Social Business Evolving As The Collaborative Economy

The definition of ownership is changing. We are becoming less interested in owning products and accumulating wealth through long-term purcchases. Instead, we increasingly consume products and services through renting, sharing, and purchasing subscriptions.

This unstoppable trend is fueled by the social web, the specific features include relationships, online profiles, reputations, expressed needs and offerings and ecommerce. Customers are already starting to conduct these behaviors among themselves using TaskRabbit, AirBnb, Lyft, and many others tools –some of these are disruptions and opportunities to brands.

Welcome to the next phase of Social Business: Collaborative Economy. Jeremiah Owyang, a researcher at Altimeter Group, identifies it as “the most important trend which will have the biggest effect — both short term and long term — for brands”.

Why is it being considered as disruptive? “Collaborative Economy means that consumers will trade products among themselves — rather than buy them from brands! If that’s not disruptive, I don’t know what is”, says he.

In order to create its next report on the Collaborative Economy, Altimeter has already interviewed startups, VCs, brands, social business software vendors, authors, thought leaders, and are dissecting data of 200 sharing start-ups, for a broad overview of what it means to business.

Collaborative consumption has emerged as the viable alternative for everyone. From renting a movie online (e.g., Netflix) to renting a stranger’s couch (e.g., Couchsurfing), the economy of sharing changes the way we behave, consume, seek new options, and commit to decisions. The phenomenon is not just about getting access to new cars and the latest movies; it’s also about creating a new type of peer-to-peer commerce, making meaningful connections, and establishing a sense of trust among those involved.

Social Business + Sharing Economy = Collaborative Economy

The next phase of Social Business goes beyond marketing and customer support, it changes the fundamental business models and relationships that we will have with our customers. The big change that brands will struggle with, as is it means that brands will have to care about the relationship between customers as they trade and rent your products between themselves.

Collaborative Economy Requires a New Business Mindset:

  • Traditional mindset focuses on Customers; social business mindset considers customers to be in charge, while Collaborative economy cares about extended life of good after it is sold
  • Traditional mindset’s focuses on Brand Experience, Social Business Mindset gives importance to customer experience, collaborative economy is driven by Marketplace Experience


Adapted From


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