As an industry game-changer, CHALLENGE the status quo with a better way of doing business. Then, after convincing your target market how much better it is, CHANGE the status quo by driving it in – create an all-new market structure, which is how business is conducted in your industry. Dream big and face the risk. You’ll potentially reap HUGE rewards!
How can YOU change the status quo?
Make the status quo your foe!
The object here is to compete with the status quo itself and defeat your competition. Present a new and exciting way of doing business in your industry. Then, provide a better way to operate. As a great example, Uber is a company that completely changed a market structure.
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Provide convenience and value in the way business is transacted. To begin with, make sure your product is awesome. Then, win your market share by changing the actual market structure itself. Your competitors will be completely blind-sided after you successfully change the status quo. Their infrastructure is based on it. Therefore, this’ll make them trip!
Use triggers to shift the paradigm
Cause an epiphany in the mind of your customer. What exactly is that? It’s an instant awareness which changes the way people see things. It changes their perspective. Instant clarity! So, what are some triggers which can help you change the status quo?
Tap into the strongest emotion of your customer. Then, reverse it. For example, show them something that causes a dramatic change in their feelings. Take them from disgust to surprise and relief. Keep in mind, happiness and contentment isn’t enough. You can’t change the status quo when your customer’s fear of change prevents them from embracing your concept. Therefore, think “shock and awe,” to help bypass their fear.
Your target market has emotional connections to the status quo. What are they? Using a focus group, present an example of the existing new market structure. Make them go through the motions. Then, record and evaluate their behaviors and feelings.
Show your customers why plan B is much more appealing than plan A. Demonstrate the advantage of your new way to conduct business. With Uber, the product is very common – pay for a ride from here to there. There’s a great appeal to how Uber is structured. Uber caused a change in perception with their online-market structure that provided some great convenience. Now, start thinking like an industry game changer too!
Create the differentiation, and then build the proof of concept. Make sure to include your well crafted positioning statement and tagline. Implement your changes using focus groups. Watch the reactions of a sampling of those in your target market. Then, refine it and install it for the world to use.
Influence makes a difference when becoming an industry game changer. It affects the opinions, behaviors and emotions of your target audience. And social influence causes conformity and it persuades.
Cause your customers to internalize and believe in your concept. There are many types of social influences to utilize as an industry game changer. I’ll present two:
- Minority influence causes the majority to accept a behavior by presenting a proof of concept. This is where innovation comes from.
- Majority influence is the conformity to behaviors of others in that majority.
Who’s done it before?
Jeff Bezos changed the status quo when he founded what is now the largest internet-based retailer in the US. He started with an idea to change the status quo in retail. Then, he decided to sell books online for cheap. A new market structure was established!
Named after the largest river in the world, Amazon has a strategic ring to it. As Jeff Bezos put it, the Amazon is an exotic and different place. Seth Godin refers to this type of thinking as Edgecrafting in his book Free Prize Inside.
Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp challenged the status quo and won back in 2009. They were each able to change the status quo after creating their Uber app.
In the taxi cab market structure, cabs are hailed with a waive or their summoned with a phone call. It usually takes an hour or more for them to arrive after calling them. Then, taxi drivers get paid at the destination.
Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp challenged that entire structure successfully, with Uber. Using a simple app, you can drive for Uber or you can get a ride. It’s all handled online. Drivers arrive quickly since a tracking algorithm is used to find drivers who’re near by. Location-tracking, payments, safety, and ratings are all handled with this online app. Thus, you get simplicity and elegance!
Henry Ford changed the status quo back in 1913 when he revolutionized the manufacturing process. Before his “assembly line production“, cars were hand-made, one at a time. He realized the process was too expensive. Thus, that approach only catered to the rich.
How can you create a product cheaply for the world to afford? Mass production! Henry Ford challenged the status quo in such a profound way that it became one of the most important concepts in industrial history. Although it’s now largely automated, assembly line production hasn’t changed in concept. And, it’s used by almost every company around the world.
Co-founder Ray Krock, an industry game-changer in his own right, was quoted “I put the hamburger on the assembly line.” Like with Henry Ford’s Model-T, Ray Krock produced a consistent, inexpensive hamburger that customers could receive very quickly. He then replicated his business model nationally, and then globally. Even today, McDonald’s is the largest global fast food chain.
You can change the status quo by using the market structure of another industry!
Take some time to evaluate what makes up the market structure of your industry. Then, imagine ways to change it. Simplify it. Re-invent it. Invent a new and exciting way to conduct business in YOUR industry.
Utilize the triggers like tools. Creatively implement them and cause that paradigm shift within your target market. You too can be a game changer!
Thank you for reading:
Change the status quo by dreaming big and acting on it
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