There is a lot of talk in the automotive industry about car subscription programs. While such programs are not a massive technological innovation, they are instead of the rare breed of business model innovations. Car subscription programs allow consumers to pay a flat monthly fee in exchange for a vehicle, maintenance, insurance, and, often, at home delivery of the vehicle. Importantly, many car subscription services allow consumers to swap out their vehicles for another model and to easily pause or cancel their car subscription service. Those two features are important, as they provide the flexibility that greatly distinguishes car subscription programs from the standard short term lease.
Recent talk in the automotive industry regarding car subscription programs focuses on important details, such as pricing, logistics, and business impact. However, one question that is often left out of discussions or is assumed to be known is the following: Who is actually supposed to purchase the car subscription service? In this article, we at 100grams seek to answer and provide clarity to this question by detailing four typical “buyer personas” (or should we say, “subscriber personas”) for car subscription programs.
1. The Millennial
One common buyer of car subscription programs is the millennial. A typical millennial subscriber is an urban, young professional who is just beginning their career. This individual is typically just starting their career in a metropolitan area as, for example, a junior consultant, paralegal, or financial analyst. This buyer is price sensitive, but they are also attuned to quality as they seek to achieve a certain quality of life and lifestyle. A car subscription appeals to this buyer as it allows them access to transportation without the typical hassles of car ownership, such as maintenance appointments, registration processes, or insurance certifications. Dealing with these tasks is not only seen as a hassle, but it can also be difficult to juggle with regard to time as these young professionals will be working long hours in attempt to climb the corporate ladder.
2. The Frequent Traveler
The frequent traveler is another typical subscriber. Such a subscriber may work as a sales person or management consultant who is often flying around the country to meet and work with different clients. Owning a car does not necessarily make sense for this subscriber, as, due to the time they are away from their home, an owned vehicle would spend a lot of time idle in this subscriber's garage. A car subscription program serves this user well, as it can be paused and restarted with just the tap of a button when the user leaves or returns to their home base. Car subscriptions allow this buyer to only have to pay for his or her access to transportation when the buyer is actually at home and in need of a vehicle.
3. The Transition Subscriber
This subscriber is in a lifestyle transition, be it for the long term or short term. The primary example of this buyer is a mother or father with a family. If a couple is just starting or in the process of growing a family, a car subscription service would allow this couple to easily change vehicles as their family needs change. This couple could easily swap their car subscription vehicle from a sedan to a larger, safer crossover or SUV. Additionally, a car subscription can be well suited for shorter term “transitions.” For example, if an individual is going on a road trip with a few friends, they will enjoy the flexibility of a car subscription as they will be able to quickly swap a sedan for a larger vehicle. This type of subscriber will get great benefit from a car subscription with easy vehicle swapping functionality.
4. The Car Enthusiast
Last but not least, another buyer persona for a car subscription program is that of the car enthusiast. This buyer is a fan of all things cars, and their primary motivation to join a car subscription service is to be able to try out and drive more vehicles. Typically, this buyer will not be averse to spending a good amount of money on their hobby, so car subscriptions past the $1,500 per month range are certainly not unreasonable for this buyer. They will definitely have an affinity for quality and, most importantly, for performance. To cater to this buyer, be sure to have a variety of luxury and performance vehicles in your car subscription line up.
Hopefully these descriptions of typical buyers of car subscription services have helped provide some inspiration for a car subscription program at your own dealership, leasing company, or automotive group. Ideally, these buyer personas will help you tailor your marketing messaging so that you can precisely address the needs of these buyers and, ultimately, increase sales. If you are interested in learning more regarding new innovations and technology in the automotive industry, take a look at 0ur technology solutions for car dealerships or, similarly, our mobile applications for the transport industry.
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