One of the recent triumphs of branding has been the acceptance of the word “share” for what is, in reality, a straight rental transaction. Except for the enabling technology, which allows a share car to live for free on the public street rather than returning each day to a privately-owned, taxed compound (à la Hertz), why is a Car2Go four-wheeler different from an Avis rental?
Are any of the sharing companies really sharers, as in co-ops?
•ZipCar is a subsidiary of car-rental giant Avis
•Car2Go is a subsidiary of Daimler
•Mobi, Vancouver’s new “bike share” a.k.a short-term rental, is owned by Shaw and CycleHop
•Evo is owned by BCAA, which is a non-profit federation, better fitting the sense of the word “share”
•Modo is a co-operative.
The word “share,” as it is now used, has such a positive, Millennial connotation – no wonder highly profitable companies have jumped to it. Even Airbnb “shares” accommodation, which is a very different thing from a few friends pooling their money to share an apartment. And Uber is a “ride share,” somehow different from me sharing a taxi with its driver.
I want to make a list. Are there other brave new words (or brave new meanings to simple old words) to add?