How a product or service is received, and its potential success, depends very much on how well the product matches its target market’s attitudes, values, and habits. If we can better understand how these change between generations, we can begin to predict how different generations might react to various policies, products and services. The MIND-SETS radar chart is an interactive tool that maps generational attitudes and behaviours, along with products and services, in order to see where they align, and where they don’t.

This easy-to-use interactive tool was born out of a simple question: Why? Why are millennials more into sharing than any previous generation? Why are baby boomers unwilling to leave their private cars behind? We analysed the values, reasons, and motivations underlying these mobility behaviours, to better understand the attitudes and perceptions that come out of specific social, environmental and economic contexts.

The four quadrants

The four quadrants of mobility behaviour

After analysing these differences – why these generations differed in their behaviours, and where their mobility behaviours differed, we identified four quadrants, each one describing a behavioural domain of mobility:

  • Safe mobility: Being in control, whether you take risks, but with a lifestyle focus.
  • Smart mobility: How much you are connected and feel in control.
  • Social mobility: ‘Me’ vs ‘we’. Whether you’re using your own mobility or prepared to share it.
  • Sustainable mobility: How much you value a green and healthy lifestyle.

The eight roots

The eight roots of mobility behaviour

These quadrants can be broken down into eight roots of mobility decision making, reflecting an attitude that lies along a continuum; whether you avoid risks or embrace them; whether or not you value control and privacy; how highly you value things like eco-consciousness and sharing. Using consumer data and an analysis of consumer trends, we mapped these ‘roots’ against the values that are particularly salient within each generation.

Here we can see how important each of these values is to the different generations. We can also begin to see generational trends, for example how younger generations put a higher value on flexibility, while the older generations desire more privacy and control.

The generations and their values

Comparing the root values of millennials and baby boomers

By mapping these generations against their mobility value sets, we can directly compare generations and understand what they need and expect from their mobility products and services. You can see how millennials, scoring highly in roots such as eco-consciousness and community, might want very different things than the baby boomers, who have quite a different profile.

But the tool can also be used to map the values that are implied or catered to by a specific mobility product or service. This is where the radar chart becomes particularly valuable for mobility decision makers; as a means for comparing generations with mobility products and services.

Mapping generations, products and services

Over the course of the project, we talked to people who had developed new products and services in the mobility field, and we began mapping new and innovative mobility products and services against the generations and their values. One example of this is the halfbike, a new cycle design from Bulgaria.

Here we can see how the characteristics of the product (or the expectations of the developer) overlap with the values of different generations. Although the product doesn’t seem to exactly ‘fit’ with any of the generations, many of the points on the scale were a close match with certain generations. The charts below show what aspects of the product appeal to different generations. Highlighting these specific aspects and marketing towards the generations that had the closest “match” could maximise the product’s ROI.

Millennials and the halfbike

Master boomers and the halfbike

This tool can predict how likely it is that a product or service will be accepted by a selected target market – enabling developers to “test” their concept. This can also be used for new mobility policies, for existing products and services, and could even reveal unexpected markets where a product might be successful – such as the Master Boomer generation for a Millennial-marketed product.

The radar chart can help innovators identify how a product fits different mobility markets, reflecting the different technological, generational and societal changes that have taken place over the last few decades. It can help teams visualise the potential demand for new mobility products and services and allow them to see where there might be a gap in the market, or where the mobility needs of a certain population group are not currently being met. This, combined with the other tools available on the MSKC, will allow decision-makers to have a 360-degree perspective of their citizens and their markets.

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