This week, the National Retail Federation Foundation announced 25 individuals selected for honors, “representing power players, disruptors, givers, influencers and dreamers who are changing the face of retail – many doing so behind the scenes.” (You can read about them on the link below this post)
For now we want to focus on one descriptor listed above: DISRUPTORS. More than the others listed, this says what marketers should be all about. Let the players manipulate, the givers hug, the dreamers doodle, and the influencers network, but if marketers are not shaking things up they are not worth their salt.
You know you were born to be a Disruptor when as a kid your parents received notes from the teacher, reporting: “An eternal chatterbox”, or “Fidgets and flirts non-stop”, or better: “Has an answer to everything, sometimes the right one.” In short, a pain-in-the-ass student.
Now that we are all grown up, the NRF calls us: “True originals who rock the boat with ideas so crazy, they just might work. These are the people who make you rethink what you thought you knew…opening you up to new worlds never imagined.”
Wow, take a look, Mom! Aren’t you glad I didn’t drink the KoolAid??
There’s another word — its polar opposite — we use for a lot of companies : ENTRENCHERS. The image is of soldiers in (wet!) dugouts, poised with guns pointing, awaiting orders to jump out into a scenario that might mean certain death.
It’s not just big companies that are guilty of Entrenchment. Small family companies are often the worst , living in their comfortable world, digging in, believing all should be done the way it has been done for decades. Until, one day…
Today we know that Disruptors and Entrenchers are a “match.com” (to quote a respected strategic planner colleague). They are meant to learn from each other and work together to slaughter those sacred cows (see our post re this) that threaten to kill any business that does not innovate and differentiate.
We give special thanks to the NRF for letting us come out of the classroom closet and take a (shy) bow!