The Collaborative Economy: 2014 Hot Topic and Trend

Posted by on January 18, 2014 in Cathy's Thoughts | 0 comments

collaborative economyI am excited to hear the new buzz phrase The Collaborative Economy is taking off and getting noticed! One of my clients, Ribose, the company that has an on-line collaboration platform, understands the value of collaborating in an effort to improve our world on a business and humanitarian level.   So cool!  And of course, I am all about collaboration to in an effort to improve the way we live and how our earth is treated.
Here is the scoop on just what the  Collaborative Economy is.  It is associated with sharing resources to reduce waste, but its primary focus is on the economics of collaboration and the efficiencies of networks. The Collaborative Economy seeks to harness crowds, collectives, communities and co-ops to co-create, co-ideate, co-design, co-fund, co-own, co-build, co-distribute, co-market, co-sell, co-profit and co-prosper.While collaboration in business may seem counterintuitive to competition, many highly competitive industries such as auto and hospitality are adopting collaborative practices that are disrupting and innovating. Some call this “co-opetition,” while others call it “open API business” (a nod to the app-ification of our world).

As marketers, there are three questions that we should be asking ourselves relative to the Collaborative Economy:

How does it impact my customers, products, services, distribution and pricing model?

Within my organization, how do I develop a greater awareness for collaboration and sharing?

If Brand = Crowd & Co, then how do I maintain control over my brand?

Next year, we will see the Collaborative Economy concept, or ideal, shift from being mostly a niche, male-dominated topic associated with Silicon Valley programmers to a mainstream topic that marketers and brands will be discussing — and looking for ways to address. Social listening indicates that men comprise double the percentage of women discussing the Collaborative Economy right now, but this is starting to change.

And just as we see women become more involved, we will also see new jobs arise, such as the “Chief Collaboration Officer” as companies introduce “Collaboration Departments” to work in tandem with marketing departments. Imagine your brand’s social media has a “collaborate” button next to “shares” and “likes.” If this were the case, social collaboration could trump social engagement.

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