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Market Disruption is a phrase that has gained popularity in recent times. There are lots of conversations about disruptive processes and how they have improved business activities. Before we begin, let us first of all understand what Market Disruption means.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines disruption a break or interruption in the normal course or continuation of some activity, process, etc. This definition almost equates disruption with interruption, which has an adverse undertone. The term “disruption” really took off with Clayton Christensen’s 1997 book The Innovator’s Dilemma where he wrote that “Disruptive innovation” refers to a process in which an underrated product or service starts to become popular enough to replace, or displace, a conventional product or service.
The process of disruption has been misinterpreted by a lot of people as a negative one, denoting an attack on several businesses and even jobs.
In reality, it is only a negative force for those who chose to ignore it or try to fight it, those who do not evolve with the changing seasons and business environment. Those who embrace it often find that it can benefit their business in various ways, contributing to their success and cementing their lead in the market.
Disruption in any business or market is inevitable. Some market disruptions might move faster than others but eventually there must be change. This is why refusing to accept disruption is a lesson in futility. This can be confirmed from so many brands/business who shied away from the disrupting changes in their various markets.

This year, the global pandemic completely changed the way organisations/big brands do business. In the financial sector, the change meant that customers could no longer visit Bank branches and the greater fear of using cash due to the attendant risk associated with it. Before the outbreak, digital payments had not come close to the acceptable adoption and usage rates, despite huge investment made by financial organisations to build alternative channels e. g (Mobile, Online, chat banking etc). However, organisations who had previously questioned the norm and challenged themselves not only saw an increase in transactions in those alternative channels but also kept a smile in the face of their customers.
It is important that brands embrace the expected changes/emerging needs for existing and new customers. To achieve this, it is necessary to keep an eye on the end goal through customer feedback, market research etc. Below are six points that your brand needs in order to be disruptive:
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1.    Know your industry: Before you even consider the introduction of a product or service that can become popular enough to displace a conventional product or service, you must know the industry in which you operate very well.

2.    Know your Consumers: You must understand the consumer’s needs and also understand the purchasing power. In order for change to be successful, the existing customers must be willing to purchase or there must be plans to acquire new customers

3.    Be relevant/Solve a problem: Create new services that solve consumer problems. You must identify an existing or future expected problem and design a new product or service that solves that issue or at least handles it better than the existing brands.

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4.    Think outside the Box: Define the existing rules and conventions of the market and then redefine them. Do not toll the line of the existing brands but carve a niche for yourself so that your brand is recognizable.

5.    Create Awareness: There must be a way to ensure consumers hear about the new product or service. Most brands now use Social media marketing in addition to the traditional methods like TV, Radio and print.

6.    Keep innovating: There must be continuous changes to ensure that an idea/product/service does not become redundant. What seems disruptive today may become irrelevant tomorrow therefore it is important not to rest on your oars when the change is finally accepted.

A brand that can get ahead of others will eventually enjoy new opportunities and growth as these market disruptions largely indicates changes in customers’ needs and behaviors.
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In conclusion, let us summarize the meaning and implication of Market disruption with these few points:
·       Market disruption is inevitable. Change is the only thing constant in life. Every business must get ready to evolve or be ready to end.

·       Disruption is change but not all change is disruption. Some changes happen as a result of natural causes or government polices etc. One business may become better than another because it found a better way of doing things.

·       Disruption is a Gamble. There are absolutely no guarantees that any particular idea will stick or even be successful. Some developments have to be refined multiple times, they have to be reviewed over and over again before they are good enough for implementation. Some still fail even after series of tests.

·       Disruption can sneak up on you. As Nigerian banks were focused on better cyber security, more digital income, collateralized lending, the Fintechs stormed the industry with fresh easily accessible digital products. Most of which didn’t have all the long documentation that the traditional banks would usually require. This resulted in some banks playing catch up. No matter how small the competition is, they should be taken seriously because there’s always an opportunity to get bigger.

·       Disruption may or may not result from changing consumer needs. As consumer needs and tastes change, market disruption happens in order to ensure that businesses continue to meet consumer needs. Some disruptions on the hand, show consumers what they have been missing and may even become instrumental on changing consumer demands.

·       Disruption takes time. What is worth doing is worth doing well. 15 years ago, cards and ATMs were a novel idea in Nigeria. Today, there is almost no bank account that doesn’t have a card attached. It has taken many reviews and upgrades to ensure these channels are secure and appropriate for consumer’s use. An example is the transition from physical cassettes and CDs to music streaming. It was a journey that took Apple music years to perfect and even now, some consumers still insist on the physical copies.

If you want to make a memorable impact, let disruption be one of the forces that drives your company and your industry into the future. This can only occur when you constantly anticipate and understand the ever changing needs of your customers.

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  1. Immensely innovative. An impressive tutorial.

  2. Well done Uncle Sam. Quite insightful and informative. It will be interesting to take it a notch further to explain and possibly differentiate this concept from that of creating a blue ocean. Are they exactly the same or are there differences? One thing I take away is that a disruptive endeavour is an idea and its relevance and impact will depend on the timing of its introduction. "Indeed great is an idea whose time has come" - Jim Rohn

    1. I think it is slightly different from blue ocean, in the sense that blue ocean tends to target businesses in dire competitive environment (red ocean). You look at the four pivots - what to remove, why to reduce, what
      to increase, and what to create. You create demand, and make competition irrelevant. I think Mr Sam's analogy is more encompassing.

  3. Weldone brother me.Our heavenly Father will grantyou more grace and insight in our work.

  4. Merci beaucoup. C'est vraiment simple et instructif.

  5. Uncle Sam makes it look simple and this surely brings low that entry barner into the digital disruption space. Weldone sir.

  6. Quite insightful, my key take, 'no matter how small the organization is, do not take then for granted'. Proper testing of an innovative solution/process is key before implementation as highlighted. Great write up Uncle Sam.

  7. Simple and insightful.
    Thank you

  8. Disruption has been demystified. Very valuable information in these challenging times. Kudos

  9. Podrían ayudarme con un saldo de una tarjeta por favor la cual esta a-mi nombre soy de Mé gusta su banco

  10. This is well put together. It is beneficial as it produces energy for a new product I am working on. Thank you.

  11. Concise and straight to the point. No ambiguity. On point.

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