Disruptive brands: a bloody good idea, and the guts to believe

Let’s cut to the chase. If you want to stand out from competitors, do things differently. Disruptive brands are different because they get people engaged and immersed in their brand’s equity.

Apple, Amazon and Uber’s success isn’t about finding new markets. It’s entering established markets and disrupting (and improving) the way things are done through innovative technology and thinking. Turning their competitors upside down in the process.

“Disruption is all about risk-taking, trusting your intuition, and rejecting the way things are supposed to be done,” is how Richard Branson puts it. “Disrupting goes way beyond advertising; it forces you to think about where you want your brand to go and how to get there.”


Into the fire

Last week, I saw Notel Founder James Fry demonstrate his new start-up. It was inspiring to witness how he disrupted the accommodation sector by importing six retro Airstream trailers from the U.S., had them lifted by crane on to an unused Melbourne laneway rooftop, and fitted them out as five-star accommodation.

His guiding objective was simple: do the opposite of what traditional hotels do and offer an experience along the way. He did away with the expensive minibar, for example; supplied a 12.9” iPad instead of a television, minus the expensive movie selection, with Netflix ready to go; and created a smartphone app that allows access to your five-star caravan.

James asked an old friend, Jake Smallman (Studio Self-titled) to develop a clever identity and way finding system and enlisted the infamous Ash Keating to spray-paint a mesmerising feature wall. As if this disruptive idea wasn’t clever enough, the ingenious part was James relied only on Instagram and PR to spread the word. He didn’t use any advertising.

So has it worked? Well, weekend accommodation is booked out for the next six months. Would this brilliant idea work outside Melbourne? Let us know your thoughts on this disruptive brand and get in touch if you need help differentiating and marketing your brand.

Hard Edge is a strategic marketing and creative agency for disruptive brands. 
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