What does it mean to be a market disruptor?

Across many industries, being a “disruptor” has become this century’s buzzword. We’ve witnessed tiny tech start-ups evolve into global tech giants and craft breweries go from their garage at home to setting the agenda for mainstream beers. Many of these success stories start with individuals who’ve taken a good hard look at the competition and said, “No thanks, I’ve got a better idea of how to do this”.

When thinking about what it means to be a disruptor there are many ways one could go about disrupting an existing market. It could be through creatively simplifying a product or service, offering a superior customer experience, or perhaps offering something entirely new. Disrupting an existing market may even go as far as to rewrite the rule book on what consumers have come to expect and ultimately, influence their behaviour. In any of these cases, it’s about getting to the heart of what it is that the consumer is looking for. That and having the guts to take a risk.

For us at PSG SIPP, it feels easy and comes quite naturally to want to tear up the rule book (though not the FCA one I very much hasten to add!) on what a pensions provider should look and sound like and offer in the 21st Century. As a young team, and as consumers ourselves, we’ve all had pretty dismal experiences of other companies operating within the financial services industry. We also know and fully accept that choosing a pension can never be as exciting as getting the set of keys to a new Ferrari, but that doesn’t mean things have to be done in a predictably beige way.

It doesn’t, for instance, mean that clients should expect to be relentlessly spoon-fed stock photography of retired people watching a sunset on a beach, or, even worse (if you can imagine such a thing), offered an equally bland and linear approach to customer service, one which may only be pretending to treat clients as more than just numbers.

For us it’s about being refreshing, not just in the way we put ourselves out there as a brand but also by ensuring those brand values are reflected by everything we say and do. It’s about changing perception of what people have come to expect from our vanilla industry and talking to them in a more relatable way. It’s also about being innovative and taking a great deal of pride in our own culture and the people we choose to work with.

So, for these reasons we definitely think of ourselves at disruptors in our market. But how can we know for sure that we are? It has been said that being a disruptor “crucially means you set the agenda that other people try to mimic or copy or follow suit”. We’ve certainly seen our fair share of copycats, so we’ll take that as a compliment and a sign that we’re onto something.

SHARING IS CARING


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