What does it take to reinvent an industry that has been around for years, decades, or even centuries? Dedication and grit can only take you so far – a vision for advancement and innovation must be there from square one.
To really understand how reinvention works in today’s business world, a case study approach is most useful. Who are the people on the front lines making big changes, and what is the mentality they apply each day?
Let’s see how modern companies are making waves in their industries – and changing the way things are done for the rest of the field.
Food and Drink Redefined
In the world of food and beverage, innovation has always been welcome. However, entrepreneurs need to tread that fine line between forward-thinking and faux pas.
In the competitive beverage industry, Flying Embers Chief Growth Officer Liz Tomic is confident that low-calorie botanical brews are the future of the space.
“Hard seltzers are everywhere, but most of them have uninspired flavors masked by heaps of sugar,” said Tomic. “We set out to do something different, offering exciting brews that shine on their own without the sugar and artificial flavors.
Many food producers are innovating with the environment in mind. Ethan Brown, CEO of Beyond Meat famously states that “plant-based meats are created with 90% fewer greenhouse gas emissions, 99% less water, 93% less land, and 46% less energy.”
As always, beverage companies point out the importance of loyal customers, who continue to show support and commitment, even in hard times.
“We are not a typical company,” said Nick Caporella, CEO of National Beverage. “What comes out in our marketing and message is the passion and intensity that we have for our consumers and for our products.”
Functional Home Design
In the home accessories and kitchenware industries, fresh ideas are welcome, as new generations of homeowners and renters start to settle in around the world.
Daniel Seehoff, CEO of Sophistiplate, found a way to bring elegant table settings and personalized wares to the public at prices friendly to millennials and generation Z.
“Customers discovered they don’t have to spend a fortune on quality goods for the home, it’s an exciting realization,” said Seehoff. “A world of new design opportunities opens up, and they can finally start bringing their visions to life.”
There are even companies putting a fresh twist on storage. Karina Karassev, Founder and COO of Stori, is designing secure, aesthetic containers for cannabis, with a focus on safety and preservation.
“So many innovations are happening in the cannabis space, but nobody seemed to be taking storage very seriously,” Karassev said. “We saw that opportunity and grabbed it. The response has been great and people are thrilled to finally have a grown-up way to store flowers and edibles at home.”
No home is complete, of course, without some finishing touches. Tamara Mayne, Founder of Brooklyn Candle Studio, has customers covered with inventive designs, scents, and website features that stand out in a competitive niche.
“We offer unique features online like a ‘scent persona’ quiz, candle subscriptions, and a lot more,” said Mayne. “It instantly sets us apart from the rest of the candle industry. Customers know we’re modern, authentic, and here to help. These small additions go a long way.”
Health and Wellness Brands Step Up
In the health and wellness space, tides are changing as well. Smaller brands are outcompeting legacy companies with compelling new products and business models that appeal to younger generations.
“In most industries, people want to see something new, taking a novel approach to something mundane like dental care or supplements,” said Bite Founder and CEO Lindsay McCormick. “Toothpaste that isn’t in a tube – it’s fun, unique, and effective. Just offering a fresh perspective on things can be hugely impactful.”
Health goes beyond hygiene, of course, and fitness is definitely a frontier for innovation. Resourceful entrepreneurs like Tyler Hayden Read, Founder and Senior Editor of PT Pioneer, are making it easier than ever to break into the industry – the right way.
“The road to becoming a personal trainer is not always intuitive, so we created the ultimate resource for people pursuing that career path,” explained Read. “It will mean more qualified trainers, a higher level of service, and hopefully, a healthier future for everyone.”
Some companies are even reinventing how medical supplies are purchased and used by patients with chronic conditions like diabetes. So far, Diathrive Founder and CEO Michael Hennessy has been successful in this endeavor.
“There’s a reason why diabetes products have the reputation they do,” said Hennessy. “Our goal was to change that and make them way more accessible. The process should be straightforward and not overly expensive. It’s a common-sense approach that was a long time coming.”
Look Good, Feel Good
Let’s not forget about the fashion and skincare industries, which are always pushing the envelope with new business models, products, and trends that send cultural shockwaves around the world.
Men’s skincare is one sector worth a closer look, as modern men start to take their products and daily routines more seriously than before. According to Jeremy Gardner, CEO of MadeMan, this is a sure sign of an emerging market.
“The stigma about men’s skincare is finally gone, and it’s about time,” said Gardner. “Men want to maintain a healthy and youthful look as they age, and need some direction when getting started. That’s the whole concept behind this brand, and it opens up tons of opportunities for other business ideas.”
On the women’s fashion front, the emphasis is now on reliable, flexible staples that go above and beyond the typical department store fare. That’s where Sabrina Pereira, Head of Growth Marketing at EasyStandard, is focusing her efforts.
“The brand-name craze has died down a bit in the past decade, and women are looking for real, comfortable clothes that fit well above all else,” said Pereira. “We’re going for organic instead of flashy or fabricated. It’s interesting to watch the industry move in this direction.”
Tech Stays On Top
With no shortage of talented developers and visionaries in the tech space, we’re watching many industries take the full leap into the digital age.
Speech recognition software is the specialty of Dylan Fox, Founder and CEO of Assembly AI.
“For some reason, most software was still behind the times, so we fixed that with a product that incorporated a huge range of must-have features,” Fox said. “Speech recognition is finally a futuristic solution rather than a liability.”
If you’ve tried to rent a car in recent years, you’ll know that many companies are also stuck in an old-school way of doing business. That’s what Remon Aziz noticed as the Chief Operating Officer of Advantage Rent A Car.
“You’re dealing with legacy systems that are starting to show their age,” explained Aziz. “We’re deconstructing the entire process, piece by piece, and putting it back together in a way that makes more sense for companies and customers. With today’s technology, renting a car should be more affordable and easier to do on the fly.”
On the topic of customer experience, software companies like Hightouch are building high-powered solutions for companies that need more than a standard CRM system.
“The goal is to make customer interactions more efficient and pleasant for both parties, because those are the big differentiators moving forward,” said Hightouch Founder and CEO Kashish Gupta. “The companies with superior customer support will be the winners, plus they’ll also hold on to the best talent within their own ranks.”
Finally, sports entertainment is getting a much-needed adrenaline shot with OSDB Sports, a comprehensive platform focusing on player interests and exciting new narratives.
“We’re looking at sports from a new angle that goes beyond just stats and headlines,” said Ryan Rottman, Co-Founder and CEO of OSDB. “We’re tapping into the stories and experiences that people relate to on a personal level, and reignite their love of sports.”
The lesson learned here is that no industry is safe from reinvention in 2021 – and that’s a good thing. Will you be the next innovator to disrupt your industry for the better?