We look at how you can blend two growing trends together to get game changing brand innovation:
Trend 1 The increasing desire for new and stimulating experiences.
Trend 2 The growing popularity of sharing.
The notion of sharing and borrowing instead of possession and ownership has become much more acceptable to consumers. This is evidenced (and partly driven) by changes in the consumer media industry, specifically the success of sharing platforms like Spotify and Netflix.
As a result, consumers are feeling free and more confident to prioritise quality of experience over possession and ownership.
Inspiring Game Changing Innovation Examples
Borrowmydoggy – let’s be honest it’s certainly not the responsibility and cost of dog ownership we crave – we want to experience the fun, fascination and companionship.
wahaca – You don’t want to choose one thing on the restaurant menu you want your taste buds to experience everything. Places like Wahaca structure their menu as small plates so that by sharing multiple dishes you get a more varied and interactive experience.
Umbrella here – is an electronic device that sits on top of the owners umbrella and lets fellow street walkers know, via LED lights, that they are willing to share their umbrella. This is a simple example of how the sheer feel good fact of sharing with others can enhance an otherwise dull experience
eatwith.com – connects users with hosts who will provide them with excellent home cooked meals, often in their own homes. The host relinquishes the ownership of a restaurant for a more casual experience that allows them to indulge their passion and create unique experiences for guests
4 Ways to Apply Sharing & New Experience to your Brand:
1. What are the experiences your consumers want to have? How can you use sharing to make that happen for them before someone else does?
Could Hilton hotels be inspired by EatWith.com and provide a service to enable their guests to share an exciting food experience with fellow guests.
2. What experiences are a good fit with your brand and consumers?
Could Pedigree Chum have launched Borrowmydoggy.com? Providing a rewarding service for consumers and would-be dog owners might be a great complimentary business or just be used to drive brand engagement and loyalty.
3. How can you use the sharing concept throughout your whole consumer journey to improve the experience?
Wahaca enable easy paying and sharing of the bill with fellow diners via their mobile payment app. So if you offer online food delivery could you allow multiple users to add to that delivery and even opt to pay their share? It would make creating a shared list and splitting the cost an easier, more enjoyable experience.
4. How could you create an entirely different experience from an existing product?
Be inspired by Umbrella here i.e. an experienced shared is a different experience in itself. This could apply to almost anything from a dessert with two spoons, or watching a movie “with” a family member on the other side of the world, or even just linking-up people who are happy to share an onward taxi journey.
Final word of warning…
Do this well and it can drive incremental growth and steal share from your competitors. But have a think about where you are weak because this is also an exercise in future proofing: What type of sharing orientated brand or business model could take share from you? And what are you going to do about it?
We would imagine the likes of Travelodge, Holiday Inn and Best Western are very carefully considering their strategy against Airbnb and the rising underdogs like TravelMob, One Fine Stay and Homestay.