What you can learn from the sharing economy


Companies founded in the last decade to leverage the sharing economy are now household names. Think Uber, Lyft, Airbnb and other less-known brands. Once only a concept, they are now go-to services for many people around the world. But these successes are not limited to their niche industries. Leaders in any vertical can glean a lot from their wins in the marketplace. Here are a few takeaways:

1. Efficiency wins the day. Uber flipped the traditional taxi model on its head in a lot of ways. As a result, consumers benefit from an intuitive interface and data-based pricing. One way companies can draw inspiration from Uber’s success is by investing in technology, even if costly up front. Innovations can simplify many processes, driving efficiency for you and your customer base.

2. Trust pays dividends. The basis of the sharing economy is rooted in assumed trust between the buyer and seller. This can be difficult at times because these companies usually act as a third-party platform and do not actually deliver the product or service. But at the end of the day, the consumer doesn’t care who’s liable — they want a good experience and expect you to deliver each and every time.

3. Put community first. Companies like Uber and Airbnb must have some sort of relationship with the communities they serve, in order to scale. They are adept at grassroots marketing due in large part to the constant feedback loop between buyers and sellers. As a leader, you should focus your efforts on exceptional customer satisfaction and retention by extension. Tune in to what people are saying about your brand — the good, bad and indifferent. Address any concerns or problems in a timely manner and adjust course if needed.

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