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#10 Collaborative Consumption: Ten Frontiers for the Future of Engagement

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This is the tenth report from our upcoming People's Insights Annual Report titled “Now & Next: Future of Engagement”, also available as a Kindle eBook and soon as an interactive iPad app. The report …

This is the tenth report from our upcoming People's Insights Annual Report titled “Now & Next: Future of Engagement”, also available as a Kindle eBook and soon as an interactive iPad app. The report will highlight the ten most important frontiers that will define the future of engagement for marketers, entrepreneurs and changemakers: Crowdfunding, Behavior Change Games, Collaborative Social Innovation, Grassroots Change Movements, Co-creation Communities, Social Curation, Transmedia Storytelling, Collective Intelligence, Social Live Experiences and Collaborative Consumption.

In each of these reports, we start by describing why they are important, how they work, and how brands might benefit from them; we then examine web platforms and brand programs that point to the future (that is already here); then finish by identifying some of the most important features of that future, with our recommendations on how to benefit from them.

Do subscribe to our email newsletter to receive an invite to download a free copy of the interactive iPad app.

Find out more: http://peopleslab.mslgroup.com/peoplesinsights/future-of-engagement/
Get the Kindle eBook: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D8ZZMDY

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  • 1. 10. COLLABORATIVECONSUMPTIONPeoples Insights Annual ReportNow & Next:Future of Engagement
  • 2. We are delighted to share that we will bepublishing the People’s Insights AnnualReport titled “Now & Next: Future ofEngagement” as an interactive iPad app. Thereport will highlight the ten most importantfrontiers that will define the future ofengagement for marketers, entrepreneursand change makers: Crowdfunding, BehaviorChange Games, Collaborative SocialInnovation, Grassroots Change Movements,Co-creation Communities, Social Curation,Transmedia Storytelling, CollectiveIntelligence, Social Live Experiences andCollaborative Consumption.Throughout 2012, 100+ planners onMSLGROUP’s Insights Network have beentracking inspiring web platforms and brandprograms at the intersection of social data,citizenship, crowdsourcing and storytelling.Every week, we pick up one project andcurate the conversations around it — on theMSLGROUP Insights Network itself but alsoon the broader social web — into a weeklyinsights report. Every quarter, we compilethese insights, along with original researchand insights from the MSLGROUP globalnetwork, into the People’s Insights QuarterlyMagazine. Now, we have synthesized theinsights from our year-long endeavor in futurescanning as foresights into the future ofengagement.We believe, like William Gibson that, “thefuture is already here; it’s just not very evenlydistributed.” So, innovative web platformsin the areas of social data, citizenship,crowdsourcing and storytelling point towardsinteresting possibilities for brand programsthat leverage similar models to engagepeople. In turn, the web platforms and brandprograms of today give us clues to the futureof engagement tomorrow.In our reports on the ten frontiers that willdefine the future of engagement, we start bydescribing why they are important, how theywork, and how brands might benefit fromthem; we then examine web platforms andbrand programs that point to the future(that is already here); then finish by identifyingsome of the most important features of thatfuture, with our recommendations on how tobenefit from them.For the next ten weeks, we will publishthese reports one by one, then present themtogether, in context, as an interactive iPad app.Do subscribe to our email newsletter to receiveeach report and also an invite to download afree copy of the interactive iPad app.People’s Insights Annual Report
  • 3. 3What is Collaborative Consumption ?People use technology andcommunity to chooseaccess over ownershipand create a new sharingeconomy.cities has made it both possible and necessaryfor people to save space and money by sharinginstead of owning. Third, the combination of thecontinuing recession and the climate crisis hasmade people more mindful of what they buy andhow they use what they own, prompting themto save money and reduce their environmentalimpact by sharing instead of owning.As a result, people, especially millennials, arebecoming more value-conscious and usingonline, mobile and social platforms to chooseproducts based on peer reviews, search for thebest deals, and win discounts and freebies.More radically, they are prioritizing access overownership, and choosing sharing, renting,swapping, bartering and gifting over buying.Collaborative consumption is an importantgroundswell which is changing the very nature ofownership and consumption. People are sharingthe ownership and use of products, servicesand spaces with others in their communities,or around the world, using community-drivenmarketplaces that facilitate sharing, renting,swapping, bartering and gifting.The rise of collaborative consumption canbe attributed to three broad trends. First, thewidespread adoption of online social networkslike Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Weibohas deepened connection between peopleand communities and created new types oftrust mechanisms based on friend-of-friendrelationships. Second, the increasing density ofSource: seyyed_mostafa_zamani on Flickr
