Being disruptive used to be considered something negative. Speaking loudly in class or bursting out with laughter. Disruptive classmates were sent outside or made an example of, not allowed on school trips or forbidden from taking the class hamster home. Little did we know back then that disruption would go from being every parent’s nightmare to something celebrated and encouraged.
Industry disruption, in fact, is the goal of most emerging start-ups and entrepreneurs. They actively seek to shake up the system, break the mold and disrupt traditional industries. They look to offer customers something they’re not currently getting, or fulfil a need that’s not being met. Every entrepreneur wants to be a legendary disrupter like eBay or Airbnb. However, disrupting an industry doesn’t have to be about reinventing the wheel.
You don’t have to figure out a way to offer a product that’s radically different, or a service that’s novel just for the sake of it. So, don’t waste too much time thinking about launching something completely ingenious. Instead, analyse how you can do what’s already being done – disruptively and with distinction.
Know the Industry (Inside and Out)
It’s very textbook, I know… but knowing the industry inside and out is the only way you’ll know who you’re up against:
- What’s currently being offered?
- What do customers think about existing companies?
- Who are the key players on the scene?
- Find out who’s on top and look for ways to improve their offering, or fill in gaps in the market.
Research is the key to disruption. If you want to solve a real problem, you’ll make it your business to know everything there is to know about your industry – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Figure Out the Problems
Once you’ve conducted thorough market research and gotten a feel for the most popular competitors in your industry, it’s time to see what needs to be fixed. That means figuring out what the problems are.
- Whatever problem you are trying to solve, look at it from all sides and determine:
- Why nobody else has solved it yet?
- What attempts have been made to fix the problem?
- Are there industry regulations?
- What are the roadblocks?
You might try making a list of any and all problems and constantly refer to your notes to make sure you’re not missing anything.
Offer a Solution
Having done extensive research and identifying problems prior to this step, you should have a pretty good idea of what some viable solutions might be – which usually involves a better, cheaper, more convenient version of what’s already available on the market.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
Today’s marketplace is demanding, with Millennials getting used to having authentic and tailor-made services.
One of the main areas in which disrupters can break the mold is their customer experience. No matter what your product is, innovating a better customer service experience is one of the best ways you can disrupt your industry. So, if you want to revolutionise your customer journey, try approaching your business as one of your customers would. Go through your own sales process as a non-biased party and see what you like / dislike about it. When you start thinking like one of your customers, you start generating better service solutions.
As you go forth and disrupt your industry, make sure that you’re creating a product or service that doesn’t just fill a need, but delights your customer and gets them coming back. Research the market, find the problems and offer a superior solution that changes the game for everyone.