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More than 70 Mainstream Brands Now Taking Part in Collaborative Economy

I have been leading a research effort to understand the impacts of the growing Collaborative Economy trend. In case you are new to the collaborative economy, there's an unstoppable wave of people trading, renting and borrowing all kinds of services and goods. The disruptive impacts to brands are potentially very high. Consumers are already buying and trading among themselves, often without purchasing items directly from the brands themselves. Companies that don't pay attention to this trend are leaving themselves in a state of risk, as technology and society continue to quickly innovate.

To stay relevant with this unstoppable trend, every corporation must evaluate a business model of products as a service, marketplaces, tapping the maker movement and crowd collaboration as market behaviors shift.


Jeremiah Owyang, keynote speaker at Sustainable Brands 2014 San Diego

This trend has some major impacts for our social understanding of commercialism, materialism, and marketing. As part of my research, I spent some time with young entrepreneurs who mentioned that the "American Dream is not about ownership of products, but just access to them." Renting, borrowing and trading to live the lifestyle they want, with no worries, is suitable for their personal and vocational lives. For example, my long-time tech contact, entrepreneur, and friend, Andrew Hyde, only owned 39 things in an attempt to simplify his life.

Recent history is littered with companies that didn't adapt to this Collaborative Economy model. From Blockbuster to Netflix, from newspapers to Craigslist, a few were able to harness this change. Much of the media has deployed a variety of methods to curb peer-to-peer sharing. As part of my research method, I like to lean on the community to source examples and case studies. The following list contains examples of companies which have harnessed Collaborative Economy tactics to supplement their business strategy of innovation. Here's what I see:

Collaborative Economy: List of Brands and Corporations

This list started with just five companies when I started it back in 2013, and it's grown to over 70 since then. If you know of cases not featured below, do share them in the comments section below and we'll keep growing the list.

  1. BMW's DriveNow premium car-sharing in San Francisco by BMW i, Mini and Sixt
  2. Volkswagen's Quicar car share
  3. Peugeot's Mu Mobility Services 
  4. Daimler's Car2Go service
  5. RelayRides Uses OnStar technology, partner with GM
  6. Toyota Rent a Car: Offers a wide range of cars to be rent, at dealer
  7. Barclays Cycle Hire: Barclays, a financial services firm, offers bike share
  8. BarclayCard Ring crowdsources many functions, including content, and crowd determines where profits go
  9. Minneapolis and St. Paul have a bike-sharing program called Nice Ride, sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield
  10. Radiohead gifts media, asking fans to pay what they want
  11. Dodge Dart Registry: Crowdfund your next car
  12. Ford now was carsharing in Germany
  13. Walmart considers having customers ship their own products
  14. Google rents Chromebooks for $30/month
  15. Enterprise ridesharing and vanpooling for individuals, employers and government
  16. Patagonia partners with eBay (Commmon Threads) to foster a marketplace of used goods for sale
  17. NBC partners with Yerdle as a media partner for one year to promote ideas of reduced consumption and swapping
  18. Virgin Airlines partners with Taxi2 to enable social matching of guests who want to carpool after a flight
  19. Citibank sponsors Citi Bike in NYC
  20. Microsoft Windows taps into crowdfunding, paying 10% down and asking for others to chip in
  21. ScotteVest promotes used goods to be purchased and sold on eBay
  22. Two community banks partner with LendingClub, a peer-to-peer financing site
  23. Retailer West Elm features Etsy creations in its physical stores
  24. A number of companies, such as REI, are cooperatives that have shared ownership and or a democratic governance system
  25. Enterprise Holdings purchases Zimride from Lyft
  26. Quirky and GE partner in co-ideation and working with crowd
  27. Regus and Zipcar (Avis) partner
  28. ING's co-working space in downtown Toronto
  29. Marriott experiments with Liquidspace for rapid booking
  30. Lincoln Motors partners with CustomMade to allow the maker movement to create custom artifacts for new owners
  31. Comcast invests $1m in Maker's Row
  32. Google Ventures invests $258 million in Uber
  33. W Hotel partners with DesksNearMe
  34. IKEA encourages ridesharing in Canada and France
  35. NFL partners with Uber to curb drunk-driving athletes
  36. eBay launches services marketplace Secretguru in UK
  37. B&Q, a home-improvement retailer in UK, launches neighborhood sharing project called StreetClub
  38. Retailer Argos launches toy-swapping website
  39. EasyJet airlines launches a car sharing service called EasyCar
  40. General Electric launches partnership with SkillShare
  41. Home Depot rents delivery trucks and tools
  42. Uber partners with GE for DeLorean car promotion in San Francisco
  43. UHaul investor club allows for peer-to-peer lending based on assets
  44. Kaggle, a marketplace of top global scientists is tapped by GE, AllState, and Merck
  45. Razorfish, a digital agency, provides free bikes that tweet in "Use Me, Leave Me" experiment at SXSW 2013
  46. H&M takes in older clothes and provides store credit
  47. Uber partners with StubHub (owned by eBay) for game day
  48. Nordstrom and Etsy partner for handcrafted goods to be sold at retail scale
  49. Toyota releases a new 3-wheel I-Road, intended to be shared, not bought
  50. Nokia releases 3D-printing software files to encourage people to print out their own phone cases
  51. MasterCard sponsors NYC's Citi Bike program, as a Preferred Payment Provider
  52. 3D-printing service Shapeways is a successful spinoff with investment from Philips
  53. GE and TaskRabbit team up for free delivery, under the Brilliant Machines campaign
  54. Fon launches a wifi router that's designed to share, producing a second signal for all Fon customers via Facebook connect
  55. Patron partners with Uber to offer Halloween revelers a safe ride home
  56. Samsung taps crowd innovation startup Marblar
  57. Ikea launches secondhand marketplace, encouraged used goods to be sold, rather than bought new
  58. Airbnb partners with Western Union for international payments
  59. TOMs launches a marketplace featuring products from 30 socially conscious vendors
  60. Uber partners with GM and Toyota to get more cars on road, in exchange for price discounts
  61. Uber partners with Ford to provide free rides, and promote a new vehicle
  62. Uber partners with Home Depot to deliver Christmas trees on demand
  63. Uber and Paypal partner at LeWeb to give entrepreneurs a unique place to pitch
  64. Philips is partnering with Indiegogo to host an Innovation Fellows Competition 
  65. Kelly Services and oDesk partner
  66. Thredup and Diapers.com partner for recommerce
  67. Walgreens and Taskrabbit partner to deliver cold medicine to shut-ins
  68. Hotels such as Hyatt and Kimpton now renting jewelry, hairspray, waffle irons and clothes
  69. Home Depot and Quirky partner to co-innovate new products for Home Depot shelves
  70. Uber and Pepsi partner for Super Bowl celebrations to bring a "personal half-time show" to your local corner in NY
  71. Uber partners with the Cosmopolitan hotel in Las Vegas, providing ride and room from LA to Vegas
  72. Rent the Runway partners with the Cosmopolitan hotel for dress rentals
  73. Many more B2B examples available via Sharetribe
  74. Add a brand or corporation to this list by leaving a comment below!

Jeremiah Owyang is a well-recognized analyst, known for his prophetic ability to identify emerging trends and their impact on businesses. He is currently the Chief Catalyst and founder at Crowd Companies, a former founding partner at Altimeter Group in
Silicon Valley, and Forrester Research analyst,… [Read more about Jeremiah Owyang]


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