Being disruptive used to be considered something negative. Back in the day, you might be called out by the teacher for being loud and noisy in class, disrupting your fellow classmates. Or you might’ve have seen that one annoying person who wouldn’t shut up during the movie at the cinema. Little did we know back then that disruption would go from being something everybody loathes to something celebrated and encouraged in today’s market.
Industry disruption, in fact, is the goal of most emerging startups 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 fulfill a need that’s not being met. Every entrepreneur wants to be a legendary “disrupter” like eBay or Airbnb.
But 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 or service that’s fundamentally different So, don’t waste precious time brainstorming about launching something completely inventive. Instead, analyze how you can do what’s already being done – disruptively and with distinction.
1. Get to Know the Industry & Your Competition
Yes, it’s very textbook, 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.
To put it simply, 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.
2. Figure Out the Problems
Once you’ve conducted thorough market research and have 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 angles 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.
3. Find a Solution
Once you’re through researching and identifying the key causes of the problems, you should have a pretty good idea of what some possible solutions might be – which usually involves a better, cheaper, more convenient version of what’s already available on the market.
This doesn’t directly translate to you offering cheaper products and services, but perhaps offering the same in terms of quality but at a more affordable/flexible budget and a more convenient way for your customers to obtain said products and services. This is just one example of course; with many more possible solutions you should be able to come up with if you’ve done the first two steps properly.
4. Offer Brilliant 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.
In order to revolutionize 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 carry on and disrupt your industry, make sure that you’re creating a product or service that doesn’t just fill a need, but delights your customers and gets them coming back for more. Research the market, find the problems and offer a superior solution that changes the game for everyone.