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How are brands surviving in the age of sharing?

We live in a post digital age where how we act and how we think is shaped by technology. In fact, technology has become so much a part of our lives that it has altered the way our relationships are formed with each other and with brands.

Ours is an economy where as consumers we can bypass brands to access the goods and services we require from each other – we now share, rent and borrow rather than own. We place increasing value on unique or luxurious experiences rather than luxurious objects and wealth is no longer identified or defined by ownership of possessions but by a New Value Economy.

Hacker and author Joshua Klein, states several online platforms that are responsible for these changing perceptions.

– Airbnb, Snapgoods, Fon and Feastly have changed what sharing means

– Etsy, Kickstarter, Bitcoin and Yeardle have changed what value means

– Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have changed what friends mean

What all of the platforms mentioned above have in common, is that they are focused on the building of relationships, community, collaboration and trust – unsurprisingly as consumers and as humans these are qualities we value.

The brands that will thrive in the New Value Economy are those that keep these values at their heart. They will need to approach consumers as peers, use an experience-centric approach and importantly be as transparent as possible to build trust and brand loyalty.

Four examples that show brands are starting to take this approach are outlined below:


ASDA – building a consistent experience

ASDA have recently updated their business model to take an Omnichannel approach that aims to provide consumers with the same ASDA personality, service and price whether they shop instore, online or using click and collect. This connected experience also extends to offering all consumers free wifi in their supermarket chains. This approach to consistency and focus on providing a positive consumer experience is at the very heart of the New Value Economy.

Airbnb and Waterstones – creating a unique experience and listening to your social networks

After a Waterstones’ shopper David Willis was accidently locked in Waterstones’ Trafalgar Square store, there was an outpouring on social media with many messages from people stating how much they would like to spend a night locked amidst the books they love. With this in mind they teamed up with Airbnb to create a listing for 10 people plus guests to experience a Waterstones Sleepover in their Piccadilly Circus store.

Nike + Running Club – building community and relationships

Nike has created a tight-knit community of like-minded brand advocates and influencers. This enables Nike to support its fans doing what they love, in a relevant and beneficial way.

Heineken ‘Cities of the World’ – putting the consumer at the centre of the experience

The Heineken ‘Cities of the World’ campaign aimed to encourage Heineken drinkers to “explore the unexpected”, says Colin Westcott-Pitt, VP of marketing at Heineken. He goes on to say: “With the ‘Cities of the World’ campaign, we’re aiming to inspire them to move away from their usual habits…to discover and unlock the secrets of their own cities.” As part of the campaign, Heineken produced a set of specially designed bottles featuring New York, Shanghai, Berlin, Amsterdam, London and Rio de Janeiro. Every bottle featured an under-the-cap code, offering the potential for prizes.

(The New Value Economy trend is based on the LS:N Global Winter Trend Briefing and Predictions.)

Blog written by Alex H.