How ‘Disruptive’ is Disruptive?

Market is indeed crowded. There is a lot of communication happening. Every company is trying to engage the attention of the consumer to push a product, to position its brand, or to tell the market about its unique selling proposition.

The newspapers, television, bill boards, radio, email, social networking sites, are full of someone or the other trying to reach you.

The communication space is cluttered. There is too much of buzz out there.

In that crowded space how do we make our communication stand out and be noticed? To be understood. And to make the potential customer pause and give a few seconds to listen to what we want to say.

This is the biggest challenge corporate communications professionals are facing.

Should the communication be loud? And then increasingly get louder? Will it help?

Should it be made to look and sound different? Will that help?

Should it say things that would suddenly catch the attention? Will that help?

Doing something that departs from the way things have been done for years might help it get noticed. But what should be the scale that measures the quantum of disruption? While too little disruption may not count as disruption and turn out to be unhelpful, too much of disruption might actually prove to be harmful. Essentially we should calculate to see how disruptive we need to be to make disruption help.  One gets no help from a code book here. One needs to play by the ear.

In an eco-system of normal communication, disruption helps.  And in an era of disruptive communication, normality helps. Normal then becomes disruptive, where disruptive has become normal.

If a company stuck to traditional kind of communication strategies all along, any departure from that would be ‘disruptive’ for the company and the company watchers. It might be disruptive measured against the extant eco-system of the company but might fall far short of the overall market eco-system. But the company watchers are not the audience at whom our communication is targetted. We need to address our communication to a much wider audience.

The trick finally boils down to this: we should not let small focus groups decide on the definitions of ‘disruption’ and ‘normality’.

Communication should be played to a wider gallery.

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