A prosumer is someone who both produces and consumes goods and services. This term is most commonly associated with technology-savvy consumers who are using new services or products to create value for themselves and other users. Prosumerism is a relatively new concept, but it has been growing in popularity since the early 2000s due to the rise of personal technologies and devices.
Prosumer activities can range from simple tasks like creating memes or videos to more complex activities like programming or algorithm creation. This type of user is important for companies as they can provide valuable feedback and ideas, which can be used to improve services or products.
The term “prosumer” was coined by Alvin Toffler in his book The Third Wave, in which he argued that traditional models of consumerism were becoming outdated. In the modern era, consumers are becoming more empowered to create their own products and services.
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What is a Prosumer?
A prosumer is a “producer” and a “consumer” both simultaneously. Some common examples of prosumers are tech-savvy users who create their own programs, videos, memes, and other content. They are also often the first adopters of new technologies and services, giving valuable feedback to companies in the process.
The Prosumer trend has been made possible by the rise of social media and other forms of online content sharing. Prosumer-created content is often seen as more authentic and relatable than content created by large corporations. This type of content is also typically more affordable than professional-grade content.
In the digital world, the term “prosumer” is used to define 21st-century online buyers who not only consume products but also produce them. For example, a Prosumer might create a blog post reviewing a new product they’ve purchased. Creating customized handbags with individualized details is another example of Prosumerism.
Another realm where prosumers reign is the sharing economy. To put it simply, people can both provide services (e.g., being an Airbnb host or Uber driver) and consume them (like using Airbnb or taking an Uber ride). And as more people become aware of this mutually beneficial system, the sharing economy will only continue to grow.
What are Energy Prosumers?
Energy consumers are also common prosumers. Prosuming energy involves creating renewable sources of energy and using them to power homes or businesses, instead of relying solely on the electric grid. With emerging technologies like solar and wind energy, many homeowners are becoming energy producers as well as consumers, which can save money in the long term.
For example, distributed energy resources (DER) such as rooftop solar PV panels allow households to channel their own production process as per their electricity needs. This way, they can also generate their own power for their electric vehicles. Alternatively, a Prosumer might install a wind turbine in their backyard. Prosumer activities are becoming more common as new technologies emerge.
In the sustainable development world, the term Prosumer is used to describe individuals or businesses that produce their own renewable energy. This type of Prosumerism can help to reduce emissions related to climate change and also provide financial incentives for those who are looking to save money on energy bills.
The Prosumers of today are leading the way in creating a greener future, and one that is more sustainable for all members of society. As new technologies come into play, we could see an entire shift towards prosumer culture, where energy is no longer just a product of an external provider, but rather something that is produced by and within communities.
This shift in consumer culture could have a profound impact on society as we seek to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and move towards more renewable sources of energy.
Examples of Different Prosumer Types
1. DIY prosumers
These types create and produce content or products for themselves without the help of professionals.
For example, they might knit their own clothes or build their own furniture.
2. Self-service Prosumers
This type is able to produce professional-grade content or products without any help from experts. They have the skills and knowledge to do everything themselves.
For example, a self-service Prosumer might be a web designer who creates their own website without any assistance from others.
3. Customizing Prosumers
This type likes to add their own personal touch to the products or services they consume. They might customize their clothing with unique stitching or add special features to the furniture they buy.
For example, customizing prosumers might alter their phone case design with special patterns or designs.
4. Collaborative Prosumers
This type likes to work with others to create content or products. They might collaborate with others to write a blog post or design a piece of furniture.
For example, collaborative prosumers might join an online writing group or co-author a book with another author.
5. Monetized Prosumers
This Prosumer type generates income from the content or products they create.
For example, a monetized Prosumer might sell the handbags they make or the blog posts they write.
6. Economic Prosumers
This type creates content or products that save them money.
For example, economic prosumers might make their own laundry detergent to save on the cost of buying it from the store.
Consumers vs Prosumers
The Prosumers are the new breed of consumers who are blurring the lines between production and consumption. Prosumers are actively involved in the development or design of the products and services they consume. They are often the real decision-makers in the marketplace.
So, what sets Prosumers apart from Consumers? Here are a few key differences:
1. Prosumers are active while the Consumer is passive: Prosumers don’t just consume the products and services they use–they help create them. They are often the real decision-makers in the marketplace. On the other hand, consumers are generally passive and do not have any involvement in the development or design of the products they consume.
2. Prosumers are knowledgeable while the Consumer is ignorant: Prosumers are often very knowledgeable about the products and services they consume. They have a deep understanding of how they work and how they can be improved. On the other hand, consumers are often ignorant about the products they consume and have very little understanding of how they work.
3. Prosumers are collaborative while the Consumer is individualistic: Prosumers often work together to create content or products. They are not afraid to share their ideas and collaborate with others. On the other hand, consumers are generally more individualistic and often don’t share their ideas or work with others.
Let’s have a look at the tabular comparison between these two –
|Basis of Comparison||Consumer||Prosumer|
|Activity Level||Passive, consumes products and services without any involvement in their creation.||Active, helps create the products and services they use.|
|Knowledge Level||Generally lacks in-depth knowledge about the products and services they consume.||Often possesses a deep understanding of the products and services they use, including how they work and how they can be improved.|
|Collaboration||More individualistic and generally do not share their ideas or work with others.||More collaborative, often working together with others to create content or products.|
|Role in Marketplace||Follows the market trends and makes purchases based on available options.||Plays a key role in influencing the market trends, often being involved in product development or design.|
As a prosumer, you have the unique opportunity to be both a producer and a consumer of content, product, or service. This gives you a lot of power to create change and influence others. Use it to your advantage by being active and vocal about the issues that matter to you. Be the change you want to see in the world!
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