Next time you visit a strange city, how will you find a place to stay? If you are of a certain demographic -- a Millennial or a Gen-Xer, perhaps -- chances are you will look for a place on AirBnB, a site on which average people list rooms and homes for rent, often at lower prices than hotels. Another such site, CrashMyPad, advertises "unique accommodations." On these sites and others, people make extra money by renting out overnight accommodations in their own homes.
Can't imagine doing it? Get used to it; it's part of the new "collaborative" or "sharing" economy. Around the world, more people are sharing their homes, cars, time, skills, and knowledge, and new business models such as Zipcar, Lyft, and Neighborgoods are not only inspiring trust between strangers, but also offering new and unique experiences to both buyers and sellers. There's actually a person who calls himself "Hip-Hop Lyft" and offers you a ride filled with old school music and hip-hop trivia.
Millennials as a generation are not enamored of ownership the way their parents were. They only want "access." And if you combine their inclinations with those of people who were hurt by the Great Recession, you will find a large population changing its attitude toward consumption.
So, what does that means for products and advertisers?