Collaborative consumption

Collaboratice consumption is (still) booming like crazy. More and more people start sharing stuff, leasing products or start paying for services rather than products. I came across the term for the first time via Rachel Botsmans book: The rise of collaborative consumption. The promo-video they made for their research gives you a good idea of what collaborative consumption is:

Collaborative consumption is tricky. A lot of companies are so afraid of it they marginalize or even worse ignore it.

But sharing products is not about blowing up the economic system, it’s about restoring the social aspect of buying products. It’s about appreciating the work and resources you’ve put in making those products.

The best way of engaging with your customers is not by creating a club or having a lively facebook page or twitter feed, those are just tools. The best way to engage with your customers nowadays is by giving them your product, trusting them, see what they’ll do with it and support that.

A good example of that is Patagonia’s repair service:

We try to make clothes that last a long time and wear out as evenly as possible, and we will repair Patagonia clothing that you send back to us to be fixed. Our policy is to get repairs unpacked, done and back in the mail to you within 10 business days. We pay for repairs that we’re responsible for and charge a fair price for repairs due to normal wear and tear. In addition, many of our stores have relationships with local tailors capable of working on our clothes.

Rather than ignoring or booing the second-hand market, Patagonia not only embraces it, they talk it up and ask their customers if they, as a company, could be a part of it. Just as they asked you not to buy their clothing, they’re now asking you not to buy anything you don’t need. They chose an atypical side in this society versus corporations debate.

Not (entirely) out of marketing purposes, but (mainly) because they’re aware that things are about to change, and peer to peer consumption is just one of the many revolution our connectedness has in store for businesses.


About leyssensjan

Jan Leyssens is a designer and entrepreneur who strongly believes you can’t turn sustainability into a positive story if your main focus is on negative impact. When designing, he is always looking for the overlap between activism and entrepreneurship, technology and community. His main expertise lies in strategic business model development, Circular Economy, the makermovement, and social innovation. With a background in Industrial Design, Jan quickly shifted his focus towards business design and using the design process in strategic management. Jan is the father of two kids and founder & CEO of Regenerative Design, co-founder of Full Circle, ImpactBoost, and the Circular Design map, podcaster, storyteller, and changemaker.

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