Marketing Strategy for the Sharing Economy

Arun Sundararajan, New York University

Platforms like Airbnb, Uber, Blablacar, Etsy, and Funding Circle are early examples of a new way of organizing economic activity that we commonly refer to as the “sharing economy.” Billions of venture capital dollars power new business models that blur the lines between the personal and the professional, melding market economies and gift economies into a new form of decentralized, crowd-based capitalism. In this presentation, Arun Sundararajan will discuss the technological and societal drivers of today’s sharing economy; capturing value from the new consumption models; pricing and product line opportunities; the shifting role of trust and brand; dealing with consumers who want to initiate offline transactions through an on-demand smartphone interface; the challenges raised when consumption experiences are moderated by one’s peers rather than by a dedicated salesforce; and value re-aggregation from the emerging, decentralized, blockchain-powered marketplaces. He will highlight both strategic implications and research opportunities for marketing scholars.

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