Become A Disrupter!

Become A Disrupter!

'Disruptive Marketing' is a bit of a buzz term at the moment; certainly, if you ask for more than one person to define disruptive marketing, it seems to be the magical answer to all your current and potential marketing woes. The irony is, despite all disruptive marketing appears to be capable of, it essentially remains elusive – at least in advertising. Why? Because disruptive marketing is first and foremost a business strategy; it’s about innovation and product development. When you break it down, disruptive marketing is actually about disrupting the market; think iTunes or Uber, there was music before iTunes, and music after iTunes, and transport before Uber and transport after Uber. Both iTunes and Uber totally disrupted the market, and set the tone for the future, at least until the next disruption... 

If you’re looking to make your business stand out from the crowd without offering a completely new product or service, becoming an effective disrupter is crucial. Our disruptive tips across four familiar areas of marketing will have you on the path to disruption in no time!


Forget about what’s ‘cool’, marketing should target at least one (and they often overlap) of the four big motivators; self-actualisation, guilt, fear and greed. This is even more relevant in the digitally disruptive world we’ve found ourselves in; tapping into fundamental motivators makes it easier for consumers to connect with your product or brand.

Market to the consumer’s full potential > make your product feel exclusive (this isn’t always about price). The message should make consumers feel special; “it’s not for everyone, but it is for you” or “you deserve it”. This is about justifying ‘want’.

Market to guilt > this is a favourite strategy of charities and fundraisers. Remind your consumers of what they have and how lucky they are. Then emphasize how little somebody else has; “they deserve to have what you have” or “you have a responsibility to do something”.

Market to fear > fear is often targeted by insurance companies. The goal is to get consumers to imagine just how terrible things could be without your product. Of course, in the case of insurance, the difference could be life changing, but don’t despair - people often have fear of missing out, so you can really tap into this no matter the product.

Market to greed > people love the idea of ‘more’; more success, more importance, and more bang for your buck. Think ‘upsizing’; buy this – get that, buy one – get one free, buy three – get 30% off, buy four – get 40% off. It’s all about teasing consumers with more, and adding value to your product.


To be a disrupter, you need to think outside the box. Deviating from stock-standard branding and campaigns can be difficult in-house. Companies are understandably very familiar with existing branding and often cannot see beyond current campaign styling. Engaging the services of an outside agency (that’s where we come in!) is a great way to obtain new and exciting creative ideas that just might change everything. 


Marketing has a lot to do with perception; it’s about creating a feeling, a moment, and a world that consumers want to be a part of (of course you still need a great product). In the absence of a tangible new product, create a new feeling, and give your product or brand a new meaning. It’s about the big picture that accompanies your product or brand; market what your product or brand means. This can be achieved with exciting in-store point of sale campaigns, special events, and participatory campaigns (see more below). 


Audiences and consumers are no longer captive – you cannot count on commercial viewers and magazine readers. Just because people are watching television or reading a magazine it doesn’t mean they are engaging with your brand or product. If they can, people will avoid advertisements. However, consumers are now wired to look for disruptions. Consumers are looking for, and expecting something exciting, engaging, and totally surprising. They are waiting to be amazed. Engagement and perception go hand-in-hand; when consumers believe your product or brand means something more, they not only want the product, they want the feeling, the moment and the meaning that goes with it. A participatory campaign (e.g., social media) gives consumers easy access to this. It’s this shift in attitude that will make your product or brand relevant and valued. Businesses need to find a way to be constantly disruptive, without being interruptive – consumers do not want to be overtly badgered into recognising your product or brand. It’s important to strike a balance that works for your brand; too much and you run this risk of consumer rejection, too little and you’ll get lost in the advertising abyss.

The Challenge

Becoming a disrupter is definitely a challenge. It requires incredibly flexible thinking, a wild imagination, and a commitment to the ‘yet to be discovered’ (or disrupted!). Utilising the professional expertise, and objectivity of an outside agency can provide your product or brand with the boost it needs to truly be disruptive. 

At j9etc. we’re up for the challenge. Contact us for your complimentary disruption consultation today!