What is a product disruptor?

The phrase “product disruptor,” derived from “industry disruptor,” refers to an innovation that alters a product or service’s business model, value proposition, or strategic direction.

Among the most well-known product disruptors in recent history is Netflix, which transitioned from a pioneering DVD-delivery company to a digital streaming service. The iMac propelled Apple onto its current market-dominating trajectory.

Because one typically leads to the other, it can be difficult to distinguish between an “industry disruptor” and a “product disruptor.” Product disruptors are individual products that alter the game for businesses, whereas industry disruptors are new markets created by a specific product or service.

The History Of Product Disruptors

Clayton Christensen invented the phrase “disruptive innovation” to describe a process in which an underappreciated product or service gains enough traction to replace a product or displace a more established product or service. In “genuine” disruptive innovation, the product establishes itself at the bottom of a market and, as a result, often acquires a terrible or low-class reputation. However, the effect gradually becomes more desirable than its competitors due to lower pricing, more accessibility, or other advantages.

The term ‘disruptive’ contrasts with “sustaining innovations,” which are fresh ideas and improvements created by established firms to remain relevant with customers. These innovations can be beneficial, but the goods and services produced along these lines become excessively expensive in most situations.

The problem with using this phrase to describe any new firm that disrupts an industry is that it changes the meaning of a real disruption, and It tends to draw more attention to already-popular companies. At the same time, natural disruptors quietly rise through the ranks, unseen by the industry behemoths they’re supposed to dethrone.

Product Disruptor Pros And Cons

As previously stated, a product disruptor can alter a product’s strategic route trajectory. It can also modify the economic model of the development and the value it gives to users or clients.

So, why would you want to create a disruptive product?

There are three primary causes for this:

Product disruptors can assist you in protecting your company against market risks.

Failure to recognize and prepare for changes in the industry can be the final nail in the coffin for organizations that are already struggling to compete.

An organization’s unique selling proposition may be jeopardized due to technological advancements and the entry of new competitors into the market. Only the story of Kodak demonstrates how failing to recognize the potential for disruptive product innovation can signal the beginning of the end of a company’s existence.

However, even when you’re at the top of your game, a company cannot afford to lose sight of its goals. Instead, businesses must always look to the future and consider how they may disrupt the market with a product disruptor to remain competitive.

The problem with using this phrase to describe any new firm that disrupts an industry is that it changes the meaning of actual disruption. It tends to draw more attention to already-popular firms while natural disruptors quietly rise through the ranks, unseen by the industry behemoths they’re supposed to dethrone.

Example For a Product Disruptor

Let us take the example of Netflix, which at the time had formed and then started to rule the new market with its DVD-by-mail product offering — but this was not a position that you could acquire for a long time.

Indeed, any other corporation — Blockbuster included — could have quickly adopted this business model and run with it to great success. Because Netflix recognized this market danger, it began planning for the disruptive items that it could introduce in the future. In the meantime, before anyone had a chance to catch up with their first disruption, Netflix expanded into Internet streaming and subsequently into actual television and film production.

Today, Netflix has grown into an almost unstoppable behemoth in the film and entertainment industries. Netflix has invested in product disruptors such as Netflix Originals and has continued to do so.

Creating a product disruptor might help you stand out from — and perhaps go ahead of — the competition.

In addition to being aware of market dangers, every company should keep a constant eye on its competitors.

It puts a tremendous distance between you and your next competitor when you are the first to market with a product disruptor. This can assist a company in securing its market position, retaining and gaining new consumers, and increasing the value of its shares.

Take, for example, Apple, which has shown to be a successful case study in this area.

Creating a brand ecosystem — consisting of computers, tablets, phones, and now smartwatches and Apple TV that all sync, connect, and integrate — has allowed Apple to lock in millions of devoted customers while simultaneously being a product disruptor market.

It is more difficult for a client to leave Apple now because they would lose access to a digital calendar that works across all platforms and a memory bank with thousands of images that would be available regardless of whatever screen they were sitting in front of.

Even though the ever-evolving iPhone frequently introduces polarizing new features — such as Apple Airpods, this disruptive ecosystem appears to be poised to continue developing brand supporters for years to come.

In the form of innovation, a disruptive product can help you stay relevant in changing client requirements.

Product managers and developers must understand the value they provide to users to make informed decisions.

A client’s behavior changes, and you do not have an effective strategy to accommodate that change; the likelihood is that the customer will turn to a rival instead of returning to you.

As a result, product disruptors might assist a company in maintaining its relevance with its customer base. If client behavior changes, you do not have to terminate products; instead, you can develop new products and features in reaction to the change.

The digital transformation of formerly manual or paper-based processes is an example. For example, a traditional bank investing in user-centric mobile banking is an example of digital transformation. Another example is the entry of iconic luxury car manufacturers such as Porsche and Aston Martin into the electric vehicle market.

While the innovation does not create a new market niche, it ensures that the organization continues to offer value in response to changing client preferences and needs.

What are some of the most prevalent difficulties faced by product disruptors?

Product disruptors certainly pose a risk, despite the immense benefit to the market.

Of course, like with every new idea, there is a chance that it will fail.

And given that most product innovations fail — according to HBR, up to 95 percent of them do — this is a very realistic prospect.

Tips To handle a product distributor

Even if a product disruptor is successful upon launch, several factors must bear in mind as the company grows.

For starters, a significant disruption will change the value proposition.

Disruption can sometimes be a positive development, mainly if the invention creates a new value arena to compete.

Instagram’s founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, initially thought they were creating a social geo-location software when they sought significant investment to construct the infrastructure on which the company would eventually thrive. When Instagram discovered that enabling users to apply professional-grade filters to their uploads was an important value add, the social media platform began to take off and unleash its product disruptor.

Another scenario in which a product that changes the value proposition might be potentially disastrous is when you’re an established business with an established base of satisfied customers. In this case, disrupting the status quo could further divide existing and new users. Customers who have remained loyal customers of your company may believe that your company has strayed too far from the value proposition that they originally purchased.

When it comes down to it, the advantages of product disruptors tend to outweigh the dangers they pose.

A product manager’s only responsibility is to guide their team toward an invention worth the risk of failure that it may entail.



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