What we know about category disruption

Summarises the insights from a series of key papers addressing category disruption, which occurs when a disruptive innovation creates a new market and value network within a category, displacing market leaders (such as Uber in the taxi market and Airbnb in the accommodation industry).

Category disruption involves breaking traditional rules and innovating to alter the status quo. The disruption of established product or service categories is often driven by so-called ‘challenger’ brands that focus on human-centric innovation. Disruption is most commonly driven by the emergence of digital technologies, and the opportunities they bring to distribute products or rethink services.


Category disruption occurs when a disruptive innovation creates a new market and value network within a category and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market leaders and alliances.

Key insights

1. Category disruption can be in branding, rather than product...

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