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Nathan Kinch, Head of Experience and Labs at Meeco, outlines the rise of the attribute economy, as described in a new report co-authored by thought leaders in digital identity, personal data services and regulation.

“In computing, attributes are pieces of information, which determine the properties of a field or tag in a database, or a string of characters in a display. In more human terms, attributes are qualities, features, characteristics or an inherent part of someone or something. 

In The Attribute Economy, these attributes often represent human beings. They are individual characteristics such as age, gender and education level. They are also characteristics that give context to someone’s life, such as browsing history, financial information, emails and communication, health records and social media profiles. 

Soon these attributes, rather than being exchanged in the background without people’s full knowledge, will be exchanged on the explicit terms of the person they relate to. 

This is the Attribute Economy 2.0.”

The Attribute Economy is what drives digital business. It’s the foundation with which organisations, both large and small, acquire, store, analyse and monetise people’s personal data. In its current form, its head a great run. Entire industries, and some of the world’s largest businesses, have been built in The Attribute Economy.

But, the model faces an existential threat. Consumer behaviours, privacy consciousness, whistle blowers, Ad-blockers and regulation are all forcing the model to change. In fact, under the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), organisations that don’t comply can be met with fines of up to 4% of global revenues. Key executives could also be held personally liable.

With all of these forces at play, new innovators have emerged. These innovators are focused on helping everyday people use their personal data seamlessly to create better outcomes in life. They’re also focused on helping organisations build more open, trusting relationships with their customers so that new shared business and customer value can be created.

Starting out as a simple article introducing the concept, The Attribute Economy quickly became a topic of discussion. In the months that followed, leading thinkers in digital identity, personal data services, regulation and design, collaborated to produce The Rise of The Attribute Economy 2.0: A report highlighting the key market forces impacting the way organisations acquire, store analyse and make use of personal data, whilst also providing practical, real-life examples of how innovators are tackling challenges and unlocking the €1 Trillion of new value this market is predicted to unlock.

Closed networks and walled gardens are breaking down. The customer is now the point of integration – the catalyst for new forms of business value.

The Attribute Economy has evolved. Use the contents of this paper to craft a pathway towards sustained success in this new world.

The report can be access directly here:

Nathan Kinch

Head of Experience & Labs, Meeco


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