How do brands stay relevant in the shared economy? Lessons learnt from our panel at Mumbrella 360…

How do brands stay relevant in the shared economy? Lessons learnt from our panel at Mumbrella 360…

There are three types of people in this world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened.

Business is no different. No brand wants to be sitting on the side-lines while another more nimble and adaptive brand speeds past them with all their customers as passengers.

So why is it that so few incumbent brands are adapting in response to the rise of collaborative consumption?

To answer that question, earlier this month we hosted a panel session at Mumbrella 360 with Collaborative Lab founder Rachel Botsman, GoGet founder Bruce Jeffreys, Uber’s APAC head of policy Jordan Condo, and Yatango and SocietyOne founder Andy Taylor.

In case you missed it, here are five things we learnt…

  • Ownership in the digital age is changing.  The emergence of social, mobile and location is what makes the collaborative economy work.  According to Andy Taylor, power is now in the hands of the consumer.  This shift requires new thinking from brands that have historically been the ones in control.
  • Established brands should act now.  According to Rachel Botsman, incumbent brands have an eighteen month window to respond to the rise of collaborative economy.  Leave it too much longer and organisations will find new entrants taking market share and forward-thinking competitors stealing customers.
  • There is no silver bullet in how to respond.  According to Botsman, while there is no single answer for how brands should adapt, there are three broad approaches being taken:
    • Invest in an up-and-coming collaborative consumption business, as Westpac has done with SocietyOne;
    • Partner with new entrants, as IKEA has done with GoGet; or
    • Alter your offering, as BMW and DHL have done.
  • The customer experience is king. Uber’s Jordan Condo said new businesses like Uber aren’t just providing a new way to book a taxi, they’re providing an experience.  Experiences are important because that’s what creates loyalty and word-of-mouth traction.  In many cases incumbent brands would do well to learn from the way new entrants are delivering an excellent customer experience for consumers.
  • This is bigger than marketing.  Bruce Jeffreys from GoGet discussed the role marketing /comms agencies have to play in helping navigate this change.  He also made clear that the critical challenge is making sure responding to changing consumer behaviour is not just marketing activity but elevated to wider business operations.

 

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