Digital ordering software provider, Preoday, was described by the BBC as a ‘disruptor of disruptors’ when its CEO, Nick Hucker, was interviewed for the Business show earlier this year. Here, Nick draws on his experience to share insight on making disruptive waves in a competitive market.
Disrupting an industry isn’t easy. Disrupting an already disrupted industry is even harder because it is not just about spotting a gap in the market, it is also being aware of existing players, market tensions and spotting the link in the chain most likely to snap. To disrupt, the new disruptor business needs to be one that can create a new, stronger link in that chain.
Organisations such as Uber, AirBnB and Booking.com are the so-called disruptors of the digital age, changing the way consumers think, the way we act and the way we use services. In the industry we serve, hospitality, it was aggregator sites like Deliveroo and Just Eat that spotted people’s desire for faster, better-quality food delivery and the difficulty restaurants had meeting that demand due to other pressure points.
Our disruption in online and mobile ordering came from noting the dissatisfaction that restaurants have with companies like the original disruptors, Deliveroo and Just Eat. We see that there is a desire for ‘cheaper’ alternatives, as restaurants, takeaway and other food outlets businesses are being hit by huge commission fees and they are looking to escape.
"The original disruptors didn’t get to where they are by gently introducing themselves and letting word-of-mouth do the rest"
We also spotted that many businesses are looking for ways to take back their identity and relationships with customers. To do this they need access to customer data, which will help them to stand out from the competition and grow their digital independence.
Our success has been driven from a number of actions that are crucial to making disruptive waves:
- Learn from the other disruptors. We’ve seen many other providers arrive and grow, and while they’ve been doing that, we’ve noted what businesses like about working with them, and what they loathe. We can learn from their weaknesses and improve on their efficiencies. We receive many enquiries from companies that have sampled their technologies and are looking to us to give them something better. They know to come to us because of the marketing and messaging we put out, talking specifically to the issues we know they face.
- Don’t be too soft and gentle. The original disruptors didn’t get to where they are by gently introducing themselves and letting word-of-mouth do the rest. Form a message that hits their weak spots and shout it from the rooftops.
- Deliver the goods. If yours is a technology market, make sure your technology can stand up to scrutiny. If you shout loudly and are heard, you need to have the goods to back up what you’re saying.
- Don’t go to market too soon. We spent two years perfecting the platform. When we did launch our product we had everything ready, including our marketing and mission statement: to help food and retail businesses around the world open new revenue streams, take ownership of their brand and improve relationships with customers through digital ordering.
- Listen to your customers. When you are still small your senior team may have the luxury of time to speak to and directly converse with clients and prospects. We made sure to do this and it informed the growth and direction of our business. Although we’ve grown, the senior team still makes time to connect directly with prospects and clients and we have an amazing customer success and marketing team that continues those conversations and feeds comments back to our senior team and developers. It’s what allows us to release product sprints every two weeks - taking on board client suggestions and building them into the platform.
Whilst many business leaders and industries fear disruption, it is important to also embrace it. As an industry, we must continue to encourage entrepreneurs to think big and aim to disrupt what has been established, after all, it’s what keeps technology and services fresh.
The younger generation of consumers isn’t particularly loyal and if they remain that way then there will always be opportunities for new and exciting businesses to turn their heads and change a market.