Ripe for Disruption

By David Corelli

Disrupt or be left behind – because if you don’t, somebody else will – and faster than you can imagine.

On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of chairing a panel discussion, alongside Airbnb, Spotify and Frank & Oak, on how modern brands are disrupting not only their business verticals, but also holistically how we as marketers communicate and connect to our community of customers.

Brands born in the last 5 to 10 years have been forged in the online, on-demand, tech-savvy, mobile-first fire. They are tailor-made to connect with consumers how and when they want to be.

Not only have these companies disrupted their business vertical. They have fundamentally shaken the core of what marketing is.

Here are a few sound bites from the panel on Wednesday:

“We create a community around our customer’s lifestyle.”

“We don’t do sponsorships, we do partnerships – co-creation and collaborations.”

“It’s not about 1 to many, it’s about 1 to 1.”

“With our data, we know so much before we even get started.”

“If it’s not working, we’ll throw it out and start over again.”

Here is the interesting thing about disruption. By default, it must mean that there is a community that is being underserved. That is just waiting for someone to come in and connect with them in a way that’s not traditional and staid.

I would argue that every longstanding industry that hasn’t been disrupted yet, will be soon. We are living in this golden age where companies and people come together to live life to the fullest.

We, the company, give you a full experience that makes your life better, faster, sweeter, more fun, or simply easier.

Something that helps you to be the person you want to be, to live the life you yearn to live.

Give me that, says the customer, and I will pay you back not just with my patronage, but by singing your praises. Oh and people will listen – have you seen my Snapchat followers? They love my stories.

The amazing thing is, as brands, this can be so much fun too. We get to build crazy, creative new things. Retail experiences that are more like clubhouses than merchandised shops. Content to read, listen to and watch that is entertaining and aspirational. Product collaborations we would love to own ourselves.

There is no one right place to focus. But we better get started – because if we don’t, somebody else will, and much faster than we can possibly imagine.

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