You must have by now heard of the French collaborative car-sharing platform, BlaBlaCar?
Founded in France, it now operates in 19 countries around the world, some of them work well, some not so well – the UK for example.
It’s a puzzle for BlaBlaCar, as the UK had all the attributes of a great geographical market when it did it’s initial market research… petrol prices are high, transport costs too, many people commute from city to city to get to work, roads are good, but BlaBlaCar is not working. “British people remain suspicious of the idea of sharing a long car journey with a stranger.” states CEO Nicolas Brusson. But, perhaps it’s due also to its unique way of finding out if you’re chatty or not?
If you have visited London and travelled on the metro for example, you will notice that people don’t talk to strangers that much (but perhaps more than the Paris Metro :), well we have technology to blame for that, but perhaps it’s also the politeness of the British, we tend to speak when we are spoken to?
In France it works well, in Russia and Brazil, it’s booming, and elsewhere In Europe too. But in the UK it is stagnant.
Interestingly, talking of BlaBlaCar I also found on-line how it came across it’s name. The Chief Executive noted down key parameters for finding the right name.
Here they are: some good ground rules for any start-up wishing to go eventually go global…