August 15, 2019
Electric scooters are everywhere... or so it feels. Just how many people in the US are aware of the brands leading this new trend? We look at brand awareness in this article.
A really common sight on the sidewalks of most US city centers these days are electric scooters. They provide commuters with a fast and eco-friendly way to get to work. This has meant that a lot of people are now not quite as reliant on cars or public transport.
Taking a look at some stats and figures, it’s possible to see that there is a healthy demand for electric scooters. When the global market was valued in 2018, the valuation came in at a healthy USD 17.43 billion. What’s more, this is forecast to see a CAGR of around 8.5% between now and 2030.
This isn’t all that surprising seeing as the general public are now a lot more concerned with eco-friendliness. More people are happy to make changes to their lifestyle to help the planet, and if that means whizzing around on an electric scooter, then so be it! It also helps that many consumers’ living spaces will be quite cramped. As cities become more populated, flats and houses become smaller, and a compact scooter that can be packed away better than a bike becomes a commuter’s best friend.
Surely these are factors that all marketing managers know, right? In fact, most electric scooter users are probably very aware of them as well. But there is one trick that we have up our sleeve. We know that not everyone is aware of how each of the market’s brands is performing. That's why we decided to take a deeper look into brand awareness.
We asked 1,000 survey respondents in the US how aware they are of the big electric scooter brands and if they would they consider using them. Here’s what they had to say.
The brands we considered for the survey are Spin, Bird, Lime, Lyft, Scoot, and Skip. We began by asking the following unaided brand awareness question: “When you think of the electric scooter industry, which brands come to mind?”. Things didn’t pan out too well. None of our respondents could name any! This shouldn’t scare their brand managers, though—electric scooters are still a relatively new concept and there is still time for it to catch on.
Our results for aided brand awareness were a lot more positive, to say the least. We saw increases in brand awareness as income increased for participants, information that will be very interesting for brands when defining their target audience. Let's explore different demographics to see how these changes happened as income increased.
To start with, let’s take a look at what came from the general population. The majority (68%) had heard of Lyft, while Lime took second place with 24%. 17% of respondents knew of both Bird and Scoot. Trailing at the bottom of the pack, 8% and 6% had heard of Spin and Skip respectively.
We then took a closer look at whether an individual’s income had any influence over their awareness of the electric scooter brands. Those with a higher income had slightly different results than the general population. Most of the brands saw an increase in their awareness, and Lyft still stormed ahead with 77%. Lime saw a 2% increase to 26% and 17% of higher-earning respondents had heard of Scoot, which is a 1% rise. However, Spin and Skip saw no change and were stuck at 8% and 6% of participants having heard of them.
Lyft takes a hit when we look at the results from lower earners as 58% said that they were aware of them. 21% knew about Lime and 17% had heard of both Scoot and Bird. Once again taking the bottom positions, Spin and Skip still came in with 8% and 6% respectively.
One thing we can take from these results between the income demographics is that most of the brands stay on the same awareness, apart from Lyft and Lime. These two brands are known by a lot more respondents on a higher income. One reason for this could be the kinds of publications they are targeting for their press. Lift and Lime have gained press coverage from publications including the Standard and the Daily Mail, both of which are known to be aimed at the middle class and, therefore, higher earners. If one of the other brands wanted to use this to their advantage, they could start refocusing their PR strategies to start going after press that will be read by middle-class incomes with high incomes.
Just because someone is aware of a brand, it doesn’t mean that they will also consider using it. To see whether this was the case with electric scooters, we delved into the brands’ consideration results from the survey. Again, we saw differences when it came to income.
When asked if they would consider using any of the brands, 68% plumped for Bird and Lyft. 62% of participants agreed with Scoot and Lime had 58% consideration. Both Spin and Skip would be considered by 50% of the respondents.
This is very good news for Bird as they came in level with Lyft. Conversely, Lyft might want to watch out, as it looks like a lot of respondents would think about using Bird even though they might not have originally heard of the brand.
Once again, we broke the results down by participants’ incomes. Out of the higher earners, 79% said they’d consider Lyft and Bird still took second place with 68%. Scoot was only just behind at 62%. When it comes to the final three, 58% would opt for Lime and half of the respondents answered with Spin and Skip.
As with the results from brand awareness, these show that Lyft is coming across as very much the brand of choice for high earners. When it comes to the other brands, their awareness was exactly the same as it was when we looked at the results from the general population.
Something else that is worth pointing out is that Lyft was already a well-established ride-share app in the US before they branched out into scooters. As individuals with a high income are more likely to travel more than those on lower incomes, there’s a chance that they were already aware of the brand from their travels. If so, this could have reinforced the brand as one that can be trusted and relied on.
Finally, it’s time for the results from the low-income participants.
When asked if they would consider any of our brands, 69% would go for Bird and 65% would choose Lyft. Slightly behind them, Scoot had a brand consideration of 62% while Lime’s was 58%. Finally, 50% of our respondents would consider both Spin and Skip.
This is the only time we have seen Lyft lose out to another brand—Bird takes the top spot!
So, from all our results it seems that there is only ever a significant shift to the results when we look solely at the high-income demographic. With the other audiences, there isn’t much change.
There are three clear points we can take away from this study:
1. Lyft is the scooter brand people are aware of most in the US.
2. There is no real change across demographics, only for high-income individuals where Lyft and Lime perform better.
3. Other brands have a significant amount of catch up to do in order to reach the brand awareness levels of Lyft and Lime.
These other brands now know they need to start developing marketing and brand campaigns that can get their names out there in front of their target audience.
It’s also fair to remember that the electric scooter market is still a relatively new one. Not many people have got behind these products yet. Over time, as the trend for scooters starts to pick up, hopefully, brands can start to benefit in the upswing of the general public’s demand for this new product.