How to create a Disruptive Brand

Disruptive brands have a killer Zest Factor

As a branding agency with a passion for creating disruptive brands, we understand how to gain loyal customers and increasing revenue


As a branding agency with a passion for creating disruptive brands, we understand that standing out isn’t a matter of being the loudest or most flashy — it’s about being a focused brand. Brands with focus know what makes them different and use it to tell a consistent story that sticks.

How to create a disruptive brand

Creating a disruptive brand starts with research. Research the brandscape and competition, familiarize yourself with your competition and how they’re positioning themselves. What are their values and stand-out differentiators? Is there a central theme common for the category or a cliché you can avoid? There might be a reason why these themes are popping up repeatedly, so before you discount it, ensure you understand what matters to your audience and won’t alienate them.

Examine competitors brand identity. Are they’re themes with colour palettes that you can avoid? The same photography style or layout and value propositions? Are the brand names plain Jane or all similar? Notice how their visual and verbal style, or lack thereof, helps to paint the picture of their brand personality.

Identity opportunities to disrupt the category. Sometimes rules really are meant to be broken. Once you know what’s happening in your industry, you’ll need to start stepping into your customer’s shoes…

Define your brand position & purpose

Now that we’ve taken a look a the competition, it’s time to get clear on why your brand is here. Human beings yearn for meaning and purpose. That’s why brands that are built on purpose achieve the highest levels of success.

Strip away all the pitches and fluff. Why do you exist and what do you want to accomplish beyond making money? Your aim is to do something that will help you to stand out from your competitors, but that doesn’t mean that you should be different for the sake of it — it’s about a new way to solve a problem.

While other people might try to duplicate your idea, a truly disruptive brand will create something that no-one else can duplicate. Because it’s just too unique, or because they are so radically authentic that there’s simply no way another brand can take their place.

Take Patagonia for example. Known for its great products, but more so its purpose. Much of what they offer is similar to other brands, but they make active strides toward a more environmentally conscious future, and refuse to comply with those who aren’t completely in tune with what Patagonia stands for.

Building a disruptive brand can sometimes feel at odds with revenue goals and growth, but companies who do it well, see exponential returns.

Are you resonating with your target market?

It’s great to be different, but you’ll need to look at whether your message resonates with who you brand is targeting. Patagonia for example, has a company message that resonates with the “environmentally conscious and upscale consumers” that Patagonia sees as its target audience.

Disruption means differentiation, but not to the point that you’re losing sight of who you’re serving. Always circle back to the question “Does this make sense for our target market” and “Would our target market resonate with this message?”.

Your Zest Factor

Realistically, you probably aren’t the only one in your industry that cares about its customers and has something that tastes great. You’ll need to think beyond your brands products & services and explore how you deliver them… you’ll need to consider brand personality, brand value, and turning conventional on its head.

By doing so, you can stop selling and start attracting.

Another example from Patagonia is how they stay true to their Zest Factor. Recently restructuring the company, founder Yvon Chouinard has not chosen to “go public”, but rather “go purpose.” Meaning, instead of extracting value from nature and transforming it into wealth for investors, he uses the wealth Patagonia creates to protect the source of all wealth — the environment. That is truly amazing, they are the first brand to do something like this, radically authentic to their brand position, purpose and values.

Tell your brand story

Now that you have your Zest Factor, allow your unique personality to shine through. This will allow you to you break down the brand/consumer barrier for an authentic customer connection. This means going deep into design strategy.

Bringing your purpose to life through everything your company does is critical for success. Your logo is so much more than just nice looking design — it’s there to become the mental bookmark which conjures up a rewarding experience for customers of who you are, what you do, and all the ways you solve customers problems and align with their values.

Stay true to your brand

It can be a challenge for companies to maintain the progressive values used to build their brands, especially as they grow. They secret to long-term brand success is to never lose sight of why you do what you do. Never let money or opinions change your brands core purpose, values, or authenticity.


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