Disrupt Your Industry

In the world of enterprise technology, one name towers above the rest – a mammoth. It’s a company whose hands are in so many profitable pies, it’s easy to wonder how it keeps up. Its product have changed the way we live, learn and interact. It has opened up tremendous opportunities for information distribution and sales.

Despite amassing huge wealth, the company’s motto remains “Don’t Be Evil.” That company is Google, a disruptive organisation.


Disruptive companies are the rave. They radically upturn existing ways of doing things. They look at business models and ask “Why are things done this way”? They say, “We’re going to do things differently and create new paradigms”.

Disruptive companies rip the corporate rule book to shreds, rewriting a whole new book.

According to Clayton M. Christensen who coined the term disruptive technologies, a disruptive innovation helps create a new market and value network, and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network (over a few years or decades), displacing an earlier technology. The term is used in business and technology literature to describe innovations that improve a product or service in ways that the market does not expect, typically first by designing for a different set of consumers in a new market and later by lowering prices in the existing market.


How low-end disruption occurs over time.

In contrast to disruptive innovation, a sustaining innovation does not create new markets or value networks but rather only evolves existing ones with better value, allowing the firms within to compete against each other’s sustaining improvements.

There are three lessons we can glean from Google’s disruption and apply to any industry or market. They are:

  1. Create a new market or ecosystem

Google created a profitable business from search and online advertising, deepening the industry and pioneering a new monetization model for “eyeballs” and “click throughs”.

The lesson here is that while product originality matters, the creation of a monetization model that actually works is what qualifies you as a disruptive innovator.

  1. Scale up to own the product pipeline

Google’s successful product offerings include but are not limited to:

  • Gmail
  • Google Drive
  • Google Docs
  • Google Maps
  • Google Now
  • Android [acquired in 2005]

Each product interacts with the other and the idea is to own the customer so completely that it would be disruptive (see what we did there…) to go elsewhere. So as you use Gmail, it makes sense to attach heavy files with Google Drive. You also use an Android phone so your Gmail syncs seamlessly.

Apple employs the same methodology with its “i-ecosystem” – you can seamlessly buy music on iTunes and sync with your iPod. You can even buy that iPod with Apple Pay.

While other companies may have their own versions of some of Google’s products, the inventiveness and originality of thought that goes into providing an interrelated pipeline of products which create a market system is the hallmark of a disruptive company.

Take Google Now for instance. Google Now is one of the more ambitious evolutions of Google’s search software. The idea is simple — it predicts what you need to know before you do based on your habits, stored information and search history. It will show you upcoming appointments or tell you when you need to leave to get home on time.

It will give you a preview of your route, with one-button navigation. It will also show upcoming birthdays and anniversaries. Or, it can display weather information for upcoming travel destinations. A bit creepy…yes. And that’s just the beginning. Using its advantage in search and its rich store of consumer data, Google is set to create new markets in data mining and predictive sales.

  1. Drill down to develop promising new markets

Although Google is known for big bets, it also has incredible depth and coverage in niche areas. For example, the company created an interface for Cherokee speakers (a language of about 20,000 people). In doing so, it is poised to become a preferred service provider in that market.

If Google’s tremendous success over the years is anything to go by, disruptive innovation is definitely the way to go for organisations that wish to make big plays into new markets and industries.


Alder Case| Kakawa Discount House: Building a B2B Brand through Innovative Marketing

Kakawa Discount House, a financial institution created to provide liquidity to its bank shareholders, operated for many years as a business-to-business (B2B) company. As Kakawa began offering investment products directly to consumers, there was a need for a marketing strategy to promote its new retail focus. Retail Investment services included the sale of treasury bills and other money market investment instruments. Kakawa also spun off an asset management subsidiary – Kakawa Asset Management – to serve both corporate and retail clients. To create a more public persona, Kakawa needed cost-effective marketing that was corporate in outlook yet portrayed accessibility. Alder’s solution was to turn the company’s annual reports into a promotions platform and must-have collector’s items among shareholders and HNIs. That way, Kakawa could transform an existing budget item – its annual reports – into a dual purpose brand communication tool. The annual report design was used for seasonal items such as calendars and notebooks, extending Kakawa’s mind share among prospects and customers.

