Can big brands learn from Uber, Kickstarter, Airbnb and the Maker Movement? Yes, they’re using the same strategies to connect to their market, at a rapid pace.
The Collaborative Economy is a movement. People are empowered to fund, build, their own bespoke goods in the Maker Movement, and people are using new technologies to share what they already have in the Sharing Economy. In both cases, people are empowered to get what they need from each other –rather than buy from traditional companies.
Business models are changing, but corporations aren’t standing by idle, they’re quickly adapting and changing,you may access this detailed timeline. While we’ve yet to see return on investment numbers from any of these early deployments, our research of this same sample set indicate that thefrequency of brands deploying is increasing, even before the launch of Crowd Companies, six months ago.
A bit about the data and methods: Anongoing list of efforts has been collected from industry leaders, readers, and the brands themselves, we then tagged each of the deployments into specific categories. Most case examples are tagged in more than one instance, as they have overlapping deployments. Data was collected up until April 2014, and even more case examples are emerging. We identified a corporation as a company with characteristics of companies usually over 1000 employees or over a billion dollars gross revenue.
Three Graphs: Corporations in the Collaborative Economy
- Industry breakdown
- Major strategy
- Specific tactic(s)
Graph 1, above: Across the nearly 77 case examples up till April 2014, a majority of the deployments were from the retail industry, followed by the auto industry, then the technology space, then hospitality. In some cases, we counted consumer product goods and durable goods which impact the retail space in the frequency count.
Key findings: Companies closely related to consumer type business models are most impacted –and therefore have done the most deployments.
Graph 2, above: Across the broad spectrum of the collaborative economy (maker movement, crowd funding, sharing economy, and more) corporations are deploying tactics that are related to the sharing economy. The one isolated event of a co-op, where the company is owned by the customers and employees, is REI. The second most common strategy was tapping the Maker Movement, often in the form of co-innovation, also known as outside-in innovation or other variations.
Key findings: Corporations gravitated towards sharing economy business models, often through sponsorships, partnerships with leading players like Uber –but this doesn’t guarantee business model resiliency beyond the media pickup.
Graph 3, above: This graph is a subset of the above “Strategy” breakdown, shown directly above. We found that specific tactics most companies are deploying “brands as a service”, which means products are sent on-demand or are available as rental business models –instead of ownership models. In particular, BMW, Peugeot, Daimler, rent cars directly to drivers, and hotels like Westin and Cosmo rent out workout gear and dresses on Rent The Runway, respectively.
Key findings: Brands deployed “Brand as a service” which often equates to a rental model, or on-demand model, to meet new market demands of “access over ownership”. Secondly, much of this was achieved through partnerships with players like Uber, or other on-demand players. A few companies launched their own marketplaces, or partnered with other companies that offered this.
Conclusion: Brands must adopt Peer to Peer Commerce Models
Large corporations continue to adopt disruptive technologies. Twenty years ago, they adopted the internet, ten years ago, they adopted social media, and now, in 2014, they’re adopting the methods of the Collaborative Economy. The internet phase required an online B2C model, social media shifted to peer to peer communication, yet in this next phase, brands must offer their own peer to peer commerce models. In each of these phases, mindset changes are required, letting go of some control in order to gain more, and business model shifts. To learn more, find my body of work on the collaborative economywhich includes research, frameworks, graphics, data, and case examples.
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