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Your Company Is a Boat: A tale of marketing disruption

Updated: Apr 3, 2023

As the Captain or First Mate of a sea-faring vessel, you are tasked with deciding how to navigate unknown waters ahead.

Perhaps you’re the Captain of a huge, 5,000 passenger cruise ship that can handle massive waves and hurricanes with little care. But when it comes to pulling up to an island, you struggle to get close enough to shore. Maybe you’re the Captain of a stylish yacht with plenty of space for sunbathing and a glass bottom to see the fish below but too few customers can afford to access the luxury you prefer to offer. Or, perhaps you’re the Captain of a 1,000 hp speed boat that lets you dart out to the ocean for some serious deep-sea fishing but with little room for more than a few passengers.

Whether you’re steering a cruise ship, a yacht, or a speed boat, it’s your boat. You control what is happening on your boat.

But you cannot control the water or the weather around you. You have to navigate through, or with, the external environment you find yourself in.

This is disruption: The world of external factors that impact your ship—or company—as you try to reach your destination. If you don’t invest in understanding these factors, how do you decide when to stay anchored in the marina or when to brave rough seas?

Going through a Disruption Audit process is key for futureproofing your brand. You need to truly understand the external factors that impact your business and your industry—your boat and your waters—and how you can navigate your way through waters known and, as yet, unknown.

As business leaders and managers, we’re often told to ‘control the controllables’. The problem is that this implies we should ignore the uncontrollables or that the uncontrollable are irrelevant. However, we have to know what the uncontrollables are or we risk missing key factors that will affect our short-term and long-term goals.

When consumer behaviour and business activities are changing rapidly and unexpectedly, it is vital to take the time to generate a clear vision of the future. When you understand where and what things are happening, you can increase your chances of being able to ride the wave, steer away from the storm, and raise or lower a sail. With well-planned and expertly guided research and processes, you can deeply understand what is driving industry trends, consumer behaviours, and business opportunities.

Ultimately, understanding disruptive forces will make you better able to decide how you want to navigate the waters around your business.

If you’re ready to be the disruptor, not the disrupted, ask us how a Disruption Audit can help you navigate the unknown waters ahead.

Ready to learn more?

Learn how we helped Rocky Mountaineer elevate their guest experience from great to world class levels by inspiring the team to reimagine their guest experience. Or, learn how we helped Molson Coors better understand consumer segments and develop a winning portfolio strategy with sustainable growth .


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