[Lesson: Existing corporate function materials can be transformed into marketing tools. Have you considered advertising on your letterhead or business card?]

Annual Report Designs Each year, Alder Consulting develops a theme to capture Kakawa’s strategic focus and uses it as a basis for design. The theme, Taking it Further, has become a recurrent slogan in recent years.

Once an overall theme is defined, Alder translates the concept into seasonal materials – calendars and notebooks.

2012 Annual Report Cover Annual Report


Annual Report Inside Page: Chairman’s Statement

Backup_of_chairmans section

Calendar Cover

calendar cover

Calendar Inside Page

calendar inside page


notebook cover only

2011 Annual Report Cover

2011 annual report cover

Annual Report Inside Page: Chairman’s Statement

chairmans section.

2010 Annual Report Cover

2010 calendar cover

Annual Report Inside Page: Chairman’s Statement

kk 2010 chairman

Annual Report Inside Page: Directors’ Report

directors report  section.

Calendar Cover

2010 calendar cover

Calendar Inside Page

2010 calendar inside

2009 Annual Report Cover

2009 annual report cover

2007 Annual Report Cover

2007 annual report cover

Annual Report Inside Page: Chairman’s Statement

2007 chairman's statement

Annual Report Calendar Inside Page

2007 calendar


2007 notebook

2006 Annual Report Cover

front page 2006 annual report cover

2005 Annual Report Cover

2005 annual report cover

2001 Annual Report Cover

2001 annual report cover

Other Marketing Communication Materials used by Kakawa

Other materials designed for Kakawa include corporate adverts and financial statements in newspapers.

Corporate Adverts

corporate advert

advert 2


Financial Statements

financial advert


[Lesson: As illustrated by Kakawa Discount House, if a marketing platform is used creatively, it can help the company build brand consistency and reputation. Also, making use of existing function materials reduces cost.]

Copyright Alder Consulting 2013. All Rights Reserved.

AlderU | New Approaches for Creating Consumer Products of the Future

An important characteristic of a futuristic company is its ability to speedily churn out business innovations for consumer benefit. Companies realise that to guarantee consistent custom, they need to give customers what they want (or supply a latent need). This realisation drives businesses to create new income streams from customisation rather than generalisation.

Research is Golden

To create new income streams in business, ask fundamental questions: What do consumers want? What do they need it for? In-depth research helps a company narrow in on previously unidentified needs & wants. But research must be executed with an eye on creating new products from the insights gleaned.

Sometimes collaborations provide fresh perspectives. Case in point is the strategic collaboration between legendary basketball player, Michael Jordan and Nike in 1984 to create the Air Jordan. The Air Jordan has since witnessed several spin-offs generating over $1b in sales for Nike. Air Jordans were a product of simple observation – sports shoes were increasingly becoming fashion items. By wearing high-end shoes endorsed by a sporting great, consumers were buying into a lifestyle of achievement, performance and celebrity status.

Lesson: Outsource non-critical functions so you can focus on core competencies. Embrace collaboration to gain fresh perspectives.

air jordan

Another sporting example is the attempt by Adidas to bring fans even closer to their icon, Leo Messi by launching a new signature adizero f50 Messi boot. The adizero f50 which scored the most goals in the 2010 World Cup represents fearlessness, agility and lightning quickness, synonymous with Messi. The innovation behind the adizero f50 Messi boot was the result of Adidas’ partnership with RED, a consultancy in Cophenhagen.

Adidas lightest football boot

Form & Function = Premium Value

Product innovation must bear in mind the way consumers interact with products. With the rise in smart phones, consumers now take pictures in stores and seek opinions from friends who are not present. Comparative pricing is readily available online. Brand loyalty is heavily influenced by design and celebrity or peer endorsement.

