Airbnb, Rent the Runway, JetSmarter, Zipcar are all just the beginning of a race to making everything more eco-friendly, more cost-friendly, and more efficient. The sharing economy is going to change the way we go about our everyday lives, and probably for the better. We will start to look at shopping differently, forever changing our perception of marketing and how our economy works in general. First, let’s delve into which industries are already being disrupted by the sharing economy.
Airbnb is the most prominent company of the past decade to exhibit the success of sharing. Millions of people are sharing their homes and making a profit, while many others are loving a home-y, cheaper version of hotels. This has affected the hotel industry immensely. Hotels have had to beef up their strategies in capturing younger audiences and retained their old regulars. Regardless, Airbnb has both captured and retained almost half of the hotel economy, proving how badly we needed it.
JetSmarter, Zipcar, and Turro are all ride sharing apps that operate differently. JetSmarter is an app where people pay a hefty price tag once a year to be able to share private jets with other customers on popular domestice passages. Zipcar is a car loaner app that allows you to rent cars quickly and conveniently all over the country. Turro is like the Airbnb of cars, where you can rent out your car to people for different periods of time. Porsche also recently came out with a new program in which for 2k per month, you can use up to 8 different models, all hand delivered to wherever you are (right now this is only available in Atlanta). These apps have been helping those who don’t want to make the commitment of buying a car as well as frequent fliers looking to access desirable luxuries at a more affordable price.
Lastly, Rent the Runway is one of the first companies to rent out formal dresses before breaking into the more casual clothing market. You can now rent all of their different clothes varying from formal wear to coats or bags or blouses in an unlimited capacity. For the price of a monthly subscription service, you can return any of the pieces anytime and exchange for a new one, though you are limited to 4 pieces at a time. This has the potential to dramatically disrupt the fashion world economy because you can literally rent all of your clothes instead of purchasing. With the world of social media (the amount of images being taken) and an effort not to repeat outfits, Rent the Runway is expected to grow exponentially within a year or so.
Each of these companies has significant funding and has been marketing itself like crazy. They appeal to many audiences for various reasons and don’t require as much marketing dollars as more traditional competitors. Because of the cheaper cost, less commitment, and interest in the general concept, you can’t blame people for at least wanting to give these new tools a try.