The Sharing Economy is gaining steam, and consumer “Meaning Makers” are driving the trend and business model
This is part four in a series uncovering what makes us buy and why (aka insights into the Deep Motivators of Consumers and the Future of Consumer Marketing) See the introductory post here.
Many consumers increasingly recognize the value in approaches that share, rent, swap, or loan products, services, and experiences. Concern for the environment, a desire for greater simplicity, freedom from accumulating “stuff”, and a sense of community are all triggers for participation in such marketplaces.
Let’s look at some examples:
Open Shed’s value proposition speaks for itself: “Why buy, when you can share?” This online platform connects people who have different tools and practical objects, and allows them to share and lend what they have. It is about “neighbors helping neighbors” and brings a sense of close-knit community. Consumers no longer have to buy hardware tools for one-time use, but are able to make their lives easier by borrowing what they need, when they need it.
MeeMeep is a way of simplifying the hassle of moving: The service allows registered users to post the items they want to move and to where, and other users with a moving van from that area are able to pick up and help these movers to get from point A to point B at a lower cost than renting out a moving van or service. These two parties make agreements on the price while MeeMeep keeps the money until the items are successfully delivered.
The sharing economy is gaining steam. Platforms that mediate consumer interactions aren’t just positioned to provide a valuable service, but they can become the intermediaries that drive marketplace business models. Doing good while doing well financially is the name of their game.
The consumer segments that drive the Rent-A-Anything trend are Fear Fixers, Simplicity Seekers, and Meaning Makers. Check out my introductory blog post for their definitions. Next week we’ll look at Peer Support for Motivation and Change.