters.
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