Newer brands captured 31% of revenue share growth within the last four years, and this percentage is increasing. The brands that once defined an industry are seeing the experience demanded shift dramatically. So what’s an incumbent to do?

Incumbent Corp: Why hello Disruptor & Co., it’s great to see you here at this year’s annual Big Industry Conference. Is this your first time here?

Disruptor & Co: Hey Incumbent Corp.! It sure is. Super happy to be here, and to be giving the keynote. Though nothing will be as great as the TED Talk I just gave.

Incumbent Corp: Right. Right. I caught that. Seems like things are going pretty well for you these days. We’ve seen a real hit to our business since you came along. Everyone wants D&Co.

Disruptor & Co: Things really are going great. The valuation for our IPO is mind blowing…although it’s still unclear when we’ll be profitable.

Incumbent Corp: Yes, well making money is hard. Meanwhile, what’s the secret to how you’ve transformed the landscape so significantly?

Disruptor & Co: We just knew there had to be a better way. So we focused on creating something that spoke to the way customers expect the world to behave now. The assumption that only the youngest generation of digital natives are going to demand better experiences is kind of faulty, you know? Everyone wants better now.

Incumbent Corp: Interesting. People have loved our products since we were founded in 1954, and they kept buying them even after you came along. It’s taken us too long to realize that we need to be thinking forward about what people would want next. I’m sure you saw, but we finally got Big New IC ProductTM launched.

Disruptor & Co: Yes, we’ve seen that. It’s a decent copy of our D&Co Game-Changing Core ProductTM. No matter though, we have a huge pipeline of new services and experiences that we’re already piloting. It’s not just about making more Disruptor brand products. We want to own the entire experience people have from when they wake up until they go to bed.

Incumbent Corp: We created an IC Labs group to own innovation, but most of the ideas die a slow death in all our red tape.

Disruptor & Co: What’s red tape?

Incumbent Corp: We think it’s what ensures we make money, but honestly I’m not sure anymore.

Disruptor & Co: The trick is to be really close to what your customer needs and is trying to do. Actually, if you unified your global, historical customer data to create a single view of the customer you’d have a big advantage over us in driving experiences that resonate.

Incumbent Corp: *makes note to self* Interesting. We’re definitely not doing enough with our data and we have so much of it. Is that how you anticipate what customers will need next?

Disruptor & Co: Well we don’t have the kind of global view you have, but we have a lot of empathy. We put ourselves in the customer’s shoes, and we make the problems to solve for them big, urgent, driving forces in our business. That’s how we can keep innovating to stay relevant.

Incumbent Corp: Empathy. OK. Well it’s been great talking to you, I’ve really learned a lot. I’m going to change some things. That or we’ll just acquire Upstart Inc., your direct competitor.

Disruptor & Co: That’s fine. We were here first so we’re not too worried about them.

Incumbent Corp: I know the feeling.

Final Thoughts

At Prophet, we help our clients use experience-led innovation to drive business transformation. If you want to evolve your customer experience and prepare your organization to stay ahead of disruption, please get in touch.

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