There is nothing quite as exciting as landing on a disruptive brand that challenges, inspires and really resonates. Brave companies that are responding to societal, and cultural shifts to break convention and forge new frontiers.

Through the use of technology, imagination and smarts, disrupters are no longer the preserve of certain industries. Indeed you’ll find brands breaking conventions in all most every category today.

And their marketing approach needs to be as innovative, fresh and as creative as their businesses.

Here are a couple of disrupter brands with real stand and changing their categories.


1.Fashion disruptive brands-

Unmade is a global fashion software company, working with pioneers from the fashion and sportswear industry. They use the latest technologies to disrupt traditional fashion manufacturing to reduce waste and empower brands to connect more deeply and meaningfully with their customers.

Based on the belief that the fashion industry is at the beginning of a revolution with personalisation and sustainability at its heart, this shift to consumer driven on demand signals an end to mass production and mass consumption.

Consumers co create with the brand to develop on demand fully personalised clothing. Sustainability is at the heart of its business model with local producers involve in every stage of the supply chain.


2.Socially disruptive brands –

There’s been a huge increase in socially disruptive brands over the last 5 years.

ChangePlease is a real stand out for me. Marrying the nations love of coffee with helping the homeless. The charity  wants consumers to swop buying coffee on the high street and switch to buying from their local coffee vans. This UK charity not only trains and pays homeless people to become baristas but also provides valuable support around housing and mental well being with profits ploughed back in to the charity. Their mantra “real coffee doesn’t just taste good- it does good too!”

ChangePlease is now serving over 2,000 coffees a day, as well as selling its award-winning blends in Sainsbury’s supermarkets. The model is being franchised across the UK, as well as in San Francisco and soon other cities in the US.

And if that wasn’t enough, ChangePlease also focuses on its environmental sustainability by using solar panels on vans, 100% compostable cups and sending all waste coffee grounds to be converted to bio-fuel.


3: Retail Disruptive Brand-

Online retail marketplace Trouva, has been helping small homeware and lifestyle boutique stores compete with the likes of Amazon since 2013.

The brand’s name means ‘A Lucky Find’ and their ecommerce platform helps shoppers discover hidden gems in nearby independent shops using location technology and inventory data.

Among the stores signed up are Life Story, Edinburgh’s concept store for fans of Scandinavian minimalist design and Wales-based ethical living retailer House By Betty.

Users of Trouva can receive exclusive discounts and collect items or have them delivered to their home.


4.Financial Disruptive Brand-

Pay-per-mile car insurance company Metromile taps into new trend of ‘insuretech’, offering affordable car insurance, transparent pricing based on the miles people drive, and instant access to vehicle diagnostics via the driving app, claiming to save drivers an average of $500 (£388) a year.

The company’s principle is: “If you aren’t driving much, you shouldn’t be paying much.”

Headquartered in San Francisco, the company was founded in 2011 by David Friedberg, previously a founding member of Google’s corporate development team, who saw the opportunity to combine hardware, software and data science to access, analyse and manage driving data.

The is growing rapidly, and has expanded across the US.


5. Health Care Disruptive Brands- Zebra Medical Vision.

Israel-based Zebra Medical Vision is building a database of anonymous medical images, from X-rays to CT and MRI scans, and using machine and deep learning to help health professionals identify patients at risk of disease. Its services are provided to doctors, healthcare providers and bodies funding care such as insurers.

In March 2017, Zebra was named by Fortune magazine as one of the top 50 companies leading the AI revolution.

One of its latest developments is an algorithm capable of detecting vertebral fractures. These affect up to one in four postmenopausal women and nearly one in seven men over the age of 65.

Other algorithms can detect low bone mineral density, breast cancer, fatty liver, coronary artery calcium and emphysema.


These game changing brands are challenging the way we think and the way we consume. As a mentor with Enterprise Ireland, I see lots of brilliant Irish disruptive brands shaking things up in similar ways. And while I’ve focused on UK/Global based disrupters there are lots of examples closer to home which I’ll detail in a subsequent blog post.


Pinksalmon is a strategic growth marketing agency helping build and refresh brands and turbo charge growth. We’d love to hear from you – drop me a mail on