The 25 Most Disruptive Brands Of 2015

Author

Avi Dan, Contributor

December 17, 2015

Markets now move at the speed of technology. We live in exponential times and the pace of change is accelerating. Adaptation requires radical transformation in marketing. It requires innovations to both products and the business model.

Success through innovation means continuous disruption. Disruptive brands tend to grow in leaps and bounds, changing the trajectory of consumers’ viewpoint  of the brand and the marketplace. They are vibrant, daring and authentic, and often are challenger brands, operating unseen below the radar until it is too late for the competition to react to their ascendency.

They often shape the culture itself in innovative ways. Apple is the best example that comes to mind. It broke all the existing norms and conventions and created consumer advocates that evangelized for the the brand.

Disruptive brands are different from ordinary brands because they get people engaged and immersed in the brand’s equity. They often mention these brands to others and treat them anthropomorphistically.

Richard Branson said, “Disruption is all about risk-taking, trusting your intuition, and rejecting the way things are supposed to be. Disruption goes way beyond advertising, it forces you to think about where you want your brand to go and how to get there.”

Here are the 25 disruptive brands that ruled 2015:

1. Uber: The year’s most highly valued start-up

2. Airbnb: The world’s biggest accommodation company

3. Facebook: The new face of mobile too

4. Red Bull: Taking content marketing to an extreme

5. Snapchat: 2 billion pictures and videos disappear daily

6. Alibaba: Helping consumers save, spend and be entertained

7. Netflix: 70 million subscribers and content muscle

8. Under Armour: Keeping Misty Copeland on her toes

9. Instagram: The mobile social networking

10. Apple: Creating magic in wearables too

11. CVS: Kicking the smoking habit

12. Taylor Swift: Saying no to low-royalty streaming services

13. Google: Another “Moon shot”, a self-driving car

14. Warby Parker: A Millenials’ favorite, taking on Luxottica

15. Chipotle: Healthy fast food

16. 72andSunny: Sizzling hot ad agency

17. SoulCycle: Robust workout for the body and wallet

18. Rent the Runway: The Netflix of designer dresses

19. Houzz: The DIY interior design site

20. Waze: The largest community-based navigation app

21. DraftKings: One-day fantasy sports league

22. Coke: The real thing in name-based packaging

23. Eataly: Spacious food bazaar

24. Birchbox: Beauty gifts for a price

25. Virgin America: Perfecting customer experience

Disruption is the new normal.

Disruptive brands understand consumer trends before they become trends and capitalize on them better than their competitors. Many of these brands understand the shift to a sharing economy and have designed their business model accordingly. For example, understanding that people avoid interruptive messaging, for the overwhelming majority of these brands traditional advertising is not a major component of their business model.

Business competition has never been fiercer. Those who have been known to disrupt are watching their backs because they know the business world is a cyclical one, and they know that their cycle will some day give in to younger, nimbler, leaner, more creative and more innovative companies.

It is interesting to see how many legacy brands and companies have surrendered the mantle of innovation and disruption. Companies like Procter & Gamble, McDonald’s or Yahoo! have stopped being thought leaders and now take their inspiration from new, smaller competitors.

Also on Forbes:

Advice From The Most Innovative Leaders

This article was written by Avi Dan from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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