Brands Get on Board the Collaborative Economy

Sylvia Sommer | June 1, 2016

Brands Get on Board the Collaborative Economy

shutterstock_395841919_1.jpgThe success of Craigslist, Airbnb, Taskrabbit and Uber has shown us that customers are becoming more and more comfortable buying, renting and sharing their homes, cars, time and services. Today technology is making these transactions so much easier, redefining the way people consume. Familiar brands, such as Patagonia and Intel, realize how important it is to adapt their business model in order to stay relevant and profitable over the coming years. Different factors have allowed this shift to happen.


Online Replaces in Person Shopping

The evolution of online shopping with on-demand delivery is demonstrated by Amazon Prime, Google Shopping Express and one of our favorites, Doordash. They’re setting the tone for online shopping delivery and companies like TaskRabbit are being used by smaller companies to compete with the on-demand delivery options. It’s important to watch what’s coming up and prepare before your business gets left behind.

Some may see the addition of on-demand delivery for online shopping as revolutionary, but it could also be seen as an indicator that customers want the online immediacy of purchase and choice but also the offline experience of receiving something the moment it’s purchased. That experience typically only happens when you shop at a brick and mortar store.

As big brands followed customer habits and fought their way online to compete with the Ebays and Amazons, they now need to follow their way into sharing and this new form of commerce. So, what if brands could take part in this new online shopping experience in the collaborative economy that is influenced by social referrals where consumers like to buy from their peers? By doing so, brands can influence loyalty and keep transactions of their products in their hands by joining. Patagonia’s gear and clothing is so durable that they created a marketplace selling used gear.

From renting someone’s personal car on GetAround to enjoying a home-cooked meal by someone you found on Feastly, peer-to-peer marketplaces are surfacing and attracting the modern day consumer in a brand new way. What Airbnb is doing to hotels all over the world, we’ll see others do to Home Depot, REI and other industry leaders. That is, unless, the top industry leaders like Home Depot and REI jump into the sharing economy feet first, and provide a way for consumers to share, rent or buy their products from each other before someone else does.

How would joining the collaborative economy benefit the world’s most powerful brands?

Increase customer loyalty -- brands can remind consumers that they can be available to buyers, renters, sharers of their brand in all forms and gain social trust in a new way. This will build brand loyalty in spaces some brands would never imagine.

Make use of unused inventory -- brands can resell or rent out products that were returned or create a line of their product for renting purposes only. This method would also be a clever marketing strategy if you consider the test-run habits of the consumer. If a consumer rents it and loves it a few times, the consumer will eventually buy it. Think ski rentals, cars and jewelry.

Join the evolution of online commerce -- brands will enter a new revenue stream that they can capitalize on just like marketers entered social media to monitor and grow customer service.

Altimeter Analyst and Chief Catalyst of Crowd Companies, Jeremiah Owyang, has been developing a council of brands interested in joining the collaborative economy space. It’s clear that it’s more than a trend as we see companies like Visa and Walmart interested in this movement. Companies are discovering how to jump in and people like Owyang are leading them down that path.

There are already available resources. Businesses can use Near Me to make a clean, effective transition into the collaborative economy space. Any size of brand or entrepreneur can create the “Airbnb” of anything.

As marketplaces evolve, we see more and more people trusting and buying goods and services from each other. Brands need to create peer-to-peer marketplaces to fasten loyalty in every corner of the Internet. Here ar Near Me we’re constantly pushing the boundaries of how our platform can add value to existing brands by utilizing the collaborative model. We maintain a dialogue with industry leaders and help entrepreneurs reach their business goals. If you think your brand could benefit from our expertise give us a shout! We’d love to hear from you.