An industry game-changer will challenge and then change the status quo. To change the status quo means to create a new market structure – how business is conducted in a specific industry. You’ll face high risk, but you may realize the 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 instead of your competition. Present a new and exciting way to do business in your industry.
Provide convenience or value in the market structure rather than with a special product. Your competitors will be blind-sided when you change the status quo. Their infrastructure is based on it. So make them trip!
Use triggers to shift the paradigm
Cause an epiphany in your customer. That is an instant awareness which changes the way they see things. It changes their perspective. Instant clarity! What are some triggers which can help you change the status quo?
Tap into the strongest emotion of your customer and then reverse it. 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.
Your target market has emotional connections to the status quo. What are they? Using a focus group, present an example of the existing market structure. Have them go through the motions. Then, record and evaluate their behaviors and feelings.
Show your customers why plan B is better than plan A. Demonstrate the advantage of your new market structure. With Uber, the product is common. Pay for a ride from here to there. There’s an appeal to how Uber is structured. Uber caused a change in perception with an online market structure which provides convenience. Now it’s time for you to start thinking like an industry game changer!
Present the differentiation, and then the proof of concept. Then, include your well crafted positioning statement and tagline.
Influence makes a difference when becoming an industry game changer. It affects the opinions, behaviors and emotions of your target audience. Social influence causes conformity and it persuades.
As an industry game changer who is about to change the status quo, cause your customers to internalize and believe in your concept. There are many types of social influences you can 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 the behaviors of others in that majority.
Who’s done it before?
Jeff Bezos was able to change the status quo when he founded what is now the largest internet-based retailer in the US – Amazon. He started with an idea to change the status quo in retail. He decided to sell books online for cheap. New market structure established!
He strategically named his company after the largest river in the world. 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 each were able to change the status quo after creating the Uber app.
In the taxi cab market structure, cabs are hailed with a waive or summoned with a phone call. It usually takes an hour or more for them to arrive, when summoned by calling them. Then, taxi drivers get paid at the destination.
Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp challenged this entire structure successfully, with Uber. Using a simple app, you can drive for Uber or get a ride and it’s all handled online. Drivers arrive quickly since tracking is used to find drivers near by. Location-tracking, payments, safety, and ratings are all dealt with in this online app. Simplicity and elegance!
Henry Ford was able to change 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. That approach only catered to the rich.
How can you create a product cheaply for the masses 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 is now largely automated, assembly line production hasn’t changed in concept. It’s used by almost all companies around the world.
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.
So you can change the status quo by using the status quo of another industry!
Take some time to evaluate what makes up the status quo of your industry. Then imagine ways to change it. Simplify it. Re-invent it. Come up with a new and exciting way to do business in your industry.
Then utilize the triggers like tools. Creatively implement them in order to cause a paradigm shift with your target audience. You too can change the status quo!