There’s a lot of talk lately about The Share Economy, but what does it mean for businesses and what can they do to capitalize on this growing trend? One company, Airbnb, a travel website that allows hosts to rent out rooms in their homes to strangers from all over the world, has used the idea of The Share Economy to generate millions of dollars in revenue and has hosted more than 17 million guests to date. So what’s their secret?
According to a recent article in The New York Times, “The short answer is that Airbnb understood that the world was becoming hyperconnected — meaning the technology was there to connect any renter to any tourist or businessperson anywhere on the planet.”
What they did with that understanding was simply genius. By creating a trustworthy platform, they saw that huge value could be created for both parties, and used this concept to create an entirely new way for people to travel. The centerpiece of their multi-million dollar Share Economy concept? Trust. Every member on Airbnb is required to build an online profile to share personal details about themselves in order to establish a certain level of credibility and trust. The more you share – the more likely you are to gain more customers and have a better experience. Honesty = profit. Such a simple concept; yet often overlooked and underused.
What does this mean for marketers and the changing landscape of the economy? According to Bryan Chesky, co-founder of Airbnb, “The 21st-century economy will be powered by people. So I will be able to sell something directly to you and delight you and surprise you, and the selection you’ll be able to choose from won’t be 4 but 4,000,000.”
With a rapidly growing number of products and services available to consumers, marketers must prepare themselves to stand above the competition. As The Share Economy continues to grows, we will see a shift away from the one-size-fits-all mentality of major corporations to more personalized products and services that accommodate and suit the individual preferences of consumers. Marketers that arm themselves with a deep understanding of their consumers now, will have the edge and insights they need to build a community of trust in their hyperconnected worlds in the future. Love it or hate it, The Share Economy shows no signs of fading away. If you want to secure your slice of The Share Economy Pie; – it’s time to invest in your consumers and get on board.