A few days ago, I announced that I’ll be leading a research effort to understand the impacts of the growing Collaborative Economy trend, I also listed out 200 startups that are in this space (and a few big brands). For those new to this topic, theres an unstoppable trend of people trading, renting, and borrowing all kinds of services and goods. The disruptive impacts to brands are high: consumers can now buy and trade among themselves, often without purchasing things directly from the brands themselves. Corporations who don’t pay attention to this trend, are leaving themselves in a state of risk as technology and society continue to quickly innovate.
[To stay relevant with this unstoppable trend, every corporation must evaluate a business model of renting, lending, or gifting their products and services]
This trend has some major impacts to our social viewpoints on commercialism, materialism, and marketing. Yesterday, I was with some young entrepreneurs in their 20s yesterday who mentioned that the “American Dream is not about ownership of products, but just access to them”. Renting, borrowing, and trading to live the lifestyle they want with no worries is suitable for their personal and work lives. For example, My long time tech contact, entrepreneur, and friend, Andrew Hyde, only owned 39 things, in order to simplify his life.
Recent history is littered with companies that didn’t adopt to this Collaborative Economy model: Blockbuster to Netflix, Newspapers to Craigslist, and a few were able to harness this change such as the media who’s deployed a variety of methods to curb peer to peer sharing. As part of my research method, I like to lean on the community to source examples and case studies. The following list is examples of companies who have harnessed Collaborative Economy tactics, to supplement their business strategy of innovation. Here’s what I see:
Collaborative Economy: List of Brands and Corproations
Right now, at the start of this list, there are five companies, all in the auto space. I’ll add to it over time, as this trend takes off.
- BMW Drive NOW Premium Car Sharing by BMW i, Mini, and Sixt
- Volkswagen Quicar Car Share by VW (Hanover)
- Peugeot Mu Mobiliy Services Rentals
- Daimler Car2Go Sponteneity on Wheels
- RelayRides Uses OnStar technology
- Toyota Rent a Car: Offers a wide range of cars to be rented, at dealer, Feb 2013
- Barclays Cycle Hire: Barclays, a Financial Services firm offers Bike Share (2010?)
- Radiohead gifts media, asking consumers to pay what they want, (2007) hat tip Nico Ibieta
- Dodge Dart Registry: Crowdfund your next car
- Ford now was crowd sharing in Germany (submitted by Ford’s Scott Monty)
- Walmart considers having customers ship their own products (Submitted by Joe Chernov)
- Google rents Chromebooks for $30 (Submitted by Ned Boyajian)
- Enterprise Ride Share and Vanpool for individuals, employers, government.
- Add a brand or corporation to this list, by leaving a comment below
Opportunities for Corporations; Your Business Model Will Change
The brand business model will need to completely shift. My thesis is that for some retail and CPG companies to sustain, they will need to extend their business models to rent and allow for bartering. That’s right, I’m going to explore future use cases where Walmart, Macy’s, Gucci, Nordstrom, Target, Apple, BestBuy, Audi, P&G, will offer products for rent or lease –not ownership or consumption. Service based companies like Manpower, Kelly Services, HRBlock, may all need to develop methods that allow for independents to be involved in workforce, extending the model to peer to peer based services market where they take a margin cut. Even the hospitality space is impacted, expect companies like Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton, to not only rent rooms at their hotels, but to certify individual home owners houses to be rented out on second market exchanges like AirBnb or create their own market. In most radical use cases, brands may give away products for free as gifts, in expectation for donations, a promise for customers to come back later, or to receive a barter, or for no reason at all. Crazy? Not really, consumers are already doing this, and businesses must often model consumer behaviors to stay relevant. Lastly, assume there will be lots of acquisitions of startups to corporations, again, here’s my list of startups.
If you’d like to get involved with this research, please do the following:
I’m an industry analyst, which means I conduct research, and publish reports, see my Body of Research to learn more.
- Add to this list, by leaving comments below, of companies that are adopting Collaborative Economy strategies
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(Note: If I may be so bold, Altimeter Group, where I’m a partner and owner, we practice Open Research and publish reports at no cost, rather than use a subscription model)