A Stand for Your Digital Neighborhood

Media Morph: Lemonade

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Every week Ad Age Digital's Media Morph looks at how emerging technology is changing the way consumers get their information and media companies and advertisers present their messages. This week: Lemonade.

What It Is: A nifty little e-commerce program that lets users create "lemonade stands" -- virtual storefronts that can live on their social network profiles or blogs. Users can fill these storefronts with products from a database of 2 million products that includes inventory from Macy's, Wal-Mart and iTunes, among other e-commerce sites that have either affiliate programs or partnerships with Lemonade.
The concept, said co-founder Thomas Richard Zawacki, was inspired by the days when kids put up lemonade stands on street corners. "Now we all have digital neighborhoods," he said.

Why It Matters: The service plays off the fact that people like to recommend products to their friends and family -- and that those personal recommendations are more meaningful to consumers than marketing by brands.

The Money Factor: Lemonade is looking to generate money from commission on the sale of products, ad revenue and cost-per-action-based promotional offers people can choose to offer on their stands. Lemonade splits the overall revenue with the stand owner, who keeps 80%.

Who's Using It: In the first six weeks, users have created more than 6,200 lemonade stands. While some are curating their own e-tail-like experiences, filled with the products they like, other users are turning Lemonade stands into "wish lists" or gift registries of products they'd like to receive from friends and family.

The Social-Network Factor: When it comes to popular social networks and applications, Mr. Zawacki said, the emphasis is always on how the business makes money. Lemonade poses a different question, he said. "How do we enable those people to make money? If we can help them make money and take a little piece; maybe we can make money at the end of the day too."
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