Entrepreneurial Strategies for Disrupting an Industry

Disrupting an industry today has never been easier. It took many years for the Gutenberg printing press to be disrupted, but once that happened, countless innovations flooded the market, transforming the world to the point where we now have access to 3D and 4D printers.

Disruption is a massive threat to established companies because it can radically transform an industry and force out companies that fail to meet superior technological requirements. Sometimes edgy brand names selection can make disruption in the business market.

That’s why top brands like Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Samsung are pouring tons of cash into research and development because they either self-disrupt or self-destruct.

Now, whether you’re a startup founder or an experienced entrepreneur, engaging disruptive ideas won’t just help you revolutionize your industry and give you the first movers advantage; it’ll also help you secure your position in the market. And just in case you’re eager to disrupt your industry, but you don’t know-how, then stick with us because we have a great guide that can help you.

First: What’s Disruptive Innovation?

Disruption is the process of creating a new company that caters to the suppressed needs of customers, needs like cheaper, better, advanced, or quicker products. Needs that established brands in the industry have failed to meet or are unable to achieve.

Businesses powered by disruptive innovation either topple existing industries, create parallel ones, or successfully integrate old and new technology. But the end is always the same; businesses that don’t disrupt will lose. 

Companies like Blockbuster, Yahoo, Polaroid, Xerox, Hummer, Toshiba, and Kodak, have all been replaced by disruptive startups like Tesla, Smarter, Airbnb, Uber, SpaceX, Bitcoin, Oculus, and Netflix. So how do you disrupt an industry? Let’s find out.

3 Easy Steps to Disrupting any Industry

3 Ideas to Disrupting any Industry

Understand that disruption isn’t ready-made; it always requires a ton of effort, finance, research, and publicity to be successful.

Disruptive entrepreneurs, most of the time, don’t only have to tackle hidden realities of the market that even customers aren’t aware of but also communicate their products in such a way that’d appeal to customers.

That’s why jumping headlong into disruption can be very dangerous; the worst thing that could happen isn’t necessarily your failure but a competition feeding off your idea after your failure, like how Oreos fed off Hydrox’s unique product. To avoid such a situation, you need a foolproof strategy, and you can go about it by:

1.   Searching and Taking Advantage of Repressed Industries

If change is constant, then disruption is its inevitable result. And any business that isn’t causing enough change will be a victim of the disruption of others.

And yes, many companies lose sight of innovation as they struggle to consolidate their market dominance; in the end, they become too structured to allow true technological progress that they become traditional.

And it’s best to target traditional industries for innovation because these industries aren’t just repressed in their operations; they’re also less open to innovation and less considerate of the desires and needs of their customers. 

Although disruption almost always involves introducing something new to an industry, the idea could also be to incorporate an already existing idea in another different industry. This is exactly what Uber did in the taxi sector, Netflix in the entertainment sector, and even McDonald’s in their early days. 

After finding an industry, the next step is to identify the best disruptive strategy your business would take. Here are some ideas:

  • Providing a more affordable substitute for an expensive product or service
  • Developing a product with a higher perceived value
  • Transforming a traditional service into a digital one

Providing services that are faster than current ones.

2.   Watch Your Competition, Follow Your Customers

Watch Your Competition, Follow Your Customers

Great competition is usually not appreciated by brands but feared. And this fear alone could lead to panic instead of decisive action and innovative development.

And even though your brand stands to gain a wealth of knowledge from watching your competitors, don’t waste valuable time only watching competitors make their innovative moves uncontested because it’ll cost your company its market advantage.

Also, don’t lose touch with your customers because they’re the only reason why your business exists and why you need to outperform your competitors.

So, search out market trends, directions, and be proactive enough to predict where your customers could be in the future based on available facts. Also, seek ways to make your feedback loops more effective to gather firsthand information from your audience.

While monitoring your customers, look out for:

  • Customers using a product grudgingly because they want to test other items that meet their desires
  • Customers that are ready to pay a fraction of the cost of your competitor’s products
  • Customers that are unable to use your competitor’s products because they lack the skill or financial capacity

And just like how Facebook acquired Instagram, Whatsapp, and Oculus, don’t just concentrate on what’s useful today, also think of future possibilities that everyone can’t see because it’d open you up to new frontiers faster than your competitors.

3.   Match Your Disruption with an Edgy Brand Name

Match Your Disruption with an Edgy Brand Name

Most times, it isn’t just an innovative idea but an edgy brand name that makes the leap triggers disruption and sends shock waves into the market. And one brand that exhibited this perfectly was Apple.

Now, Apple’s disruptive brand name drew such attention that customers couldn’t help but love the company because it meant more than just a business; it was a lifestyle. 

A disruptive brand name is critical to the success of your disruption. Dull and generic names do very little to communicate your brand’s authenticity and the uniqueness of your products. One way to optimize your brand’s innovative and disruptive potential is to give it the perfect name that’ll instantly captivate your audience. And the quickest way to find a bold, unique, and compelling brand name is to use a powerful business name generator.

Embrace Market Trends and Innovate with Speed

Market trends are the lifeblood of any industry, so keep an eye on them while you develop your disruptive brand. We live in a digital age where companies who want to succeed must make large technological investments in order to stay relevant to their customers and the market. Your brand must adapt to its market with breakneck speed or risk losing contact with its customers. And Hostess is a great example of a brand that failed to innovate and lost touch with its market. The company failed to adapt its brand to the “healthier snack fad,” and this carelessness resulted in the company’s bankruptcy in 2012.

Author Bio and Headshot:

Grant Polachek

Grant Polachek is the Head of Branding at Inc 500 company Squadhelp.com, the world’s #1 naming platform, with 30,000+ customers from early-stage startups across the globe to the largest corporations including Nestle, Philips, Hilton, Pepsi, and AutoNation.

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