Digital Disruption: Everything you should know

Don’t be fooled by the term ‘disruption’. Many people misinterpret this as meaning the process of digital disruption is a negative one; that it is an attack on their business.

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In reality, it is only a negative force for those who chose to ignore it or try to fight it. Those who embrace it often find that it can benefit their business in various ways, contributing to their success.

What Is Digital Disruption?

Digital disruption is a transformation that is caused by emerging digital technologies and business models. These innovative new technologies and models can impact the value of existing products and services offered in the industry. This is why the term ‘disruption’ is used, as the emergence of these new digital products/services/businesses disrupts the current market and causes the need for re-evaluation.

An Example of Digital Disruption: Kodak Cameras Fail To Capture Future Markets

Kodak were one of the first to introduce cameras to the mainstream market. They monopolised the markets for the majority of the 20th century, but unfortunately failed to keep up with the changing identities of their customers and the changing needs and expectations that came along with them.

Digital cameras made the move from being a just piece of photographic equipment to being a much more life-friendly, fun gadget. And where as Kodak originally had their target consumer pegged as female, the male digital camera market opened up thanks to the ‘gadget’ culture. Some clever marketing from other digital technology brands led to changes in consumer perceptions and created a new ‘need’ for photographic gadgets.

This allowed brands such as Sony and Canon to swoop in and steal the hearts of the consumers with their new technologies and approaches, while Kodak stuck to their guns and fought the change for as long as they could. Despite rapidly losing market share, they refused to succumb to the inevitable force of digital disruption and in 2012 they eventually declared bankruptcy.

How Does Digital Disruption Impact Businesses?

The lesson we can learn from Kodak is that digital disruption is an unstoppable force and to try and fight it is futile.

But what businesses can do is embrace digital disruption, even plan for it. Keeping an eye on the ball and knowing the signs of digital disruption emerging in your industry means you can get ahead of the game and work with the flow rather than against it. Not only does this prevent the wave of digital disruption from washing away your success, it can also lead to further growth and new opportunities for the business.

Digital disruption typically marks changes in consumer needs and therefore working with the tide allows you to fulfil these emerging needs, keeping existing customers happy and opening up opportunities for new customers to find what they need from your brand.

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