I am often asked as the founder of a consultancy (www.dvcconsultants.com) who is focussed on creating disruptor and challenger brands, what are the core principles and building blocks for doing this? What’s the secret to the alchemy and what is the formula for success? So, for what it’s worth here are my Top Ten Tips and Observations.
Disruption is something that has existed in the world and across multiple industries for years, but now because of the key drivers in E-commerce and digital marketing it is even more important.
Know your Industry. This to my mind is the most important. Disruption is a unique way of ensuring that positive change is implemented and based on a firm knowledge of the brand a category operates in. How are you going to dominate and out-think your competitors if you don’t know the market you wish to disrupt? Know your customers, know your competitors, know what’s been tried, know what’s expected and what’s grown stale, know what’s failed and what’s succeeded.
Surround yourself with the best possible internal and external team. The most important issue here is to surround yourself with “radiators” and avoid ”gatekeepers” and “drains”. Bring in people who can contribute to the business going forward and who buy into the vision. We have just created a FinTech Startup (www.banktotal.org) focussed on bringing banking to the two billion underbanked and unbanked in emerging economies. The team and advisers all represent the best in class from their various industries. African and Asian Bankers, brand strategists and CTOs who have extensive networks and buy into one shared vision.
Get ready for a lot of hard work. Creators of disruptor and challenger brands work harder, and put in longer hours, than the business owner who chooses to follow tradition. Choose something you’re passionate about, so commitment won’t be a problem.
Don’t worry about being an Outsider. The big name disruptors like Amazon, Airbnb and Uber are now regarded as super cool and the big innovators so far of this century. They’re revered by all their stakeholders, but it wasn’t ever thus. For a long time, they were pariahs and misunderstood. You will go through some very dark times on your journey to disruptor status. Suck it up..with enough tenacity you will make it.
Always understand technology is subordinate to function. The user experience is everything. Focus more on the end than the means. Don’t get caught up in technology and software to such an extent you forget what it is for.
Don’t give up. You are going to be surrounded by naysayers and those who actually want you to fail. Learn to deal with constructive criticism but get rid of serial critics.
Enjoy the journey. It will be a lot of hard work, but learn to celebrate success. There will be key milestones that you reach. Learn to recognise these and pat yourself and your team on the back when this occurs.
Get your finance sorted from the start– A great idea can be killed without the proper investment. From the beginning have a business plan that has worked out what the brand will need financially to get to market. There are many professional advisers to help you do this. Build a plan based on the key milestones, but get your financial needs organised as soon as possible.
Be seen as a Thought Leader. Contribute to insights and ideas on your industry. Asses package and share your own best practices, knowledge-sets and case studies. Thought Leadership is the new battleground for B2B marketers fighting to differentiate their brand from the competition. By utilising new intellectual territory, you can open up new commercial conversations.
Have a great content marketing strategy -Provide an end -to -end software platform that serves the right content ,at the right time, to the right people. Produce high quality and informative content that your stakeholders actually need and benefit from.
If you are a mover and need a shaker and would like to know, more contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Quentin Anderson is Executive Chairman DVC Consultants