Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Disrupt Your Market, Not Your Users.


Disrupting a market is a great way to gain market share. So companies increasingly focus on how to do things differently in their chosen field. It can yield great dividends, but the innovation is only half the job.

If you change the physical shape or size of your product, do you ensure that you facilitate its use by providing or highlighting ways for users to transport/carry them (this applies equally to small items as well as large)?

If you change the technology in your product/service, do you ensure that your users are fully and easily informed about how it works and acknowledges that users will only upgrade every third iteration and thus will be making a larger leap in capabilities and techniques than the developers?

If you disrupt the distribution system of your market by shifting elements of the purchase process to your user, do you ensure that these elements are as simple as possible for them to take on or do you just leave them wandering the (real or virtual) aisles?

If you add functionality to your product/service, do you ensure that existing users are neither overwhelmed by it nor unable to revert to their old usage patterns with ease (this is not just a technical issue as New Coke so ineptly demonstrated)?

Whether you adopt a low end disruption or a new market disruption strategy, there are many other scenarios that could be added to this brief list, but the base line is this. Disrupting your market is great, disrupting your user experience is not.

2 Comments:

Blogger Cynical Rob said...

The only thing I'd add is that sometimes agencies and brands 'disrupt' based on what their competitors are doing/saying rather than on the needs/wants/expectations of their customer base which means the focus of their business is being skewed by elements that - whilst important - do not relate to the people who they need to attract for ongoing success.

Coke is a perfect example of this because they are more obsessed with Pepsi than they are their consumers, regardless of how many 'insight specialists' they have on their books.

10:25 PM, February 25, 2008  
Blogger Rob Mortimer said...

As you can see by the way that Pepsi rode out the launch of Coke Zero, and then once the fuss had died down brought out a new campaign for Pepsi Max.

Whereas as soon as Pepsi brought out that campaign, Coke panicked and re-ran all their Zero ads.

That also shows Pepsi's confidence (and Coke's lack of) in their brand and message.

1:37 AM, February 26, 2008  

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