What Is Disruptive Innovation?
Disruptive Innovation is exactly what it sounds like: innovation that disrupts a given market, or “scene”. In terms of music, Elvis, The Beatles, and Jerry Lee Lewis are all excellent examples of “disruptive innovation”. These men pushed the boundaries of music such that a new genre developed and was made popular: Rock ‘n Roll.
Now major labels did sort of “brand” each “new sound” that came from their studios. If you want to find the greatest success with your brand, you’re likely going to have to do the same thing. This is especially true with music, which is why it has been used as a sort of case study here.
Disruptive innovation is almost starkly visible in terms of musical development. That which characterizes a change in the industry usually turns older genres on their head, replacing them with unique ideas, soundscapes, melodies, and rhyming schemes.
But just because you’re using a disruptive innovation strategy doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel, or come up with something totally unique. As in all things which emanate from this existence we call reality, trends in business, music, and other areas of life are cyclical. What goes around comes around.
Today, Dubstep, hip-hop, and “pop” music dominate the charts; but that’s not going to be the case perpetually. People are tired of a packaged sound that is as consumable and prevalent as soda pop in the marketplace. For a while, Indie bands and folk groups seemed like they were going to dominate the scene as a result, but they became entrenched in trend as well.
Now it’s just “folk pop” or “indie pop”. Everything has been “done”, it’s all “played out”, and people are constantly looking for the next big fix. Thankfully, history indicates a new genre of music, whatever it may be (neo-dubstep or Regimented Cacophony) is on the horizon.
Should you be on SoundCloud.com, you can exploit this reality with your own music—and you haven’t got to try too hard. Honest music made from the soul will always have a different sound than that which is mass-produced.
If getting more followers on SoundCloud is difficult for you, remember that: “It’s important to take time for the promotion of your songs. Not only on making [them], but on increasing visibility, too. A common expectation is that you won’t have to do much to get noticed. This isn’t true.” You’ve got to get your music in front of people, and network.
Oftentimes networking with other bands and artists is the best way to get noticed. You do it in a sort of “quid-pro-quo” arrangement. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. You play my songs on your station—or at least like them—and I’ll do the same for you.
Cross-promotion can generally be a great idea. If you can advertise your songs with other artists, excellent. If you can’t, advertise on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other media. Doing so will definitely increase your chances of being “noticed”. In fact, there are many brands today using Instagram stories—you can make your band more successful with this kind of strategy as well.
The key to all of this is continuous forward momentum. You always need to be growing. You always need to be laying down the foundations of your future success. You always need to be producing more and more music, even as you hone your craft. It’s just the same in business. Provided you “keep on keeping on”, as the saying goes, you’ll eventually bring enough momentum into the equation for success.