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Learning to Play in the New Share Economy by Giana Eckhardt
I recently published an article in the Harvard Business Review (HBR), along with my colleagues Susan Fournier (Boston University) and Fleura Bardhi (City University of London), which explores how companies should approach and adapt to the share economy. The share economy refers to the explosion of organizations that have arisen recently that cater to consumers' desire to access goods and services rather than own them. This desire stems from space and time being at a premium in today's urbanized, digitally connected world, and some of companies that typify the share economy include Zipcar (car sharing) and AirBnB (house sharing), not to mention numerous organizations that facilitate bike and music sharing. But is access based consumption really as anti-consumerist, pro-environment and pro-community as the popular press portrays it to be? Or do consumers just want cost savings and convenience? We explore these issues in this HBR article by embedding them in a debate between managers at a fictional car sharing company trying to decide how to manage their brand. After you read the article, you can see expert commentaries from executives at AirBnB and RelayRides, and also leave your own comments. What has your experience been with accessing goods rather than buying them and how does your experience impact the debate? You can access the article here. Giana Eckhardt
Professor of Marketing Royal Holloway