Resources  >> How to Disrupt Your Industry

About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  January 31, 2017

How to Disrupt Your Industry

Yes, we are in a disruptive phase right now. So, the key is not when to react, but how to navigate the changes.

A compelling story about owning disruption is a Fast Company article about the meteoric rise of Hollywood agents Patrick Whitesell and Ari Emanuel. Two things you can learn from it:

1. Own the access. These two took live events and positioned them as a way to reach somebody’s potential customers. They use these events to house content and build stories that can be leveraged to access a demographic. They own the assets, so they own the access. They can call the shots.


Listen: How to reposition your content into a conduit


2. Leverage (and redefine) what you have. Whitesell and Emanuel already owned what entertainment couldn’t be without: the talent. Instead of seeing them as actors, models, etc., these two see them as entrepreneurs who have a brand. And they used their relationships to leverage more value out of the live events with unique mashups (such as bull riders and Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler).

Expanding the talent’s role makes the experiences unique—and benefits their clients, too. Result: Instead of getting the agent’s 10% fee, they get the whole pie because they created an experience no one else could.

The big lesson thought leaders can learn (and duplicate): The art of being the vehicle. Our content—our brilliance—can no longer stand alone. It has to be a conduit, an experience the buyer uses to get what they want. Position yourselves accordingly.


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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.