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The authors argue that product-sharing services, where companies offer customers the use of a physical product on a limited basis at a lower cost, offer an overlooked opportunity for growth. The primary advantage of product-sharing services is that they leverage a firm’s core product development and production capabilities to expand their portfolio of offerings and market segments. A framework is developed for distinguishing likely candidates for product sharing from unlikely candidates based on product, customer, and company-strategy considerations. An empirical study of a new car-sharing service at Daimler-Benz is then used to illustrate the development of such a service, its strategic advantages, and the challenges involved.


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© SAGE. Final version published as: Johnson, M. D., Herrmann, A., & Huber, F. (1998). Growth through product-sharing services. Journal of Service Research, 1(2), 167-177. doi: 10.1177/109467059800100206
Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.