Typical initial position of the customer
- Sharing opens up alternative consumer opportunities – from peer to peer, directly via internet platforms – which take place without established companies. The new sharing companies (e.g. AirBnB, Uber) are truly changing the rules of market – and forcing new rules upon all market participants.
- Therefore, established companies need to find suitable strategies to deal with the change. How can companies best present themselves under the new circumstances? How can they offer their customers a broad range of custom-made solutions, like the ones they find in the sharing markets?
- The media portrays the Sharing Economy as a nightmare for established companies. Against this background, the focus on sharing offers from the new “competition” is drawing attention away from the true core challenge: Simply put, there is now a new type of customer – home collaborans, the sharing consumer.
- First of all, the status quo and the individual collaborative process maturity of the company is determined together with selected employees. This takes place on the basis of a standardized questionnaire, which sounds out the sharing-relevant areas of a business model along eight dimensions: Customer segments, value proposition, communication and sales channels, core activities, key resources, strategic partners, revenue sources and cost structure (following the Business Model Canvas from Osterwalder and Pigneur). The status quo will be compared to an ideal state: Potential for optimization will be identified based on this comparison and suitable courses of action – from Quick Wins to comprehensive adjustments – will be defined.
- The primary focus is the development of a “sharing mindset”, i.e. incorporating the principles of the sharing economy as well as possible into one’s own strategies, tactics and actions in order to satisfy the changing market requirements.
- The interaction between a standardized tool, which combines a large wealth of sharing economy experience, and the customer’s in-depth industry-specific and company knowledge guarantees the rapid development of individually-tailored, practicable measures in the collaborative economy.
Typical effect/typical result
- The standardized procedure is a good way for customers to develop detailed understanding of the sharing economy’s success factors and, at the same time, to put their own business model to the test.
- In this way, companies achieve a change of perspective: The sharing economy is no longer understood to be a threat, but an opportunity; corresponding potentials are identified and suitable measures are derived, for example, using platform infrastructure for one’s own activities, organizing customer relationships according to solutions as opposed to products, offering products and services based on the idea of “access instead of ownership”, putting a stronger focus on community building & cultivation and “customer network value”, striking up strategic alliances with sharing actors and much more.
- The implemented recommendations for action were the basis for re-orienting the business model, resulting in an improved company profile. In addition, each company could differentiate itself in the market by means of a combination of advantages from both worlds: Proven reliability from the traditional business on the one hand, along with the flexibility and personalization of the sharing markets on the other.