The White Road To Sharing


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How has sharing evolved over the years and how is sharing now impacting how we shop?

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The White Road To Sharing

  1. 1. White Road Sharing
  2. 2. “White-road and red-road journeys are qualitatively different. You need the right map. On the red road it is about the destination. On the white road it is about the road. On the white road you must travel light. The white road is quiet. It is about simplicity. It is often adventurous. You need to dig deep. Sometimes there is no road. You have to trust your gut.” - Gary Erickson, Clif Bar
  3. 3. Sharing Sharing. We learn to do it at an early age. We start by sharing our toys, sharing friends, and my 2 year old often shares his snacks with our dog, Marley. As adults, sharing seems to take on a different meaning - profit sharing, music sharing and sharing advice. Lately, however, I’ve noticed sharing is getting back to basics. People are sharing their old & unused items for others to enjoy as their own, which then leads to sharing stories, experiences and opinions. Our digital world is making it easier for people to connect and is providing rewards both emotionally and monetarily. Sharing is now impacting how we shop. Let’s see how this plays out with a few “sharers” I interviewed.
  4. 4. Marti Andrews Craigslist Entrepreneur What have you sold on Craigslist recently? “My daughter's home for the summer and she's redoing our kitchen. She posted our old sink on there for $25, and we got tons of hits. I would have never thought anyone would want it, but it works out great because we would have had to pay $25 for the garbage company to haul it off. That motivated me to sell our sectional couch to make room for a new one.” How is Craigslist a unique retail experience for you? "I like how you get to know people and their stories. I talked to the first sink guy for 20 minutes about him and his family and their home projects. You end up with a story about selling every item that is almost as fun as the money you make!” How do you feel when you make a sale? "I’m a little excited. It’s a nice feeling. Her husband quickly jumps in, “A little excited?! She’s jumping up and down on the phone when she makes a sale!”
  5. 5. Molly Clark Vintage Venturer What did you buy on your last vintage voyage? “I lucked out and found a new thrift store outside of Yellville, AR. I scored lots of vintage dresses from the 50’s and 60’s.” How is a thrift shop a unique retail experience for you? “Many people associate thrifting with digging through dirty, used clothes, and they don’t want to do the dirty work. For me, thrift shopping is relaxing, and I really enjoy it. I always find one of a kind pieces that aren’t around anymore. I love to discover things from different eras so I can mix and match.” How do you feel when you discover some great treasures? “Oooh – I get real excited because I know I’ve found a great deal for the money. Many vintage pieces were made before mass manufacturing, and the quality is high, with details above and beyond what you can find today (lace seams, high quality buttons, etc).”
  6. 6. Kathy Resale Shop Owner, past 25 years How did you get into this business? “My friends got me interested in the resale business. I’ve been lucky in my life – I seem to just fall into deals.” You’ve been in this business for 25 years. What changes have you seen over the years? “I’ve noticed that the crowd seems to be a bit older than in previous years.” How do you feel when you make a sale? “I feel great. I like to be able to offer quality merchandise at affordable prices. We have something for every budget, and it’s nice to see good things not go to waste.”
  7. 7. End of the Road History proves in tough times, people come together to help one another. As we see our nation's economy struggle, people are finding ways to make ends meet. They're selling things they would have previously given away, shopping for used items and sharing all types of goods and services. As a result, shopping isn't as clearly defined as it once was. Traditional brands and retailers aren't just competing with each other, they're competing with eBay, Craigslist, thrift stores and neighborhood garage sales. It must be getting harder for The Gap to sell a full- priced pair of distressed denim jeans when you can find a vintage pair of Levi's with authentic holes that have real character and cost half the price. I'm glad we're getting back to a place where shopping is less about buying and more about actually shopping. For retailers and brands, it is increasingly important to build lasting emotional relationships with shoppers in order to compete with the almost irreplaceable stories of sharing. We likely won't ever get back to the days of bartering, but most corporations could benefit from remembering good old fashioned sharing and applying that to how they connect with shoppers everyday.
  8. 8. “On the white road, the moment – the journey itself – matters most.” - Gary Erickson, Clif Bar
  9. 9. White Road Warrior Marta Kiser is an Account Planner at MARS, a leading U.S. shopper marketing agency. She’s proud to be a natural on the white road. As a planner, she’s not afraid to ask each unique life traveler she encounters the questions you won’t find in any survey. As an outdoor adventurer, she doesn’t need a map to reach her destination.