Disruptive Branding: An Art Of Continuous Innovation

Published by MBA Skool Team, Published on March 14, 2012

Disruption means innovation, change which is very necessary for any brand to establish. Disruptive Branding is a buzz word today. Every marketer today is trying to mark an imprint in the minds of the consumers by one way or the other and more the innovative way to brand its product, better are its prospect of establishing the foothold in the mind of the people.

Disruptive branding

The history of disruptive branding is not very old. It made its appearance in 1990’s when there is a flood of same products or rather I should say Me-Too products are there in the market. So the need to innovate or rather to create a change is required. To achieve there is an emphasis on the communication to deliver the message clearly to the customer

Apple Inc. can be termed as one of the most disruptive companies on the planet. Initially started as a computer company, it quickly transforms itself into a “product” company — changing the world forever with innovations such as the iPod, iTV and the iPhone and the most recent iPad. These products swayed their respect markets like a wave. We can see the people waiting in the queue for taking an iPhone on its day of release. Fortune magazine paid tribute to the success of (Apple chairman and CEO) Steve Jobs with an article titled Steve Jobs, The Master of Disruption. It became clear that the “shift” was happening. There are many others Google Inc., Starbucks Corp., Pixar Animation Studios, Adidas Ltd their success, can be attributed to one thing: they have all built a corporate culture that instinctively inspires disruption. This is invaluable from the branding point of view.

Brand tends to move the customers, first slowly and then by leaps and bounds. From being vibrant, daring to subtle, prudent, brand leaves no stone unturned in enticing the customer’s base towards them. These initiatives also moves the customers ahead, they became used to the new culture, more innovative stuff. This leads to the evolving of new products, innovation, and creation of new brands. Apple is the best example that comes and broke all the existing norms and conventions.

“Value delivery systems, not fabricated fluff” is the mantra of the disruptive branding, as disruptor brands are value delivery systems, not fabricated fluff. They raise the reference, and the customer. They understand that there is the survival of the fittest game that is prevailing. Only brand name cannot take you ahead it’s the value you delivered that makes you progress. The world of the mouth publicity is what carries a brand ahead which is possible only on quality delivery.

Successfully disruptive ideas don’t last because its human nature to copy what works. This process of imitation homogenizes the disruptive idea to the point where it’s no longer different. No longer disruptive. So if you want to sustain a competitive advantage, you have to keep coming up with disruptive ideas. Not just incremental improvement on what’s always worked, but honest-to-goodness newness all the time. The best example of this can be quotes as MTV , It launched a adventure based reality show ROADIES which gained an instantaneous popularity among the masses and now we can see a whole lot of shows like DADAGIRI , KHATRON KE KHILADI etc on the television. In the flood of these the first show also loses its charm and does not respond to the stimuli as it does earlier. It’s lost in the sea of sameness.

Changing market trends and the technologies leads to embrace change. Advent of internet leads to the establishment of many new businesses. Online shopping is the perfect example. Such stuff brings an exciting change in the daily lives of the masses. E-Bay, Amazon is few one of the leading names in the e-shopping sites. Google positioned itself as the search engines such that the name Google entered in the dictionary with a synonym as search. We can see that how disruptive branding helps in establishing the mark of a brand in the minds of the people.

Disruptive Brands are like an iceberg. Like an iceberg they hide a lot of underwater mass beneath them and thus attract little notice as they glide into position. And when the right time arrives ,they came out of their disguise with full flare such that every other brand present in the market got startled by their presence. One moment they are beneath the surface, and the next moment they own the ocean. They keep a low profile all along their journey to the masses as fanfares would only alert their intended prey. The best example of this is NIRMA who targeted the bottom of the pyramid first and establishes its footprint in the market slowly leaving all the major players like HUL and P&G behind. It captured a huge market share when HUL came to now about the fact and launches WHEEL in competition of NIRMA.

The marketers feel the need of disruptive branding in today’s time because of the following reason

  • Industry is always in the state of change.
  • No one ever satisfies with what he has and in turn devise new method to achieve it.
  • Disruptive Thinking becomes an integral part which in no way can be eliminated

All these factors lead to the popularity or rather we can say “buzz”of the disruptive thinking.

Most organizations find many reasons to discard disruptive branding irrespective of the fact that this could ensure the increase in business to their organization. Its only natural because our social structure and human nature is such that we found comfort and solace in. These things trap us into a world of conformity.

But large brands found a single one reason as to why they should resort to disruptive branding. To Get People Talking.

Not only did people talk, also it leads to the building up of new relations between the brands and the masses which everyone wants. Great brands do things that are disruptive. Rather than shying away from the word, they welcome it with open arms and execute the idea of disruption branding and they mould it into their organization’s culture. They consider it productive change.

Observing the success of the top brands, many private brands start resorting to disruptive branding. Rather than trying to find reasons to say “No, it can’t be done” they now start figuring out the innovative idea to brand their labels or in other words started Disruptive Branding. After all disruption is just another name for the age-old economic concept of creative destruction."

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

Now the question is How would you ensure that you are doing disruptive. For this start asking yourself questions such as:

  • What are you protecting yourself from?
  • What are the conventions of your industry?
  • What stops you from changing?
  • Are you copying what’s good, or doing what’s new?
  • What can you do to improve on this?

Law of Jungle prevails in the market, i.e., the survival of the fittest and to survive you have to be razor sharp. Steinbeck once said, “It is the nature of man, as he grows old, to protect himself against change, particularly change for the better.”

Market cannot remain static. The same, of course, applies to companies. They are alive and they are organic. But shifts in plans and decisions must be in a systematic manner. Disruption is the word for that. Disruption can help a company or brand get to evolve with a new flare and glaze. As it emphasizes from advertising to packaging, giving a whole new identity to the product.

Earlier when anyone tries to promote disruption, people advised them strongly against it as this word is far too negative. Today, it might have a negative connotation at first, but it is a systematic procedure methodology that leads to innovation or more precisely creation, not chaos or demolition. Disruption is way to create something dynamic, to replace something that has become so stereotype and more to do with what you have..!!!

This article has been authored by Ujjwal Garg from IMT Ghaziabad.

Image: Master isolated images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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