  • 4. In response, we have seen the emergence of awide range of platforms to enable collaborativeconsumption, including renting services, peer-to-peer marketplaces and sharing communities.Some of the most popular categories forcollaborative consumption are mobility, spaces,products and services.Within mobility, the most popular sub-categoriesare car sharing (Zipcar (video), BlaBlaCar (video),GetAround (video),RelayRides (video)), bikesharing (Velib, Bixi (video), B-cycle (video),SpinLister), ride-sharing (Sidecar (video), Lyft(video),Zimride (video)), and parking services(ParkatmyHouse (video), ParkingPanda (video)).Within spaces, the most popular sub-categoriesare vacation homes (Couchsurfing (video),Airbnb (video), Wimdu (video)), office spaces(DeskWanted (video), OpenDesks), and gardens(SharedEarth, Landshare (video)).Click to watch: ZipcarClick to watch: AirbnbClick to watch: UniiverseWithin products, the most popular sub-categories are clothes and accessories (thredUP(video), Rent the Runway (video), Bag Borrowor Steal (video), PoshMark), books (KindleOwners’ Lending Library, Lendle, BookCrossing,PaperbackSwap), and movies (Netflix).Within services, the most popular sub-categoriesare errands (TaskRabbit (video), dogsitting(DogVacay (video), Rover (video), education(Skillshare (video), WeTeachMe (video), italki(video)), lending (Prosper, Zopa, Lending Club)and crowdfunding (Kickstarter (video), Indiegogo,Crowdrise, Razoo (video)).Click to watch: Rent the RunwayClick to watch: TaskRabbitIn addition, several multi-purpose collaborativeconsumption platforms enable people to sell(Facebook Marketplace, eBay,Craigslist, Zaarly(video)), rent (Zilok, Rentoid (video), Uniiverse(video)) and donate (freegle (video), ZealousGood (video), FreeCycle) all types of products,services and experiences.
  • 5. 5Click to watch: TEDx Talk: Rachel Botsman: The case forcollaborative consumptionSome of these collaborative consumptionplatforms have achieved significant scale andsuccess. Airbnb has 4 million people who haveshared 300,000 listings in 39,000 cities andrented 10 million nights. Rent the Runway has 3million members who have rented dresses from170 designer brands.The scale and success of these collaborativeconsumption platforms demonstrates the shiftin consumption from ownership to access, andsignals the resurgence of trust-based peer-to-peer marketplaces.Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers, authors ofWhat’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of CollaborativeConsumption, said:“Collaborative consumption is not a niche trend,and it’s not a reactionary blip to the recession. It’sa socioeconomic groundswell that will transformthe way companies think about their valuepropositions—and the way people fulfill theirneeds.”How does CollaborativeConsumption work?Collaborative consumption platforms can beclassified into renting services, peer-to-peermarketplaces and sharing communities. Each ofthese three models has distinctive characteristicsacross four dimensions: the nature of ownership,the type of transaction, the role of the platformand the possibilities for community-building.In the renting service model, an organizationowns the products and creates a platform torent them to people, instead of selling them(Zipcar, Rent the Runway). This model is a directextension of the business model that hotelrooms, vacation time shares, airplanes and taxishave been built on, and sets a precedent for allproducts to be converted into services over time.These platforms use technology to make therenting experience more user-friendly, and add acommunity layer to drive viral growth (Rent theRunway: Our Runway).In the peer-to-peer marketplace model, anorganization creates a platform to enablepeople to sell or rent spaces, products, servicesor experiences to each other (eBay, Airbnb,TaskRabbit, Skillshare). These platforms canbe particularly disruptive because they usetechnology to directly connect people andeliminate the need for service organizations likehotels and universities. The platforms invest increating a community and build trust betweenusers through social connections (Airbnb SocialConnections), meetups (Airbnb meetups),verified profiles and peer reviews, and typicallymake a margin on the transactions betweenusers.Finally, in the sharing community model,an organization or changemaker creates