At the risk of over-egging this with such a grandiose title, I apologise, but Collaborative Consumption (CC) is a trend you can’t ignore. It’s the explosion of sharing, lending, auctioning, bartering and swapping on a global scale and is the result of tectonic shifts in socio-cultural and economic changes.
Where the 20th Century was defined by hyper consumption, including credit, advertising and individual ownership, the 21st Century will be defined by collaborative consumption, characterised by reputation, community and shared access.
It’s all about community driven marketplaces.
You may have come across CC in your day-to-day life, but maybe not known you were participating in this exciting, global movement. Have you recently Ebay’ed? Maybe you’ve picked up something from Freecycle? Or downloaded a free music track from Limewire or joined Spotify? What about visiting the Burning Man Festival, or have you used a G-Wiz City Car? Perhaps you’ve spurned Tesco and decided to choose local? Maybe you’ve joined a book club? These are just a few examples, but there are many, many more, spanning all industries and sectors.
The key levers for CC, fall around Trust, and our ever decreasing lack of it towards big, corporate beasts, a renewed sense of Togetherness and Community, and a redefined notion of Ownership.
To gain a succinct overview into what’s driving collaborative consumption, watch this great little vid (3mins 40secs):
Throughline with Mindful Maps presents Collaborative Consumption: An RSA/Nominet Film Competition Short Film from Kate Hammer on Vimeo.
You may think that this is either a load of hubble bubble, or that it spells the death knell of businesses as we know it. I don’t think it’s either. But it does mean we as marketeers need to think differently, and plan ahead. Just how do businesses play a role in this ever growing and pervasive revolution?
If you think it’s just for tree-hugging, cottage industry, sandal wearing hippies, consider this; that BMW, Ford, Peugeot, VW and GM have all entered the car sharing sector. Why? Because they realise that they can either try and fight it, like the music industry – and fail- or join in and shift their business from that of an ownership model, to a business built on offering ’mobility services’.
This has to be one the most exciting challenges in marketing, and something we at Finn are considering in our planning and creative sessions.
And finally, here’s two great live examples of businesses built on this powerful trend, which are rapidly gaining traction:
Posted by James on January 22nd, 2012