The growth of sharing economy services has been led by technological development
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The growth of sharing economy services has been led by technological development, an awareness of reducing ecological impacts, and change in attitudes toward product ownership and the demands for social networks. Research on the motivations of the sharing economy help facilitate a better understanding of users’ decision-making processes. For the purposes of this assignment, you are engaged as a consultant to Pentax, one of Japan’s longest-established photographic equipment manufacturers. During the company’s heyday of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, Pentax was widely regarded for producing a number of class-leading innovations. However, since the 90’s the company has consistently lost market share to its major competitors Canon and Nikon and to new entrants such as Sony. Several third-party lens manufacturers, such as Sigma and Tamron, have deserted Pentax, further weakening the company’s sales position.
Pentax is owned by Ricoh, a conglomerate that is probably better known for making photocopiers. As such, business leasing models are very well understood by the parent company. Ricoh continues to support the Pentax brand, even in these tough times. A new professional “flagship” camera, the K3-III, is scheduled to launch in early 2021. Following an impromptu meeting with a senior executive, you have been asked to explore the concept of the Sharing Economy as a potential business opportunity to increase the sales of the new camera.