The Power of Purposeful Disruption

After last night’s Super Bowl many of us walked away feeling the same emotions… underwhelmed and, for lack of a more eloquent word, plain bored. As a marketer my mind wanted to figure out what went wrong and what could have made it a better experience. That thought process led me to one core concept. It lacked the power of disruption. Looking back at Super Bowl moments I remembered I found that, outside of the actual game, it was the “disruptions” that stand out. I don’t need to go into detail describing each because those moments are forever ingrained in our collective memory.

So, how does this relate in the business marketing world? There’s a saying we all know, but, it happens so often in businesses, that I can’t help reiterating it:“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”. We’ve heard it a million times, yet so many companies follow what everyone else is doing or what worked 10 to 20 years ago. Even when we know that thinking outside of the boxand innovation is what creates impact, we still stay with what is comfortable. If it seems obvious, why does this happen so often? What makes us think that we can stand out doing the same thing everyone else in our industry is doing?

The simple answer? Human nature. We love comfort. We embrace safety and feeling like we know the outcome. Disruption is taking a risk and risk, by definition, is danger, fear and hazard! However, the absence of risk is the absence of reward. The great disruptors have revolutionized how we live. From Newton to Einstein, Edison to Hawking and, to reference the Super Bowl, Michael Jackson’s forever half-time changing performance. These are people and moments that created positive innovation. They weren’t afraid to fail and take risks. Apple and Amazon are well-known brands that have used the power of disruption to their advantage time and time again, but they did it with absolute purpose.

How then can you harness this power? Before any marketing initiative is made, purpose needs to be defined. There is much out there on the power of positive disruption but, I want to encourage you to think about purposeful disruption. As marketers we are here to foster positive disruption and do it with a purposeful plan. Use your story and your brand to connect with people on a deeper, more personal level. Know your audience and speak to them in a voice that they can hear and relate to. Stop being afraid to try something new and start fearing unanimously blending in with every other marketing campaign in your industry. That style of marketing is forgettable and quickly thrown away. In turn, that’s money down the drain. Use your brand and creativity to stand outentertain and create positive innovation. Don’t just think outside of the box, throw it away and break the status quo.

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