The gig economy

Brand + Business x Christine Moody*

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Business has changed so much since 1985, when I started my first company!

It isn’t just the technological advances which have dramatically changed how we do business. (My first piece of technology was an answering machine.) It is also the business models—subscription and online—and more recently, the emerging ‘gig economy’.

The gig economy is enormously appealing and exciting for many people. You get to choose: with whom you work, where you work, and when you work. It’s social, the hours are flexible and the pay is greatly appreciated. For many, it is a lifestyle choice. Need an example? Think of new businesses such as Uber and AirBnB.

…40% of the US workforce is now working in the gig economy, up from 31% in 2005.

According to an article in Forbes, Gig Economy: Better for boomers than millennials, the gig economy is growing at a rapid rate. For example, 40% of the US workforce is now working in the gig economy, up from 31% in 2005.

The gig economy or the ‘sharing economy’ is not just for millennials, however. It is also attractive to the baby boomers as a means to either top up their salary job or to boost their retirement savings.

According to the same Forbes article: “…Uber says more of its drivers are over 50 than under 30 and that about a quarter of its drivers are 50 and older. Last year, incidentally, Uber and AARP’s Life Reimagined teamed up to help Uber find more 50+ drivers.”

The gig economy is significantly affecting businesses’ brands. In this type of economy, brands rest in the hands of the users and the ‘freelancers’ who deliver the goods and services. With this in mind, businesses need to review their brand touch points at every stage of the journey as well as building a community of brand ambassadors (those who deliver the services). The way HR, training, and remuneration operate will also need to change so that they align with this not so new way of doing business.

What opportunities are there for your brand to embrace and grow in this gig economy?

*Christine Moody is one of Australia’s leading brand strategists and the founder brand management consultancy, Brand Audits. With more than 30 years’ professional experience, Christine has helped a diverse client base of local and international brands, including Gold Coast City Council, Hilton Hotels, and Wrigleys USA, to develop, protect and achieve brand differentiation. Her particular interest is personal brand audits to assist executives realise their full potential.

For more information: chris.moody@brandaudits.com.au or +61 419 888 468.

Photo credit: Christine Moody @ Grand Central Station NYC 2015.

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