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

Disruptive marketing works because it is not focussed on the brand, but rather, the consumer. It is not just a chance for brands to say “Look at me — you need this!”, but rather, it’s a chance for brands to say “Hey consumers — we know you have X problem and we’ve solved it!”.

Are you ready to join the likes of Netflix and Airbnb as a disruptor? Here are four steps to building the right strategy:

Step 1: Know your industry

Before you can put your marketing strategy together, you need to understand what exactly it is that you want to disrupt. Knowing your playing field gives you inside information into the marketing ‘norms’ in that industry — as well as the needs of consumers.

If you can identify an area of weakness in the industry or find a potential customer whose needs are not being met — then you can find where your brand can fill and unmet need and create something new in the industry.

Step 2: Listen to your consumers

You cannot offer consumers a solution without first listening to their concerns — especially when considering that 72% of consumers expect brands to understand their unique needs, according to research by Salesforce.

This makes it crucial to explore the audience that is important to your brand. Ask questions like:
  • What do they want or need?
  • How do they spend their time?
  • What do they expect from your brand?
  • What would surprise them?
You can find many of these answers by taking an in-depth look at your website and social media analytics.

Step 3: Expect the unexpected

Once you know what the industry usually does and what your target audience wants — do the unexpected! This is what will give your brand a competitive edge.

By doing something out of the ordinary, you’ll be able to shift brand perception from ‘just another company selling products’ to one who really understands the consumers’ needs and who is actually able to fulfill them. And who doesn’t want that?

Plus, by doing the unexpected, you’ll know that no one can duplicate the effect that your disruption has had. While other brands can try to do something similar, the effect will never be the same and their efforts will always been seen as a copy-cat version of the original.

Step 4: Stay relevant

The strongest brands are the ones that are relentlessly relevant to consumers’ lives. And to stand out from the rest, brands need to be different from competitors while also playing a meaningful role in their lives.

Just like in step two, knowing your consumers is vital. Once you know what’s important to them, you can find areas where your brand intersects with what they value.

What are some of the brands that you’ve seen successfully use disruptive marketing strategies? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Do you want a little more information on how disruptive marketing can benefit your brand? Find out in our article, Hey marketers — it’s time to get disruptive.