What is Disruptive Marketing?

We had a meeting with a client recently and when I asked them about their brand proposition rationale, the answer was simple; it was ‘disruptive’.

Disruptive is a term banded about a lot in the advertising world but what does it really mean? I think for this particular client, they believe being disruptive is presenting customers with a brand experience that they wouldn’t expect, but is that really disruptive or just unfamiliar?

Apple provides us with an excellent example of Disruption. iTunes was disruptive, it changed the way in which people listened to music by targeting customers who have needs that they couldn’t find anywhere else.

Wikipedia was disruptive by putting encyclopaedias online. Uber, Airbnb, Snapchat and even Taylor Swift can claim to be disruptive.

All of these, reshaped an existing product or service based on customer needs.

Richard Branson said, “Disruption is all about risk-taking, trusting your intuition, and rejecting the way things are supposed to be. Disruption goes way beyond advertising, it forces you to think about where you want your brand to go and how to get there.”

So really being disruptive isn’t anything new, it’s nothing different and it’s nothing that will set you apart from the competition. Being disruption is the norm and it’s what everyone in business is striving to do.

The most disruptive brands listen to their consumers, understand their trends and continue to alter and improve their product better and faster than their competition.

So to be truly disruptive, brands needs to stop ‘selling’ and start talking to their consumers. The Nike ‘Better for it’ marketing campaign was one of the many marketing success stories from 2016 but two things jump out to me with this campaign; it doesn’t sell, it’s a realistic story that people can relate to. An example of content marketing done correctly.

So if you’re looking to be disruptive, take a customer centric approach to your marketing, user test everything, talk to your customers, empathise with your customers, measure data and iterate your product until it gives consumers 100% of what they want; a product that is unrivaled.