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Building a Disruptive Brand

It’s 2019 and we’re experiencing a marketplace that is more crowded than ever. Today, brands need to stand atop the tallest building and shout as loud as they can to capture consumers’ attention. As a result, we are seeing omnichannel, mobile and consumer loyalty marketing campaigns help brands pave the road to disrupt tradition while identifying new ways of speaking to audiences. Building a disruptive brand is about experimenting with outside-the-box ideas, personalizing consumer experiences’ and earning the attention/respect of the masses along the way. It isn’t just about figuring out where you fit into your industry, but finding a way to break the industry’s mold.

We’ve put together a short list of the most disruptive brands (in our humble opinion) to hit the marketplace in recent years. These companies are transforming the way we live and have successfully evolved into common household names.

Wayfair

“Furniture has to be touched in a showroom, ordered, and then received months later.”

Wayfair—a newcomer to this year’s Fortune 500 list—proved to consumers quickly that days of walking into a brick and mortar location to sit on couch after couch, chase down a sales representative and wait months to receive your purchase are over. How did they do it? They took a stance on a commitment to customer satisfaction, loyalty and personalization.

According to Fortune, Wayfair has a “virtually unlimited selection for every taste and budget—more than 14 million products from 11,000 suppliers. It employs more than 2,300 engineers and data scientists who drive loyalty and attempt to reduce friction through extreme personalization,” The brand is also creating new technologies to improve a consumer’s ability to design, stage, and even virtually feel furniture before buying it. While Wayfair currently sits as the world’s 12th-largest online retailer with $6.8 billion in sales, they have a long way to go to catch up to the likes of Amazon and Walmart. In the years ahead, it will be interestinged to see what swings the pendulum in Wayfair’s favor.

Harry’s Inc.

“There is no incentive to create a new shaving experience.”

I can think of 1.37 billion reasons why Harry’s co-founders, Jeff Raider and Andy Katz-Mayfield, were committed to offering an affordable direct-to-consumer razor with appealing aesthetics. That’s right, last month Harry’s announced it agreed to sell to Edgewater Personal Care, the parent company of Schick razor brand, in a deal valued at $1.37 billion. From what I can tell, the brand found its massive success by offering simple, quality blades and building a fiercely loyal group of brand enthusiasts via social media.

Knowing men don’t enjoy perusing aisles for the perfect razor, Harry’s took on Gillette and Schick’s fancy models and high price points by developing one five-blade razor model with a choice of two different types of handles, priced at about $2 per cartridge under their subscription planone of several purchasing options. To ensure consumer satisfaction, the brand also invites newcomers to enjoy a trial period or make a one-time purchase of its Truman Set. To secure Harry’s enthusiasts, the brand took to social media. Campaigns comprised of free product offers and referral incentives were launched initially and as it goes, ‘the rest is history.’ Today, the brand has 5 million customers in the U.S. and Canada and claims business has grown 70 percent year-over-year in North America.

Poshmark

“People of means will never purchase or sell used clothes.”

Poshmark is the epitome of the old adage of ‘what’s old is new again.’ From vintage Chanel to highly sought after Louboutins, Poshmark has disrupted e-commerce with its digital treasure trove of high-end jewelry, handbags, clothing, and shoes like no brand before. Against all odds, the web-based marketplace merged social media with the buying and selling of prized possessions across generations.

From the get go, millenials were early adopters of the platform—using the app to comment, like, share, and engage directly with other users. Unlike brick and mortar stores, Poshmark offers a shopping experience that’s personal and brings the human connection back to retail. As a result, Poshmark claims U.S. shoppers spend 23-27 minutes per day in the app, and share 18 million items daily.

At the end of the day, building a successful, disruptive brand heavily depends on creating a two-way relationship with your customers and delivering a customized experience. That is what all these brands have in common and it is a huge factor to  their successes throughout the years.