“Disruptive Marketing” Strategy | Michael Deitsch
The term "Disruptive Marketing" is rather new. The practice has been around for many years. Like brand positioning, image development and corporate identity, they are all labels marketers use to put marketing strategies into their own categories. They are all about how companies attract new customers to their products or services. However, times have changed. Today consumers now drive the market. To compete, companies must appeal to what the consumers desire and think about and give them what they want; not what the company wants to sell.
Disruptive Marketing strategy is used more in product marketing. Some call it a business model; not a marketing strategy. A good example is how Big Box Home Improvement stores, such as Home Depot and Lowes, nearly put the hardware stores completely out of business by eliminating the hardware distributors (middleman) and bought merchandise direct from the product manufactures. Without the middleman, they could afford to sell at lower prices. Then with much larger stores, they could offer a broader selection. They were in products categories from appliances to lumber. The market was so disrupted it was almost impossible to compete.
This marketing strategy changed how hardgoods were sold and in the process nearly wiped out the entire retail hardware store industry. As a result, most of the hardware distributions when out of business and only a few of the more progressive Hardware co-ops such as Ace and HWI were able to double down on selective product lines to go deep in limited special product lines, buy direct like the big box chains to be able to compete on price and beat the big box stores in product knowledge and excellent customer service.
In celebrity branding or image development the talent (Actors, Singers, Performers) have the same challenge. They must stay relevent to build a memorable brand image that stands out. They must innovate in new ways to appeal to the entertainment consumers in a whole new way. The primary disruptive force was the Internet and then Social Media. Now entertainers do not need TV and record stores to sell their products. What has happened to disrupt the music industry is a complete study in itself.
As pop culture emerged and broke down old barriers, entertainers began to experiment and take new risks to set themselves apart. Cable and Satellite TV expanded opportunities and traditional family values were under assault. These disruptive changes gave birth to outrageous behavior, insane styles and some would say images that have destroyed the very fabric of society. Nonetheless, stars like Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga and many others were branding themselves in ways that horrified parents and people of conservative values. Right or wrong only time will tell, but you can clearly see that many celebrities are using disruptive marketing strategies to give their fans what they want in order to make millions.
Angel and I are writing a book on branding that will cover disruptive marketing in greater detail. We will take an indepth look at celebrities and products that have used disruptive marketing strategies and explore why some worked and others did not. Once you understand disruptive marketing strategies you will be armed and dangerous in the market place; hopefully in a good way. Most importantly we will look at technology and take a shot at predicting how this will play out over time. The book will be filled with examples that you must understand to make your own way in business or entertainment. Once the book is published you will first hear about here on Angel's blog.
Note: Michael Deitsch is a partner in Howansky LLC and Corporate Director of Marketing