Inspire Change: A Step-by-Step Guide to Disrupting an Industry / Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

If you’re an entrepreneurial spirit and you want to know when and how to disrupt a particular industry, consider these five steps.

Every once in awhile for whatever reason, an industry slows down, gets standardized and stops innovating.

When this happens creative entrepreneurs jump in and disrupt the market.

They leverage new approaches, launch new products, and change the way everyone sees that industry.

If you’re an entrepreneurial spirit and you want to know when and how to disrupt a particular industry, consider these factors, and recommendations.

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Check the Pulse of the Industry

Look out for industries with a significant number of smaller brands or numerous large brands that don’t have a strong degree of customer loyalty. Consider the home brewed coffee industry. Brands like Folgers dominated the market for years will a simple, uninteresting standardized product.

Cue the team at Green Mountain Coffee coming up with the Keurig, a completely new method of packaging, curating, and brewing for the consumer. Not only did they disrupt the market, they took it over.

Listen to the Consumer Voice

Consumers will often ask publicly for a different way of doing things. Watching consumer complaints or advocacy groups is another way to identify fields that need an infusion of new ideas. Targeting these pain points is one of the fastest ways to identify an industry that needs to be disrupted. Current product landscape isn’t exciting.

Industries that lack design thinking and a beautiful customer experience often stagnate and give way to innovators that offer a more delightful alternative. Bose was the king of quality headphones for years. Then Dr. Dre hit the scene with Beats. Was the sound better on Beats? Of course not, but it was really good, and their design is beautiful.

Thinking you might be in a position to disrupt your market? Here are a few recommendations:

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1. Borrow From Other Movers and Shakers

While you need to be original in your industry, you don’t always have to reinvent the wheel. Think about what disrupters in other industries have done and assess whether or not similar methods will work for you. Amazon, Blue Apron, and Netflix are all great examples of innovators that leveraged other people’s methods to disrupt an industry with a new solution.

2. Customer Testing

If your disruptive product/service is easily developed at a low cost, make sure that you take the time to develop a small following. Not ready to market test your big idea? Pitch the idea to your potential target markets and see what feedback you get. Also be wary of positive feedback without purchase. There are plenty of products/services on the market that people might like, the important question is whether or not they will actually pay for it.

3. Change the Pricing Structure/Expectations

Often times pricing/billing can be a pain point for consumers. Software ownership used to involve a prohibitively large one-time purchase. By providing subscription-based pricing models, many firms were able to gain new customers and improve relationships with existing ones.

4. Deliver an Easier Way of Doing Things for the Consumer

Disruptive ideas almost always make something easier to do for consumers. Whether it’s more efficient than what’s already on the market, or a new concept entirely, making people’s lives easier is always a good way to change an industry.

5. Make It Fun, Beautiful, Delightful

Countless brands have disrupted an industry simply by creating more beautiful and enjoyable experiences for consumers. Brands that rethink the way people receive and experience their products stand to change the face of their industries.

If you are an Entrepreneur and you see these issues in your industry or one that you buy from, it might be time for you to take the leap and provide a solution for consumers. Make sure you take the right steps, evaluate yourself and your brand every step of the way, and you just might disrupt an entire industry.

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