acommunity to connect people and enablethem to barter, swap or gift spaces, products,services or experiences to each other (FreeCycle,CouchSurfing, BookCrossing). These oldercommunities tap into people’s desire to do goodand connect with likeminded others, and buildtrust through the same mechanisms as the peer-to-peer marketplaces.Collaborative Consumption forBrandsBranded programs can be classified into threemodels: collaborative consumption platformsthat connect people with products, socialcommerce tools that empower people to createtheir own catalogs or store fronts, and programsthat mobilize people to re-use & recycle theirproducts.Auto companies have taken the lead in creatingtheir own car-sharing platforms, enabling peopleto rent available vehicles online, via mobileapps, or through local dealers. Daimler Car2Go(video), BMW Drive Now (video), VolkswagenQuicar (video) and Peugeot Mu (video) haveall created their own car-sharing service. Avishas bought car-sharing services Zipcar, Fordhas partnered with German car-sharing serviceFlinkster to launch its own service Ford2Go, whileToyota Rent a Car has created a more traditionalcar rental service. Dodge Dart Registry (video)has taken a different approach to collaborativeconsumption and has created a crowdfundingplatform to help customers request friendsand family to sponsor parts of the new car for
  • 6. them. Auto companies are also partnering withcollaborative consumption platforms to promotetheir own technology, provide additional servicesto their customers, or create possibilities forthe future. For instance, GM partnered withRelayRides (video) to enable customers to rentout OnStar equipped cars easily, and BMW ihas partnered with collaborative consumptionplatform Park at My House (video) to enableusers to rent their vacant parking spots.This is an extension of a wider trend in whichauto companies are creating mobility services,which go beyond selling, or even renting, cars.BMW i, for instance, has entered into severalpartnerships to provide mobility services to itscustomers, inside and outside the car, includingelectric vehicle charging network ChargePoint(video), parking spot finding service Park Now(video), urban experience discovery service MyCity Way, location-based family network Life360and mass transit app Embark. Daimler hascreated transit planning service Moovel (video)to help users plan their travel across shared cars,taxis, shared bikes, buses and trains. Volkswagenhas partnered with Google to create Smileage(video) to help VW customers record andshare their riding experiences with their socialnetworks.Riding on the popularity of car-sharing andbike-sharing services, other companies are alsobeginning to create or sponsor such services,to strengthen their brand (Barclays Cycle Hire(video)).Going beyond mobility, apparel brands havecreated a number of collaborative consumptiontools and platforms.Some tools enable customers to customizeproducts, create their own storefronts, andsell products to their own networks. NIKEiD(video) and Converse – Design your own enablecustomers to customize and sell their ownshoes. Vancl Star in China created a Pinterest-style network to enable customers to showcaseand sell their own styles to their social networksand earn a commission. Magazine Voce (video)in Brazil created a similar platform to enablepeople to create social storefronts on Facebookand Orkut to share tips and sell products to theirfriends.Other platforms enable customers to resell,reuse or recycle their used products to reducetheir environmental impact. Marks and SpencerShwopping (video) encourages customer todonate their used clothes to Oxfam, so that theycan be resold, reused, or recycled, and rewardsthem with discounts. Aeropostale partnered withDo Something to create the Teens for Jeans (video)campaign and asked teens to donate their oldjeans for charity. Nike Reuse-A-Shoe encouragespeople to donate their old athletic shoes so thatthey can be recycled in the production of athleticequipment or athletic facilities.Patagonia and eBay Common Threads (video)combined these two models by enablingcustomers to sell their used Patagonia clothesand gear to others on eBay.Finally, other types of businesses are alsoexperimenting with collaborative consumption.Google started renting out Chrome notebooksto businesses, and Walmart is consideringincentivizing customers at its stores to deliveronline orders to other customers.Collaborative Consumption CaseStudiesBranded program: Vancl StarSource: star.vancl.comIn 2011, Chinese e-tailer Vancl launched the VanclStar platform, which enables people to createtheir own personal stores online, featuring theirfavorite Vancl styles and photos of themselveswearing Vancl products.Blogger Alia wrote:“Star.vancl.com is a photo blog + brand advocatecommunity site for VANCL fans. Fans of thebrand can register to open a “store”, which ismore like a photo blog, and then they canshowcase their VANCL purchases and uploadphotos of how they mix and match.”
