Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Katarina Pribićević
When certain terms “grow” to a certain measure, and by “grow” I mean in their meaning and use, it becomes increasingly difficult to define them.
This is the case with the concept of ‘sharing economy’. Generally understood, and most simply put, it is a system / platform that uses the internet / technology, to create a connection between what people need and what (other) people have.
Overall, this is a completely new business model that includes a bypass of institutions, mediators… and that directly links two sides in the need to find, take, rent, or give, lease, sell something. This approach, which allows immediacy, speed, directness, and at the same time lower costs, promises an exciting picture for the economy as we know it today.
The system of this new economy is based on the philosophy of modern times – access to goods / services versus owning goods. At the same time, position of technology as an “enabler” is drastically changing – technology is no longer a topic in itself, but a means.
To better understand the concept, its use and potentially adopt the basic principles of the sharing economy, I think it is important to understand all the things that sharing economy can be, or rather how much “faces” the sharing economy has.
When there is a need for access (to the content, service, product, opportunity…), but not possession, we call it the ACCESS ECONOMY, and the best examples include Netflix and Spotify.
There is also the RENT ECONOMY, a system of similar principles, which has existed for some time now, and which takes a new approach to the traditional market behavior, such as rent, lease, exchange, sharing, giving… Some forms of this system we call the GIFT ECONOMY, COLLABORATION ECONOMY, PEER TO PEER ECONOMY…
UBER and similar systems which we know from experience (Car:Go, Taxify…) that allow people to directly engage a driver, without the need for a taxi service, or more precisely to access services or products without intermediaries; Airbnb, eBay (which enables sale of unwanted items, not only to people in the immediate surroundings, but also to all those who have access to the internet (at home and abroad)), or DogVacay (pet sitting instead of the standard pet hotels, whose service goes far beyond the simple pet care and even includes insurance and other benefits) are just some of the success stories.
Why is the story of ‘sharing economy’ important?
Some will say that it is important because it enables the ‘common man’ access to the resources which otherwise they cannot access or possess. Thus Rent The Runway allows rental of wardrobes of famous designers, while POSHMARK app gives everyone a chance to buy clothes from Louis Vuitton or Chanel at much more affordable prices.
In focus are the benefits for the user, who has more control and saves money, but we must not ignore the benefits that this system brings to society and the natural environment. This is basically a platform that shares the principles of sustainable development and recycling – less waste, saving resources because the existing are re-used etc.
And yet, the greatest value for us is what we can learn… Especially those of us who professionally deal with “seeking answers to the needs of consumers”:
NEW PERSPECTIVE: Ability to change perspective both in defining needs (use or possession, access to or behavior…), but also in defining the response to the need, and even the provider of this response.
PROFITABILITY / RATIONALITY: Already at first glance it is clear that the “sector of sharing economy” is a lot more accessible than the “sector of traditional economy” and that at the very least it represents a serious challenge to big brands in terms of costs. Expenses of the providers, but also the expenses of seekers are immeasurably lower.
PERSONALIZATION: The spectrum of possibilities is almost endless, because the offer is created in relation to a very specific, sometimes completely personal need. So personalization is woven into the foundation of this approach.
It is finally time to apply in practice all that we have learned. Times have changed, and with them consumers, and thus the brands, and their approach to consumers and the market should move boldly forward.