Since the dawn of time, human beings have attempted to accumulate assets in their quest for happiness. Yet, this fundamental principle of an ownership-based economy is currently being challenged and redefined, as one of the numerous side-effects of the digital revolution. For the first time in history, we marketers are expected to attract consumers who have everything and nothing at all. Confused? This article is for you.
Does matter still matter?
Throughout the entire human (pre)history, transactions were based on a simple principle: we pay for gaining ownership over certain merchandise. Whether the payment was done with goats, gold coins, government-issued bills, or modern credit cards – this principle remained the same. In other words, the fundamental logic of commerce was based on a (now obsolete) reasoning: that enjoying a product depends on owning it; that resources are limited and thus so are their end-products; and that because of the two previous principles – ownership is expensive.