“Consumers will embrace even more ways to participate in the funding and (pre-)launch of new products and brands.”
2013 will see passionate consumers embrace two innovative new ‘consumption’ models: becoming PRESUMERS and CUSTOWNERS.
PRESUMERS love to get involved with, push, fund, and promote products and services before they are realized. And thanks to countless new crowdfunding platforms and new manufacturing technologies that are finally tipping into the mainstream (and a burgeoning, global cult of entrepreneurialism at large), the coming 12 months will see them have more opportunities than ever to do so.
No wonder that the amount PRESUMERS spent on crowdfunding platforms has risen from just USD 530 million in 2009, to USD 1.3 billion in 2011, to USD 2.8 billion in 2012 (Source: Massolution/The Economist, May 2012).
For more insights, see our recent, dedicated PRESUMERS Trend Briefing »
Next for PRESUMERS? How about CUSTOWNERS: consumers who move from passively consuming a product towards funding/investing (if not owning a stake) in the brands they buy from.
However, these increasingly business-savvy consumers are often looking for both a financial and an emotional return, and therefore only brands that are open, friendly, honest, trusted, transparent, and somewhat ‘human’ will prove able to attract enthusiastic CUSTOWNERS.
Also, keep an eye on the US JOBS Act, which will be implemented in January 2013 and for the first time allows non-accredited US investors to buy micro-equity in start-ups. One for other countries to follow suit soon?
Launched in September 2012, Hong Kong based ZAOZAO bills itself “Your social pretailer”. The new online platform allows fashion designers to post pre-launch products and get funds for production via the site’s community of fashion-loving crowdfunders.
Brikstarter launched in November 2012 alongside the UK edition of Kickstarter. The company offers to help people deliver product-focused Kickstarter projects, producing CAD designs, 3D printing models, making promo videos, and sourcing manufacturers if funded. Project creators must agree to give Brikstarter 10% of initial funds raised plus 10% of the subsequent product revenues.
In July 2012 UK-based healthy fast food franchise Leon created Leon Bonds to raise GBP 1.5 million from its customers (rather than corporate investors), so it could further expand and open new locations. Investors received interest in £eon pounds (store credit).
Fundable is a US-based equity crowdfunding platform for start-up companies, aiming to take advantage of the JOBS Act legislation in the US (see above). To date, start-ups on Fundable have offered “rewards”, such as products or experiences, to investors.
And if you’re not ready to give away equity, but do want to reward consumer-stakeholders, then learn from the Barclaycard Ring MasterCard, a 'social' credit card designed and developed through community crowdsourcing. Through a virtual community, members can suggest and vote on decisions that affect how the card is managed and serviced. Members also share in the profit generated.