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Disruption Is All Around Us

Disruption is all around us, and it’s fantastic. Industries are being tipped on their heads thanks to three key ingredients: technology, social, and brand. Get these three elements right, and you’ve got a formula for success. Mobile phones have now become the platform of choice to launch these innovative and disruptive ideas, with the primary objective being: change the status quo to simplify the model, make it particularly easy to use, and lower the cost. Simple, right? 

We’re witnessing a changing of the guard. It’s a staggering statistic but in 2015 the majority of the workforce will be in their twenties. That’s a global stat but also applies to NZ. Baby boomers are on the cusp of retiring, leaving behind their legacies for the millennials to inherit and hit the ground running. There are some obvious differences between the two generations, but key factors defining the success of these industry-changing ideas are: Gen Y speak a different language - social. In fact, we’re fluent in it. Combine that with our thirst for technology-infused instant gratification, and we’re basically embracing this nature of disruption.

Take Tinder for example. Three years ago, online dating was as far from cool as you could get. 500 million matches later, they’ve disrupted the online dating industry with an app on your smartphone integrated with Facebook, and a fun to use photo-swiping feature, giving it the ammunition to go viral. Another example is Uber – a simple taxi app that connects you with a driver, uses location services to view their ETA on a map, automatic fare transactions with your credit card, and a rate in NZ that is 40% cheaper than the competition. With a presence in over 60 countries, $250m + investment from Google, and numerous global protests from existing taxi drivers, Uber has successfully disrupted the global taxi industry. 

From a B2B perspective, Gen Y are also embracing LinkedIn. There’s a common thread among the older generation, some of whom are reluctant to have a presence on LinkedIn due to their fear that it is an ‘invasion of privacy’. The younger generation sees it for what it is: a great tool to stay in touch with old friends and colleagues, and a platform to prove your digital footprint and show you care about your online personal ‘brand’. In a world where technology rules, your colleagues, bosses, and future employers want to see you’ve got a digital presence. Plus, who doesn’t want to achieve the status of having ‘500+ connections’ in a time where social validation is ever-important.

We’re now seeing that people are no longer following a linear model. They choose a multi-touch journey to socialise, educate, and ultimately purchase – from a B2C and B2B standpoint. Brands are increasingly being designed around disruption. Just look at AirBNB, Snapchat, and Stolen Rum who are all disrupting their respective industries. Change is upon us. The question is: 'Will you resist the moving tides?' Or rather ask yourself: ‘How can I be the change?’

Sam Howie

Sam Howie has given his heart to digital and social marketing and enjoys challenging the norms that traditional advertising agencies have been trading on for years.