  • 7. 7Source: dodgedartregistry.comClick to watch: Magazine VocêAccording to AdAdge:“Visitors can buy featured items by clicking onthe photos; Vancl handles the sale and shipping.Account holders get a 10% commission, withsome Stars reportedly earning thousands ofdollars.”trendwatching points out the convergence ofcuration and co-creation in this model of socialcommerce, which it calls (M)etailing:“Driving the (M)ETAIL trend is a shift towardsmore personal recommendations (from realpeople if not other consumers), along with evermore personalized products and services.”Branded program: Magazine VocêSource: apps.facebook.com/magazinevoceVoce, which enables people to create their ownstore fronts on Facebook and Orkut. Peoplefeature their favorite products from the MagazineLuiza catalog along with personal opinions andrecommendations. Then they promote their storewithin their networks and earn a commission oneach sale.Marketer Eric Smith points out the power ofsocial influencers in the world of collaborativemarketing:“Social influencers are generally powerhousesonline. They’ve successfully built a core group ofdedicated followers of their posts, updates, stories,etc. By partnering with these influencers, brandsgain access to the influencers’ avid followers. Thisaccess allows brands to reach a larger audiencewhile developing deeper relationships. Fosteringthe relationship between brands and socialinfluencers enables brands to gain advocates withenormous social reach and stay connected to theirtarget consumers.”In 2012, Brazilian retailer Magazine Luizalaunched social commerce platform MagazineBranded program: Dodge Dart Registry
  • 8. Source: campaigns.ebay.com/patagoniaClick to watch: Dodge: How to change buying cars foreverBranded program: Patagonia and eBay Common ThreadsForbes contributor Matthew de Paula notes thatthe program should help get the Dodge Dart “onthe radar of potential buyers”:“The way the Dodge Dart Registry ties in socialmedia could prove helpful in that regard. Aswould-be car buyers post updates on theirfundraising, they’ll be helping to boost awarenessof the compact sedan.”In January 2013, Dodge launched the DartRegistry, a platform which enables people torequest friends and family members to helpfund their new car. The process is similar tocrowdfunding – people share their story, setfunding tiers and recruit support from their socialnetworks – while generating word of moutharound the Dodge Dart and drawing attention tothe car’s parts.Adweek’s Tim Nudd explains the process:“You sign up for the program, configure andcustomize a Dodge Dart (choosing from 12exterior colors, 14 interior color and trim options,three fuel-efficient engines, three transmissionchoices, safety features, aerodynamics, etc.), andset a goal for the amount of money you want toraise to fund it. The site then itemizescomponents of the car—like a steering wheel,shifter, seat or engine—and allows friends, familyor anyone to sponsor the parts.”In 2011, Patagonia and eBay partnered to launch the Common Threads store on eBay, encouragingPatagonia customers to use the eBay platform to buy and sell used products, and thereby maximize thevalue of their goods while helping reduce their environmental impact.Here’s how it works:“A customer who lists a used Patagonia product on eBay will be asked to take the Common ThreadsInitiative pledge and become a partner. Membership will make the customers listing eligible for inclusionin the Common Threads Initiative store on eBay and on Patagonia.com. Patagonia will not receive any ofthe profits associated with the Common Threads Initiative storefront.”
