For businesses across consumer industries, disruption can either seem like a huge threat or has massive potential. Typically, disruption comes from the fledgeling start-ups rather than the big corporations. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. By understanding disruption in consumer industries, it is possible for businesses to stay one step ahead of their competitors. And no, it doesn’t have to mean investing heavily in digital technology, but it does mean focusing on one aspect in particular.
Is Technology Driving Consumer Disruption?
Most businesses will claim that technology is the biggest disruptor to their business. When you think of the big market disruptors such as Uber, Airbnb and Deliveroo, it is clear that they have used technology to their advantage. However, the technology they have wasn’t especially unique. Instead, it was the way they gave consumers a more accessible and convenient option.
For example, when Uber started, they didn’t have their map-based app service. It began by customers texting their requirements. An agent then connected them to a nearby driver. Uber didn’t disrupt the marketplace with technology, but the way they offered customers a quicker and easier method of booking transport.
Similarly, Airbnb wasn’t the first website or app where customers could list their homes or book accommodation. But it was the user-friendly platform, that could provide a wide product offering with flexibility and often (although not necessarily) at a cheaper price that won consumers over.
Likewise, Deliveroo was certainly not the first takeaway delivery service. However, it was the fact that the businesses could bring great restaurants and high-quality food closer to their consumer.
As with the case in these examples and many more, while technology has been a benefit to these businesses, it wasn’t their technology that disrupted the marketplace. It is the fact that they were offering customers more value (whether cheaper, quicker, easier or more variety) than other providers which made their businesses a disruptive success.
Who Is The Disruptor?
It is not start-ups that disrupt the industry, nor is it technology. It is, in fact, customers who are the disruptors. Your consumers are constantly seeking out the businesses, products and technologies to improve their lives or that take away a consumer-based activity that they just aren’t happy with.
Remember, it is customers that choose to adopt new products or services. It is not technology that is stealing them away.
Why You Shouldn’t Fear Disruption
Whether by your business or another, disruption is a fantastic way to improve your service offering and acquire new clients.
So many businesses worry about where the next disruption will come from. They then spend valuable time playing catch up. However, if businesses put their fears about ensuring they have the best technology to one side, they’ll have more time getting ahead of the curve and being the biggest disruptor in the industry.
How To Get Ahead Of The Disruptive Curve
1. Map Out Your Customer Value Chain
There will be lots of activities that a customer will have to complete in order to acquire a product or service. For example, a person may consult a nutritionist or health professional who recommends supplements. The consumer then will have to visit a shop and search the shelves for the right supplements. They will then have to sort their vitamins and remember to take them at the right time and with the right substance.
2. Focus On An Activity That Could Be Better
Value is given to the customer if they can save time, money or effort in an activity. It doesn’t have to be the whole process, just an aspect of it.
In the example above, a disruptor for this could be an online health shop where customers can complete a health assessment online. Based on the results, the provider will create tailored supplements in easy daily packs.
This means the customer does not have to visit multiple providers. A consumer can receive their personalised pack through the post. They also don’t have to sort out their pills as this is done for them
3. Look At Other Industries
So often, businesses focus all of their attention on what their competitors are doing. This means they fail to see how they can apply tools and techniques that other businesses are using to their advantage to their own processes.
Generally, disruption comes in waves. Did you know, for example, that those who buy from the Amazon App are more likely to sign up to Uber than those who don’t? Furthermore, these consumers are far more likely to use Airbnb too. Even though there are in different industries, there are similarities that customers love.
See what other businesses are doing well and see if you can apply that to your own strategy.
Why You Should Attract Disruptive Talent
With customers being in control of what is disruptive and what is not, you need the talent that strives for customer empowerment and ensures their focus is entirely on the customer value chain of reducing a customer’s time, money or effort.
It will be the top talent who will spot trends before your competitors do and will deep-dive into processes to find out where you can be doing something better. Even small savings can make a massive difference to your customers.