Vespa + digital

In the age of digital disruption automotive industry is one of the first industries to suffer. I studied latest trend reports and case studies to come up with a business transformation strategy for Vespa.

WHAT DID I DO: Research⎜Data analysis⎜Synthesis⎜Conceptualisation⎜Business strategy⎜Presentation

Giedra is a 24yo professional. She works at the independent film studio in Paris, France. She owns a Vespa, of course – as a Parisienne that's a must. Usually at 7am she is sipping coffee at Place de la Bastille. At 10am she is helping to set up a scene at Luxemburg Gardens. At 5pm she is meeting a potential client at a tres chic cafe near Avenue Foch. Later at night she meets her friends for drinks. They usually meet at a bar near Giedra's place because #DontDrinkAndDrive.
As an independent film maker she travels a lot. March is Brugges, June and July in Ibiza shooting commercials, September a yoga retreat in Himalayas… Meanwhile the turquoise Vespa is all by itself in a garage. Regardless whether Giedra is using it or not, she has to pay for parking, yearly maintenance checks, insurance, gasoline and accessories. On top of it, she pays little money to her neighbour so he checks on the scooter once in a while when she is gone. Money spent on a bike that is not used regularly, would probably buy Giedra a Bali Christmas getaway. Once she makes the calculations, Giedra decides to have a farewell for the turquoise baby. She downloads Uber app.

Owning a vehicle is a burden. Giedra's story is a personal one. But more personal stories like hers is a statistics. More owners are going to feel the weight of owning Vespa. The existing owners will be looking for a more sustainable and affordable way of getting around. Sales are going to drop because people are more money conscious now and will be looking for a more affordable commute option right away.

It is now a fact that automotive industry is one of the industries to be disrupted by digital within the next 5 years. One of the Hyper Island assignments was to explore an insight or a point of view and turn it into value proposition. Working on a chosen business/organization I had to come up with a proposition to address an issue. It should have resulted in a voice-over presentation for the Management Team of the chosen organisation.
Car industry disruption | Lex
It is a well known fact that industries like automotive, finance, education and medicine are going to be shaken by digital. Studying reports on the topic from consultancies like McKinsey and Accenture spread some light on the topic. I discovered that insurance liability markets are not going to exist as we now them today in 10 years time. Or that Millennials are prone to a feeling of nostalgia. These studies are great to understand macro trends. What they lack is personal touch, like Giedra's story.

I run my own study, gathering data from friends who own Vespa, and encouraging my friends to pass on the questionnaire to their Vespa peers. Most of the participants said they prefer to have their own mode of transport because they don't want to use public transport. It is not convenient, you don't own the speed and direction, there are people there...
Fair enough. But why Vespa though, and not a car or a Honda bike? Looks like most of the guys viewed owning a bike as a cheaper alternative to a car, with perks like looking stylish at the same time. In general people want to commute on their own, at their own convenience and speed. They want to illuminate unnecessary costs as much as possible. Yet they want to have some personal touch to it.
Coming back to my friend Giedra, I then asked her to describe her interaction with Vespa. Turns out, on a normal working day she only uses it for 45 minutes. If she has meeting outside the office, the minutes are higher, but not significantly. That means that even when Giedra is in Paris, her Vespa is not used most of the times. Plus the expenses I have already mentioned.

In the end of the day, while helping me run the research, Giedra realised owning a Vespa is super costly. She decided to sell it and use Uber instead. She later said she will miss her solitude commute time, without having to deal with someone else around her.
People do value their personal experience with Vespa. But they find it costs them quite a penny that they would rather spend on something different. The relationship of an owner and his Vespa is very analog now. It is a transactional relationship as well. Why not redefine it and provide people with the experience they desire, but they would only need to pay for the actual time of the experience? All of the additional costs are already included on the service price.
The assignment was to create a compelling digital presentation for the management folks at Vespa. It was challenging to put all of the research in a presentation, yet to make it an interesting storytelling experience.
after thoughts
This project once again proved to me the importance of scoping the problem down. I am satisfied with the angle I have chosen. It allowed me too look into the problem from a point of view of those owning a Vespa bike. Giedra, a friend of mine, was a true Queen of the project, she was happy to answer many many questions, allowed me to follow her around. I think it is quite important to establish a rapport with your users/ customers, this will allow for a more in depth conversations and insights. Looking backwards, I would also like to test this idea, or at least discuss it to gather feedback, with someone more business savvyy - what are the financial downhills in shifting to such a business model, as well as what's the income pipeline.
Made on