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The Disruptive Teenager and Brand

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Everything old is new again, because the flame of original thought has long since been exhausted. Or so I was informed by my 15 year old, ‘80s-obsessed daughter, after she was tasked to watch a short TED Talk on the death of new creative and unique ideas for a grade 10 art assignment. “Hey man – I just do what I’m told” was her response to my flabbergasted face. “I didn’t want to disagree and disrupt the class.”

My shy, status-quo, Breakfast Club T-shirt wearing teenager might have been too torn or dispassionate to argue the point, but I’ll gladly die on the sword that sings of the crucial value of fresh thinking as it slices through the lazy and dangerous viewpoint that in art, in business, or in life, the pursuit of originality is a lost cause.

I’ve talked in the past about never settling as the “alternative” choice in the minds and hearts of your potential customers. In case you missed it, you can read that article here. Now that I’m all fired up though, I’ll take it even further and demand this of you: Regardless of industry, size, product or service offerings, BE THE DISRUPTIVE TEENAGER.

Interrupt – yell, scream and demand more FROM your industry and FOR your customers.

You have the power to empower your people. Today’s disruptive brands and their disruptive marketing efforts care less about who their audiences ARE and more about who they CAN BE. Even if your customers don’t know whom that person is. ESPECIALLY if they don’t know whom that person is.

Rattle your cage. Reject and rebel against the traditional “tried and true” and ALWAYS be searching for new ideas, and innovative ways to change your industry for the betterment of your customers. Who do you want them to become? What is your promise to them and what are your goals for them? A truly disruptive brand will turn its industry on its head searching for these answers through novel forms of thought relevant to the needs of its customers.

Let’s use the increasingly popular act of floating as an example. I LOVE to float. I’ve said that before and I’ll say it again. And while the idea of floating naked atop a thick pool of salt water within a sealed tank devoid of light, sound and smell might not appeal to everyone at first ahem blush, its benefits prove therapeutic for mind and soul as well as body. From those seeking arthritic relief to experimental souls searching for deep spiritual and creative awakening, floating has amassed a loyal army of users eager to both convince family and friends to experience a session for themselves and also to defend this “alternative” treatment – not just in protection of the service itself, but to their own defence as justification of a highly personal defining characteristic – the search for enlightenment.

So it would seem that things are working. Customer satisfaction and retention rates are high, and brand loyalty is certainly gaining traction. But why stop there? With more and more float practitioners surfacing to offer identical services, memberships are doomed to be won or lost on factors such as price point, loyalty reward programs or location. Now is the perfect time to be rebellious, cause a little chaos, and disrupt the industry…

Remember that brands are not bought into. Brands are joined.

And whether you call these collections of brand-joining individuals families, cults or tribes, the fact remains that these people will build and strengthen your brand (also your business and ultimately your bottom line), if they themselves are first made stronger through an abundance of social, educational, physical, spiritual or emotional wealth above and beyond a simple product or service, and offered by you and no other.

Consider again the act of floating. With spiritual and emotional healing and growth being key benefits, a disruption to the industry could see one such rebellious soul offering licensed therapy, counselling, guided meditation, creative or even religious discussion sessions for public or private groups with post event floats used as a self-reflection period to the wisdom just gained. The result would be a re-definition of the floating industry itself – a holistic, communal approach to an otherwise specific and personal act. A disruptive re-definition of the industry with one visionary practitioner to write the story…

Contact us to rattle your cage today!

Corey Brewis