Breaking the marketing mould….

If anyone is in any doubt about the power of disruptive marketing, consider the following examples.

If building/creating a product alone was all a business owner needed to do, life would be easy. At Novus, we know it’s not that simple. Disruption of a market is a huge undertaking, which commands more than simply creating something to sell.

Grenade Nutrition Bars

Fitness crazes largely peaked in the eighties; however, the number of health-conscious consumers has risen in recent years, perhaps due in some small part to the raft of ‘stars’ and brands on Instagram showing people how to get in shape - all of which makes for a very busy market sector.

Initially selling nutritional supplements to sporting enthusiasts and athletes, Grenade became a number-one best-selling brand. Though a wonderful achievement, once outselling its competitors, the brand’s founders, Alan and Juliet Barratt, wondered where they could go from there and how they could achieve further growth.

They expanded their product lines and created Grenade nutrition bars. The market they’d carved out with their supplements loved them, and the bars were stocked in specialist health shops. Having saturated their own niche market, they decided to tweak their product to make their bars appeal to a completely different, much larger audience – the general public, who would usually reach for chocolate bar when choosing a snack.

No mean feat, this meant changing the mindset and buying habits of people who commonly valued chocolatey indulgence and taste over nutrition and health; disrupting the wider market, making consumers reach for a Grenade bar over one from Cadbury’s.

Truly a recipe for success, it worked. Grenade bars were solely responsible for a staggering 80% of the growth in the UK snacks’ sector in 2017.


Few people will be unaware of Airbnb reading this. Such a simple business model, the brand didn’t reinvent the wheel, they just changed/disrupted the way people book their holidays and short breaks.

The perfect example of ‘cutting out the middle man’, Airbnb has opened up a whole new sector: of direct-selling adventures and ways to spend our leisure time.


A lot of people may be unaware that Netflix disrupted themselves! Initially a rival to Blockbuster, Netflix supplied videos to consumers via the mail. This direct selling model worked well, until videos went the way of the dodo. With greater adaptability than their high-street competitors with bricks-and-mortar stores, Netflix quickly overhauled their service. They were the first major brand to champion the streaming of films and TV content. Everyone else was forced to play catch-up, and by the time they did, Netflix was too big and powerful to contend with.

In more recent years, Netflix moved from being a third-party provider, opting to invest profits into creating their own content and becoming a significant player in a new market, rivalling programme and film creators.

Aldi and Lidl

Supermarkets have been around for decades; the concept of buying all your weekly food and grocery items under one roof is not a new one. Even a seemingly sewn-up sector, with its household names and financial giants of a brand, isn’t immune from being disrupted.

Selling unfamiliar and own brand products only, both Aldi and Lidl initially attracted shoppers on a low budget. Once the financial crash occurred, this customer base grew of its own accord; when faced with truly significant savings in return for swapping to unknown brands, shoppers flocked in their droves to their local budget supermarket.

Opening their minds to trying new brands in order to save money, these shoppers returned again and again when they realised they were just as good as the double-the-price, household-name branded products they’d become used to. Before long, Aldi and Lidl became the supermarkets of choice for a decent portion of the audience, even when saving money wasn’t the driving force behind shoppers’ habits.

With all these examples, changing the mindset of consumers was key to their success. The products they offered in most cases, weren’t new, yet they were still different enough to establish their own sub-market within a much larger (and crowded) sector.

Marketing played a huge part in each brand being noticed, as did establishing a clear differentiator or USP; certainly, without the latter, each would have faded into the background as quickly as they came.

Contact Us

Novus Marketing Solutions, 

Kelham Street,



Telephone: Brett on his work mobile 07983575934

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