Should you base your business model on trust?

AirBnB, BlaBlaCar, Leboncoin… These companies took the trust bet and started based solely on users’ trust between them. These simply remove the intermediaries between the consumer and the service provided, and put people they don’t know into direct interaction. What if you were like them?

We note that 49% of the French use the sale or purchase of goods between individuals and that 59% of them have the confidence to trust this practice, according to a survey carried out by the Cetelem consumer observatory. Consumers thus seem to be organizing among themselves, and some companies know how to turn this phenomenon to their advantage.

The question of trust as a starting point

When we talk about power, it must be emphasized that the trust that the people have in those who lead them has always proved to be decisive. The soothing speeches of the leaders of countries, as well as the use of propaganda, aim to maintain the credibility of the powerful in the eyes of the population, who, if they withdraw their support, may go as far as beheading them…

The same is true in the financial sector: buyers only invest in goods whose companies have their trust. Moreover, advertising is effective only because it is based on the consumer’s belief that this object will actually revolutionize his life and possess advanced properties.

In recent years, trust has been undermined. Successive cases of corruption and fraud in all areas have seriously chilled buyers and voters, who are more willing to turn to other solutions. Large companies suffer from this effect.

Several entrepreneurs have keenly noticed this phenomenon, devised business models based on this observation, and success seems to be there.

Economy with trust, sharing or cooperation?

Theorized by Eloi Laurent, thetrust economy refers to this need for buyers to transact among themselves and have as little access to third parties as possible. Individuals have developed some distrust, especially of large groups, and are making more use of C2C: customer-to-customer, consumer-to-consumer service.

L’trust economy actually refers to different economic models such as the sharing economy or the collaborative economy. These take the form of carpooling, bartering, buying or even exchanging apartments, always between consumers. The company only intervenes to create contact between the two parties. The sharing economy, on the other hand, consists of building goods together so that its actors can benefit from them. This could be, for example, sharing the price of a long-distance journey. Some communities develop free software for this purpose.

On his side, sharing economy, if it is very similar to the sharing economy, it still gives more profit. This also targets the production of services for several, of which the majority of the profit is paid to the company. The collaborative model capitalizes more on the sharing economy itself because it is still within the service area. You should know that the network company deducts a percentage from the productions. For example, the ride-sharing platform BlaBlaCar offers individuals to put the remaining seats in their cars for sale to other people for long trips, and the site takes a certain amount from the completed transactions.

Digitization and service, niches to take

In a society where customers seem wary of big business, they are not going away. The service sector is experiencing a real revival thanks to the many applications that are flourishing on both sides. Digital represents a real challenge for the society of the future: individuals certainly manage among themselves, but their exchanges take place mainly thanks to digital platforms provided by companies.

For example, Leboncoin or La Centrale are not famous for their offering of physical and material services. They are more for their site, which offers millions of used items and allows them to quickly connect with their owners to buy directly from them. Digital platforms and connectivity applications represent a real prospect of study for entrepreneurs who want to get started. Several service providers have also been able to integrate into companies such as AirBnB, a platform for exchanging apartments between individuals. There are different ways to join a successful digital platform phenomenon: through a partnership or by offering complementary services, for example.

Some examples of trust economy companies

The companies discussed in this article ride on the trust economy in a number of different ways. The collaborative economy generates profits and is interesting for young entrepreneurs looking for success. BlaBlaCar offers a carpooling service for Internet users who share the cost of long-distance travel is proof of this. If this approach seems to be part of the sharing economy, keep in mind that the platform takes part of the profits to continue developing its data and information systems.

AirBnB works in the same way: Tenants of apartments for rent keep their property and a large part of the amounts paid go directly to the platform.

Similarly, the famous American company Uber allows individuals to improvise themselves as drivers to help others through an application that generates profit for each ride.

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