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The Collaboration Economy - Hot Topic and Trend for 2014

Ribose is excited to see how collaboration is becoming more of a way to help people and businesses live a more sustainable life.  One of the hot topics and trends we are reading about is called The Collaboration Economy.  In a recent article in the publication Sustainable Brands we see how collaboration is key in reducing waste around the world.  Here are a few soundbites from the article that give you an idea about how this concept works.  

The Collaborative Economy is associated with sharing resources to reduce waste, but its primary focus is on the economics of collaboration and the efficiencies of networks. The Collaborative Economy seeks to harness crowds, collectives, communities and co-ops to co-create, co-ideate, co-design, co-fund, co-own, co-build, co-distribute, co-market, co-sell, co-profit and co-prosper.  

While collaboration in business may seem counterintuitive to competition, many highly competitive industries such as auto and hospitality are adopting collaborative practices that are disrupting and innovating. Some call this “co-opetition,” while others call it “open API business” (a nod to the app-ification of our world).

As marketers, there are three questions that we should be asking ourselves relative to the Collaborative Economy: 

\1.  How does it impact my customers, products, services, distribution and pricing model?

\2.   Within my organization, how do I develop a greater awareness for collaboration and sharing?

\3.   If Brand = Crowd & Co, then how do I maintain control over my brand?

Next year, we will see the Collaborative Economy concept, or ideal, shift from being mostly a niche, male-dominated topic associated with Silicon Valley programmers to a mainstream topic that marketers and brands will be discussing — and looking for ways to address. Social listening indicates that men comprise double the percentage of women discussing the Collaborative Economy right now, but this is starting to change.

And just as we see women become more involved, we will also see new jobs arise, such as the “Chief Collaboration Officer” as companies introduce “Collaboration Departments” to work in tandem with marketing departments. Imagine your brand’s social media has a “collaborate” button next to “shares” and “likes.” If this were the case, social collaboration could trump social engagement.