“Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.”
— Peter F. Drucker
Although the world of business is very similar to a race, starting a business isn’t a fun run. It’s a tough one. To make it to the top of ‘Mount Success,’ businesses have to go through paths covered with the blood of other failed businesses. And once your business joins this race; it must run faster than every other business otherwise it’d be crushed.
In this race of businesses, it’s practically impossible for an amateur runner—new businesses like yours—to beat an established industry champion if it doesn’t harness the advantages technology offers to radically change an entire industry.
Powerful brands like YouTube, Uber, Netflix, and even Google got to where they’re standing today because they were successful at using innovation to disrupt their traditional industry. Blackberry’s CEO didn’t realize the danger Apple’s disruptive iPhones posed until it was too late.
Just like Apple, if you want to start a business that’ll shake up your industry, we’ve got three strategies that’ll help you build a brand that even your competitors would fear.
But before we begin…
“If you defer investing your time and energy until you see that you need to, chances are it will already be too late.” — Clayton Christensen
According to Joseph Bower and Clayton Christensen, disruptive innovation happens when a new startup releases a cheaper product that attacks the market from below until it overtakes the prominent players in the industry, and establishes itself as the authority in that industry.
That said, let’s jump into the strategies involved in creating a disruptive business.
Change is constant, and disruption is inevitable. But before you start your business, watch out for technology with the potential to alter how business would be done in the future. Don’t be afraid to import ideas because the technology that’ll disrupt your industry is already transforming another industry right now.
And just the same way Uber changed taxi services, Amazon changed shopping, and Netflix changed entertainment, target businesses that seem immune to disruption, businesses ignoring the needs of potential and new customers.
After finding these businesses, it’s time to come up with a solid disruption strategy, and some of the best tactics you can use are:
- Offering a cheaper version of a premium product or service
- Creating a product that provides new value
- Make a service digital
Brands like Beyond Meat and Tesla disrupted their respective industry by releasing iconic products that had other established businesses in their industry scrambling to keep up.
Competitors are always on the lookout for fresh ways to enhance their products, so you need to pay utmost attention to every move they’re making. Be quick to adapt and innovate on any creative shift in the products or services your competitors are offering.
But while you’re watching your competitors, don’t forget to watch the direction your customers are going, and follow them closely. Monitoring the reaction of customers to products in an industry you want to disrupt would provide a clear sign of the direction the market is heading to. This way you can deliver products that’d be relevant to your customers.
While watching your customers, look out for:
- Customers who reluctantly use a product because they might be open to trying an alternative solution that meets their needs.
- Customers who’d be willing to pay for a fraction of what your competitor’s product offers.
- Customers who cannot use your competitor’s product because they lack the skill, or simply because they cannot get it.
And don’t just target products that’ll be relevant now, but products that’d be valuable to customers in the future.
When Amazon started off, the value—or disruption—it brought to the market wasn’t something that’d be short-lived, but something that remained relevant over time to a point where former-leading brands like Sears couldn’t innovate, so they stagnated.
Understand that every industry can be disrupted, and what better way to disrupt a highly traditional industry—besides technological innovations—than by getting a unique and thrilling brand name.
Getting a unique name is crucial to the success of your disruption because all your efforts would be wasted if you use a bland name because customers would hate your bland brand name or worse, they won’t even know you exist.
Apple disrupted the naming system in the tech industry by getting a name that forced customers to take notice of its brand in the industry. Uber, Airbnb, and Ryanair are businesses that used their catchy and unique brand names to attract customers.
So, even after getting a disruptive product that’ll shake up the market, make sure you back it up with a catchy brand name that’ll stick to the minds of customers. And if you need an exciting brand name fast, then use a reliable brand name generator.
While preparing your disruptive brand, watch the trends in the market. We’re living in a digitized world where businesses need to make a drastic shift towards technology if they are to remain relevant to their customers and the market.
So monitor market trends so nothing will take you by surprise.
Grant Polachek is the Head of Branding at 3X Inc 5000 company Squadhelp, the world’s #1 naming platform, with 30,000+ customers from early-stage startups to enterprises such as Nestle, Philips, Hilton, Pepsi, and AutoNation. Try Squadhelp’s business name generator for custom name recommendations for your venture.