Introducing the eighth in our blog series of eleven innovation and branding precepts for 2011.
8. LOVE ME FOREVER…?
The nature of ownership is changing – no longer is it a choice between traditional ‘forever’ ownership or by-the-day rental. Now consumers are defining the terms that make sense for their lifestyle and needs, and savvy innovators are tapping into this change, creating products and services that fit neatly into consumers’ lives.
AMAZON BUY BACK
This initiative from Amazon’s US store caters for those who don’t want or need to own books beyond the time taken to read or use them. BuyBack started as a service for students re-selling textbooks, and has recently been expanded into other types of books as well. It makes it easy for consumers to sell books via Amazon to a third party merchant, for which they will receive gift cards, redeemable on Amazon, for the buyback value.
For many consumers, access is far more important than ownership, and this is particularly the case with expensive premium handbags and jewellery. Avelle had previously operated in this space as ‘Bag, Borrow and Steal’, allowing consumers to hire high end handbags for a fixed period of time. After testing the business model and making their mark in bags, it changed its name to Avelle in 2008, paving the way for the expansion into jewellery and beyond.
BARCLAY’S CYCLE HIRE (a.k.a. “Boris Bikes”)
Like many big cities, London has a car problem, and the public transport system is overloaded, especially during rush hour. Following in the footsteps of similar schemes in other smaller cities, the Barclay’s Cycle Hire scheme was introduced in 2010, allowing people to hire the specially designed bikes by the hour, for up to 24 hours, with pick up and drop off points around the city. Perfect for those Londoners who have neither the money nor the space to own a bike of their own, but want to avoid the crowded tube and do their bit for the environment. And Mayor Boris Johnson, who introduced the scheme, has achieved immortality in the unforgettable ‘Boris bikes’ nickname.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT…
Do you consumers want (or need) to own your products ‘forever’? What could short-term or shared ownership look like in your category?
If you can’t wait for the next blog in the series, or you missed the earlier ones, all eleven precepts can be viewed here.