Apple took full advantage of design differentiation to set the trend in mobile phone aesthetics. Thus, a new trend in consumer desire was born with the first iPhone which combined form & function and sold at a premium. The iPhone served as a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone and a breakthrough internet communicator.


Speed and Structure Matter

In product innovation, speed and structure matter. The ability to source data, use it to create new products, manufacture, put in place payment & delivery systems and gain consumer feedback – all these must be done nimbly and purposefully to ward off competition. Consistency of this sequence is also required. Hopefully, with speed, structure, premium value and research you will able to develop desirable products for the future.

AlderU is inspired by a monthly interactive session where Alder employees discuss insights on branding and life.


Copyright Alder Consulting 2013. All Rights Reserved.

Banwo & Ighodalo (B&I) Case Study: Brand Strategy and New Identity Development

When Banwo & Ighodalo (a leading Nigerian law firm) needed to develop brand strategy and redesign their identity, they called on Alder Consulting. The programme comprised several modules including research, strategy development, visual identity design, brand launch announcement and employee acculturation.


  • Corporate Brand Strategy Development
  • Visual Identity Design
  • Brand Launch Communication Materials
  • Employee Acculturation

Corporate Brand Strategy Development

The branding programme began with a survey of internal and external audiences. Results were used during the strategy development process. Key findings from the survey included the need to redesign the logo and craft a comprehensive brand strategy.

[Lesson: Never assume. Seek objective insight about your brand from internal and external publics.]

A strategy session held with the founding partners and management team. At the session, the corporate brand fundamentals were defined including the vision, mission, values, personality and brand essence, tagged, Grey Matter. Grey Matter describes B&I’s ability to comprehend complex ideas, reason intelligently, solve difficult problems and learn quickly from experience. It implies the firm is highly intellectual possessing extensive legal knowledge, experience and networks.

[Lesson: Brand essence definition is essential to brand strategy. Brand essence provides direction and influences visual expression.]

Following the strategy session, brand policy documents were developed including a strategy session report, FAD analysis report (which analysed brand eroders) and a comprehensive public relations strategy report.

[Lesson: Always document the brand development process for the brand custodians and future implementation contractors.]

Visual Identity Design

Branding implementation commenced with the design of a new logo as well as primary, secondary and tertiary corporate function materials and stationery. A visual identity manual detailing design specifications and brand rules was also developed.

The Old Logo

B&I old logo

The New Logo

B&I new logo

The new B&I logo signifies shining rays of knowledge and competence emerging from the African continent. The rays connote reach – a vision of continuous expansion. It graphically represents Banwo & Ighodalo’s expanding scope and size, as well as services to other continents.

[Lesson: Create a compelling story for a new identity; one your publics can buy into. Ensure relational integrity and consistency across all visual identity elements.]

Corporate Function Materials

Business cards

business card

Block pads

block pad

ID cards

id card





Continuation sheets

continuation sheet

Plastic Folder

plastic folder

Wall Signage




Folder card

folder card

Folder box

folder box

Compliment slips

with compliments

Brand Launch Communication Materials

A public announcement print advert was designed and a corporate brochure to announce the new brand direction. Alder designed and produced the materials.

[Lesson: Develop a strategy (and materials) to communicate a new brand to external publics.]

Corporate brochure cover

brochure cover

Corporate brochure inside page

B&I-Cover-inner page

Public announcements




Screenshot BI 2

Employee Acculturation

To ensure B&I employees imbibed the brand personality, Alder developed an employee brand manual which explained the corporate brand fundamentals of the firm. A training session also held for employees.

[Lesson: Carry along employees and foster buy-in for a new identity.]

Brand manual cover

B&I-Brand Manual

Brand Manual inside page

B&I-Brand Manual-inner page

Alder Case presents branding case studies and applications for businesses & brand practitioners

Copyright Alder Consulting 2013. All Rights Reserved.