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Mikael Klintman

Mikael Klintman

Professor

Mikael Klintman

Communicating access-based business models : Company framings of home furnishings rental

Author

  • Heather A. Schoonover
  • Oksana Mont
  • Mikael Klintman

Summary, in English

Although access-based business models such as product rental hold promise for contributing to sustainable production and consumption, their diffusion is hindered by a lack of consumer acceptance. In order for rental models to resonate with consumers, they must be designed and communicated in a way that aligns with consumers’ needs. While many studies have addressed business model design, few have looked at how rental business models are communicated to consumers. Our study addresses this gap by exploring how rental companies frame their offers to consumers, and how this aligns with consumer drivers to engage in rental previously found in literature. Through a qualitative content analysis of websites of companies in the growing sector of home furnishings rental, we find that, contrary to studies that suggest emphasising sustainability aspects, sustainability is not widely communicated. In addition, while messaging does reflect broad categories of drivers for a variety of consumer goods – including economic benefits, freedom from burdens of ownership, convenience, and novelty – home furnishings rental companies represent these drivers somewhat differently. This includes appealing to more intangible ideas such as aspiration, self-expression and homeliness, as well as citing aspects specific to home furnishings such as the literal burdens of transporting furniture when relocating. Our study raises important questions about the role of sustainability in communications and provides insights from companies actively engaged in rental that can potentially help ensure that company messaging, and in turn rental models themselves, resonate with consumers. We also contribute empirical findings on home furnishings rental, which has seen increasing engagement by practitioners but has received little consideration in academic literature.

Department/s

  • The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics
  • Sociology

Publishing year

2022

Language

English

Publication/Series

Cleaner and Responsible Consumption

Volume

4

Document type

Journal article

Topic

  • Business Administration

Keywords

  • Consumer drivers
  • Furniture
  • Leasing
  • Product-service systems
  • Sustainable business models
  • Sustainable consumption

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 2666-7843