Translating German Shared Mobility Services for the Japanese Market
Understanding a new market and culture fit is crucial for success. As a highly diverse team representing more than 20 nationalities and fluent in just as many languages, we often get requests to help translate different markets, aesthetics, and consumer buying behaviors. We were recently approached by one of the largest Japanese car manufacturers to do just that. The challenge: Research the differences between European and Japanese shared mobility services. With the brief in hand, we created a bespoke program customized to their research needs.
Local expertise makes a difference
A company representative was in town for IAA, the world's largest motor show, and needed local support testing the various mobility services available in Germany. Local support was critical for a few reasons: Not only do Goodpatch employees have German drivers licenses, we also have accounts set up with every major service provider in the city. What’s more, we have several team members who are very passionate about mobility with deep industry knowledge.
A tour through Berlin
We began the research with an onboarding meeting, taking the representative through the German mobility market and the recent shift from personal cars to shared mobility services. We then went out onto the street for field research. Over the course of two days, we took the company representative through the sign-up, login, booking, and in-route experiences of the various providers and their companion apps. The sharing services we tested included cars (We Share, SIXT and ShareNow, formerly known as car2go and DriveNow), kick scooters (TIER, Lime, Voi), bikes (Uber, Lidl, Mobike), scooters (Coup and emmy), and ride haling (BerlKönig and Clever Shuttle).
Capturing all the intricacies of mobility services
As a part of our research, we documented the key differentiators of each provider: user experience, interface, features, and unique service offerings. We also highlighted each user group: e.g., locals vs. tourists, heavy users vs. first-time riders. We also made sure to note the external factors affecting mobility trends: climate initiatives and legislation, local vs. global markets, city planning and infrastructure, cultural aspects, and sociopolitical shifts.
For us, the learnings were mutual. We were equally interested in conducting field research and were excited to hear his fresh perspective on the services available in Berlin, especially compared to the services available in Japan.