You didn't think brands were going to ignore a potential $110 billion marketplace, did you?
Owing to concerns about the economy, limited space or the environment, more people are exploring the sharing or collaborative economy. And multiple industries are watching as hot startups promote and provide services that people have quickly come to rely on and integrate into their lives.
Jeremiah Owyang of the Altimeter Group follows this trend closely and predicts that "business models as we know it are about to change."
So what's a brand to do when we're all out there sharing, renting, gifting and bartering with each other and cutting out corporations?
If you were in New York City this week and saw some awfully familiar looking pretty blue bikes, you've got one example. Citibank is the lead sponsor of NYC's new Citi Bike bike-sharing program. For the chance to brand the bikes with their look, Citigroup put up millions that helped make the program happen - money that, without a big name sponsor, would likely have been put to tax payers.
The successful brand of the future will need to incorporate utility and service into its marketing strategy, regardless of the industry, and understand that trust and authenticity is more important than ever. Sharing may be the future of business.
And you can check out last week's episode about how teens are, like, so over Facebook here.