Disruption, the buzz word that seemly strikes fear into business sectors across the globe and one we would like to go back to simply meaning, "disturbance or problems which interrupt an event, activity, or process". And please, please, please, do not use it to describe your offer to the market or in a seminar about 'how your sector has been disrupted'. Let's just call it what is really is; delivering a customer-centric strategy (or risking going out of business).
Forbes had a great article a few years ago which has really stuck with me. In it the writer stated; "People are sometimes confused about the difference between innovation and disruption. It's not exactly black and white, but there are real distinctions, and it's not just splitting hairs. Think of it this way: Disruptors are innovators, but not all innovators are disruptors -- in the same way that a square is a rectangle but not all rectangles are squares".
Technology has given people more choice than there has ever been before. But this choice has created a new battleground for businesses. The fight for meaningful differentiation comes by excelling at delivering an outstanding and integrated customer experience. In today's connected world the customer has more information at their fingertips than ever before. They have more choice and they are more connected to the purchasing process than at any other time in history. Whether you are a B2B or B2C you ignore the customer at your own peril. They demand what they want and we must deliver, we must innovative.
Businesses today no longer get to determine what they want to supply, they must adapt (a much better word than that D word) to the demands and lifestyle of the consumer. This delivers innovation to the market in such a way as iTunes changed the way we listened to music, which then evolved further to streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora. Some might say this "disrupted" the music store model, but we could also say that perhaps the music sector didn't listen to the demands of the customer and innovate. And we're not just pointing the finger at the music sector, retail in general, the taxi industry and many others have all had to innovative to keep up with the consumer of today.
So why the need to plaster "disruption" everywhere to describe the customer taking back the power?
Technology has given people more choice than there has ever been before. This choice has created an environment where excelling at delivering an outstanding and integrated customer experience is the new battleground for differentiation. The consumer now demands that businesses create a personalised approach to customer experience, that's not disruption, it's improvement.