  • 9. 9The Common Threads initiative has achievedquite some scale, and has expanded to the UK in2013. Fast Company’s Christina Chaey shares:“Patagonia got 24,000 people to pledge to buyless and buy used; it also partnered with eBayto make it easy for people to take the pledgeand then buy and sell gear from one another.Customers have resold 15,000 Patagonia piecesfor $500,000 so far.”Future of CollaborativeConsumptionWe believe that collaborative consumptionis a social movement that will become evenstronger in the coming years. We expect rentingservices, peer-to-peer marketplaces and sharingcommunities to proliferate as smaller nichesattain critical mass. At the same time, we expectto see consolidation in the larger niches, with city-focused players being acquired by other playersor product companies.We expect that new services like TrustCloud willaggregate users’ trust scores across collaborativeconsumption platforms, just like PeerIndex,Klout and Kred aggregate social influence acrosssocial networking and content sharing platforms.These trust networks will be context-specific andenable users to quickly establish trust for specificverticals and tasks.We expect that sensor-enabled productsand spaces will dramatically improve thecollaborative consumption experience, bymaking the service experience more seamless,making social sharing more easy, and makingtrust mechanisms more robust, driving thegrowth of platforms which first adopt them.We expect players like Social Bicycles (video)to create such sensor-based solutions for eachcollaborative consumption vertical.We believe that all companies will need torespond to the collaborative consumptiongroundswell, by converting their product-focusedselling-oriented business models into service-focused renting-oriented business models,building peer-to-peer secondhand marketplacesfor their products, and providing additionalservices to their customers through peer-to-peerservice marketplaces.After mobility and spaces, we expect manyproduct brands to create renting services andpeer-to-peer secondhand product marketplaces,or see third-party platforms disrupt theirindustries. Luxury fashion and home electronicsbrands, which have high price tags, high idletimes and short planned obsolescence cycles willbe the most impacted, but we expect this trend tocut across product categories.Similarly, we expect many service brands tocreate peer-to-peer service marketplaces, or seethird-party platforms disrupt their industries.We expect consumer-focused industries likehospitality, education, professional servicesand financial services to be most impacted(platforms like Skillshare (video) have alreadybegun disrupting the education industry), butalso expect to see more B2B oriented servicemarketplaces.Therefore, we expect that many large product orservice companies across will partner with, investin, or create their own collaborative consumptionplatforms, and use these to provide unique valueto their customers and differentiate themselvesfrom smaller players.Click to watch: Patagonia + eBay Green - Common ThreadsInitiative
  • 10. People’s Lab is MSLGROUP’s proprietarycrowdsourcing platform and approach thathelps organizations tap into people’s insights forinnovation, storytelling and change.The People’s Lab crowdsourcing platformhelps organizations build and nurture publicor private, web or mobile, hosted or whitelabel communities around four pre-configuredapplication areas: Expertise Request Network,Innovation Challenge Network, Research &Insights Network and Contest & ActivationNetwork. Our community and gaming featuresencourage people to share rich content, vote/comment on other people’s content andcollaborate to find innovative solutions.The People’s Lab crowdsourcing platformand approach forms the core of our distinctiveinsights and foresight approach, which consistsof four elements: organic conversation analysis,MSLGROUP’s own insight communities, client-specific insights communities, and ethnographicdeep dives into these communities. The People’sInsights Quarterly Magazines showcase ourcapability in crowdsourcing and analyzinginsights from conversations and communities.People’s Lab:CrowdsourcingInnovation & InsightsLearn more about us at:peopleslab.mslgroup.com | twitter.com/peopleslab
  • 11. MSLGROUP is Publicis Groupes strategiccommunications and engagement group,advisors in all aspects of communicationstrategy: from consumer PR to financialcommunications, from public affairs toreputation management and from crisiscommunications to event management.With more than 3,700 people, its offices span22 countries. Adding affiliates and partnersinto the equation, MSLGROUPs reachincreases to 4,000 employees in 83 countries.Today the largest PR and Engagementnetwork in Europe, Greater China and India, thegroup offers strategic planning and counsel,insight-guided thinking and big, compellingideas – followed by thorough execution.mslgroup.com | twitter.com/msl_groupWrite to us to start a conversation on the future of engagement.:Pascal Beucler,SVP & Chief Strategy Officer(pascal.beucler@mslgroup.com)Janelle Dixon,North America Head of Insights(janelle.dixon@mslgroup.com)Dominic Payling,Europe Head of Insights(dominic.payling@mslgroup.com)Gaurav Mishra,Asia Head of Insights(gaurav.mishra@mslgroup.com)