Sharing Sum Up — Week 25

We’ll start this week’s letter with the morbid side of the sharing economy.

New research finds that the sharing economy will never become widespread because people have a strong psychological desire to own material goods.

Rosie Millard responds to the above research on the growth of the sharing economy.

21 books for Summer, recommended by Shareable.

We interviewed Rajesh from Share The World’s Resources — an independent civil society organisation campaigning for a fairer sharing of wealth, power and resources within and between nations.

Tech isn’t really making a “sharing” economy. So what is it making?

The political party Alternativet has created a sustainable map of Denmark, it’s a mapping of all the sustainable organisations in Denmark, and of course we’re featured on it, together with many other great initiatives.

Here are 5 lessons from sharing economy businesses:

Co-create.  Working in a collaborative way with customers can bring in outside perspectives and fresh ideas. One of my favorite examples is the Starbucks program where customers can nominate a new coffee. This is a great example of using crowdsourcing to drive product innovation while encouraging customer participation. Tech companies often use open-source platforms to drive innovation and participation. Co-creation is a powerful brand tool in the sharing economy. When consumers become co-creators in a brand experience, they are more likely to buy into the brand.

Build trust.  Trust is the currency of the sharing economy.  Use customer reviews and community-building strategies to develop authority and trust with your customers. The sharing economy requires people to put their trust in complete strangers. Marketers can leverage social proof and peer reviews to build trust and loyalty with customers at a grass roots level.

Integrate social.  Social integration is becoming the most important element of brand discovery and engagement. Building an engaged network of brand advocates takes work. Make every brand experience a social one where customers can engage, share, communicate.

Build A great Web site. Take a few pointers from the best sharing economy Web sites.  Peer reviews, simplified navigation, local information, and the use of maps, imagery and video make these sites engaging experiences. Easy access to products and service is the hallmark of the sharing economy. Corporate Web sites tend to be overly complex and difficult to use.  The best brands are focusing on delivering value instead of just selling.

Microtarget communities. The sharing economy is hyper-local; it builds business through community awareness. Larger companies often don’t spend time on the type of community engagement that is the hallmark of sharing economy brands. Take the time to seed your brand story in your neighborhood and develop brand-building campaigns in targeted communities.

We’ll end this weeks letter with a cartoon by the Nib.

That’s all from us at Sharing.Lab this week, have a great weekend. Oh and the videos from OuiShare are online!

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