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Disruption is the key to business success in the 21st century and every day we hear of new brands and businesses that are changing the face of their industries. Some of their stories are absolutely amazing and they can be a real inspiration to anyone who might be looking for ways to make their own business more innovative and relevant.

While these businesses span a whole range of different industries, from the taxi industry to the food industry, there are some common features that run through them all. Looking at these can give us valuable insight into what makes a truly disruptive business. Whatever industry your business is in, there’s plenty to learn from looking at how other businesses succeeded in disrupting their industries.

In this blog series, I’ve taken 25 of the most disruptive brands (as named by Forbes magazine) and explored what it is that makes them disruptive and what trends or cultural ideas they have tapped into that have made them so popular. Some common ideas that come up over and over again are the sharing economy, interactivity and building a sense of community.

Most of the successful disruptive brands have put their customers at the core of their business model, and this has allowed them to gain the advantage over their competitors who may have become complacent about customer service. Being disruptive also comes down to tapping into what consumers really want and finding the right way to give it to them. For Gen Y consumers this often involves technology, but that’s not always the case.

Disruptor One – UBER

Disruptor Two – Airbnb

Disruptor Three – Facebook

Disruptor Four – Red Bull

Disruptor Five – Snapchat

Disruptor Six – Alibaba

Disruptor Seven – Netflix

Disruptor Eight – Under Armour

Disruptor Nine – Instagram

Disruptor Ten – Apple


Disruptor Eleven – CVS

Disruptor Twelve – Taylor Swift

Disruptor 13 – Google

Disruptor 14 – Warby Parker

Disruptor 15 – Chipotle

Disruptor 16 – 72andSunny

Disruptor 17 – Soul Cycle

Disruptor 18 – Rent the Runway

Disruptor 19 – Houzz

Disruptor 20 – Waze


Disruptor 21 – Draft Kings

Disruptor 22 – Coke

Disruptor 23 – Eataly

Disruptor 24 – Birchbox

Disruptor 25 – Virgin


I hope you enjoy this blog series, and it gives you some insights that you can take away and apply to your own marketing strategies.