Report: Smart Consumers Share More, Own Less

Smart consumers will significantly alter our economic models and the roles brands are expected to play.


In this month’s Prosumer Report, “The New Consumer and the Sharing Economy,” Havas Worldwide explored the “coming wave of ‘smarter’ consumerism that promises to significantly alter our economic models and the roles brands are expected to play.”

The report depicts a global population in search of a better way of living and consuming:

Seventy percent of the 10,574 people surveyed around the globe believe that overconsumption is actually putting our planet and society at risk. Half say they could happily live without most of the items they own. And two-thirds make it a point to rid themselves of unneeded possessions at least once a year. We have entered an age when sharing everything from cars to vacation homes to textbooks to pets has become socially acceptable among those who realize that we have exhausted the planet and ourselves with way too much stuff and responsibility.

Highlights from the study include:

  • Consumers are buying products that are more durable and sustainable, sharing rather than owning, and paying more attention to the human elements of transactions.
  • The new economic model de-emphasizes accumulation and ownership. Sixty-five percent of respondents agree: “Our society would be better off if people shared more and owned less.”
  • Millennials are embracing peer-to-peer transactions and crowdfunding, and more than a third already belong to a sharing service or expect to join one within the next year.
  • Over one-third of respondents predict city dwellers will be more likely to share than own a car by 2050, and most energy production will be in the hands of individual producers.
  • There is plenty of scope for brand involvement: Three-quarters of respondents would like to see brands act as guarantors of the products that individuals sell online.

Read the full report here. [PDF]