From Spotify to Netflix to Uber, subscription based services are not only transforming how we listen to music, travel to work and watch movies, the subscription economy is fundamentally altering how we interact with brands.
In the days when we bought a DVD, CD or car, we were buying physical assets from a business to own for ourselves. We were in control of the relationship with the business and the usage of the product. Now that we subscribe to services, we relinquish part of the control and we no longer own the asset.
Which begs the question: why is it that so many of us are so willing to lose so much?
The relationship is intimate. They listen to us, assess our tastes, improve and figure out how to surprise us.
One important aspect to consider is the emotional sense of ownership we begin to develop as a side effect of the payment for service relationship. We’re no longer buying physical products, so we feel we ‘own’ the services themselves. The relationship is intimate. They listen to us, assess our tastes, improve and figure out how to surprise us. In return we give them our data and feel a greater sense of kinship as they get to know us better.
This is a powerful tool for business. The subscription model can be used to a firm’s advantage and the most agile brands of the future will be those who leverage the relationship, and create a strong sense of shared ownership. With ownership comes responsibility; and with responsibility comes loyalty and advocacy.
So, put consumers in the driving seat. Give them responsibility beyond the service they are paying for and who knows; in the future you might be co-creating your business with your most loyal customers.
Surely that’s the dream, right?
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