NEWS30 October 2015

Success lies in collaboration, not competition

News Trends UK

UK — The rise of the sharing economy is a sign, not a sea change, says Alison Camps of Quadrangle. She believes that engagement is key to brand success.


Speaking at the Market Research Society’s Customers Exposed conference in London yesterday, Camps, deputy chairman and partner at Quadrangle, raised the question of whether, in the age of the circular, collaborative and sharing economies, we were witnessing “the death of ownership”.

But while the sharing economy is a hot topic among marketers and researchers, Camps pointed out that, according to 2014 research from YouGov, 3/4 of Brits hadn’t heard of the sharing economy, and only a tiny proportion had actually used services such as Airbnb and Zipcar.

For those that do take part in the sharing economy, said Camps, “participation is more driven by curiosity than commitment, although community, convenience and cost benefits appeal”. She explained that customers talk about the ‘fun factor’ of the sharing economy, and that this is an unmet need to be tapped into. For that reason, she put forward that engagement is the key to success for brands.

“Customers are more promiscuous,” she went on. “We live in a world of ‘and’ not ‘or’. Monogamy is no longer the name of the game.” She urged brands to find out where they fit into the picture, to find their “complementarity”, as well as the points at which they can compete.

“The sharing economy is a sign, not a sea change. It’s engagement that really matters. It’s no longer about rewarding loyalty, but about creation emotional incentives. Brands should be thinking about collaboration, not competition.”