The Sharing Economy: Where We Go From Here

Authors: Leo Burnett
Date published: November 2014

Why did we select this research?

Leo Burnett polled 4,000 adults aged 18-69 to determine how Americans perceive, and participate in, the sharing economy. It measures people’s awareness, usage, motivations and barriers to sharing.

Key Findings

The research article comes up with fourteen major key findings:

1)  US adults’ awareness and understanding of the sharing economy are far more limited than press coverage would suggest.

2) US sentiment toward the sharing economy is mixed.

3) Diversity of sentiment is mirrored by diversity of behavior

4) Some of the most talked-about sharing brands are not yet on the radar screens of most Americans

5) When Americans do engage in sharing, they have splintered motives, often as personal in nature as they are collective.

6) Barriers to sharing are also significant and diverse, suggesting a sharing tug-of-war in America.

7) The value placed on ownership should not be underestimated. 

8) The value placed on ownership should not be underestimated. 

9) There is no such thing as the sharing economy. Rather it is a collection of economies, which Americans organize differently than marketers.

10) Despite the diversity of views, behaviors and motives, and despite a lot of low brand awareness, sharing is on the upswing in America.

11) In some quarters, however, sharing skeptics abound

12) Sharing in America already extends well beyond the young, urban stereotype.

13) When it comes to sharing, what a person says versus what they do are two different things.

14) Given the diversity of views and behaviors, sharing in the United States can only be understood and acted upon through the lens of segmentation.


Burnett, L. (2014). The sharing economy: where we go from here. Leo Burnett Company, INC.