INTRODUCTION Zipcar was founded in 2000by Cambridge, Massachusetts residents AntjeDanielson and Robin Chase. As of February 2013, the company has 777,000members and offers nearly 10,000 vehicles. On 14 March 2013 Avis Budget Group purchasedZipcar. The company focused on three main customers:IndividualsCompanies
S.W.O.T. ANALYSISStrength Ease of use Style of its service (cool car) Technological sophistication (Wireless & RFID technology) Green Benefits!! Membership savings No usual hassles attributed to traditional car rental like reservationafter joining as a member. Effective branding through its website and fleets by using signatureZipcar light green that symbolizes environmental friendly.
Weakness High dependency on technology for its seamlessoperation like online reservation, payment and fleetmanagement. There is certain weakness in its marketing tactics as it islargely unknown to urban masses. Its website failed to be search engine optimised.
Opportunities By been environmental friendly, it is in a very strongposition to entice customers who have strong viewabout environmental and social concern. By establishing its presence on college, it has createda strong awareness and foothold of new generationfans. While rising fuel costs will push people toward Zipcar. Transit connection- fleet can be strategically parkednear train or subway stations for easy access tomember.
Threats Big car rental companies like Hertz, Enterprise enteringinto car sharing market. Rising petrol can be an economic burden to Zipcar sinceits rate is inclusive of petrol.
MARKETING MIX (4PS)Product• Zipcar offers more than 30 models ofvehicles• All cars comes with equipped with GPS &WIFI• Clean fuel vehiclesPrice• Provide low-cost, economic car sharingservice (one-time application fee $25)• occasional driving (from $8.25/hr and $84/day)• extra value ($50/month then $7.43/hr and $75.60/day)•Included with every plan: fuel, insuranceand up to 40 free miles per day• Zipsters can save an average of $500 amonth compared to car owners
Promotion Print ads on public transportationlike Buses, Taxis, Subways etc Advertisement on Zipcarproperties Free membership for merchantswho prominently displayed Zipcarpamphlets. Online marketing IKEA-the home goods retailer-hassponsored 14 cars bearing boththe IKEA and Zipcar logos IKEA then created "Zipcar parkingonly" spaces at its new storePlace
FACTORS THAT NEED TO BE CLEARLYGRASPED BEFORE MAKING A DECISION OFVENTURE ARE:GLOBAL COMPETITORS Which other companies with similar service aretargeting the same market? Do they have any advantages? If so, what(political ties, personnel from the market, etc,.)? Do they have any disadvantages? If so, what(poor reputation in the market, legal issues athome, etc,.)? What is their track record in new market entry?If strong, what are their methods?
LOCAL COMPETITORS Are there any existing local companies in the targetmarket with similar service? If so, how many? How long have they been operating? What is their percentage penetration of theestimated market size? What kind of barriers will they be able to erect to thecompany entry?
SOCIAL CHANGES What kind of social changes are occurring in thetarget market that would affect service success? Which changes are trends and which are newmodels of living? Are social changes becoming more sympathetic tothe country of service origin? Will the service be left in the dust due to changingsocial taste or will it harness the next wave?
SUPPLIERS How many potential suppliers do have currently compiledfor the service? How strong is supply chain(fiscally, historically, logistics, ability to meet futuredemand, etc,.)? Are there any suppliers closer to target market who canprovide the same quality but cut down on transportation /logistics overhead?
DEMOGRAPHICS Do the demographics in target market facilitate agrowing market potential or a declining one? What is the adoption rate of the currentdemographics for the service? What barriers exist in introducing theservice, creating hurdles to be cleared? What needs will the service solve?
GOVERNMENT POLICIES Who are the key policy makers for the niche whichaffects the service? Does home government have any specialregulations involving trade with the target country? Ifso, what? Are there any policies under development currentlythat would affect the market entry? What kind of relationship does home countryembassy trade consulate have with target marketpolicy makers? Of how much help can yourconsulate be?
ECONOMIC CONDITIONS What is the current trade volume of the targetmarket? What is the Gross National Product (GNP)? How does the currency difference affect the venture? What are the spending patterns of the target enduser in this market? Will your service bring value to the economicconditions? If so, how?
WORLD SITUATION What is happening with the target market on thestage of world politics and economics? Is it or a neighboring country hosting the Olympicssoon? If so, how would this affect the companyentry? Is there civil war in a neighboring nation? If so, whatkind of threat does this pose to the companysustainability? Is the target market under internationalinvestigation/pressure for alleged support ofsubversive activity?
TECHNOLOGY What is the level of sophistication of the target market asa whole? How does the historical data on adoption of newtechnology/service affect the company entry andsustainability? What are the current technology needs of the targetmarket and does the service meet them? What are the anticipated future technology needs andhow will this affect company sustainability?
CONCLUSIONIndia is a perfect market for ZipcarIn 2012, EMBARQ, the WRI Center for SustainableTransport, has been researching the feasibility of “carsharing in developing countries” a project sponsored byVolkswagen.The team recently conducted focus groups with potential andexisting car sharing users in Hangzhou, China andBangalore (India).A final report summarizing the findings will be published soon.