Will a Blue Ocean Strategy Work for You?
Businesses operate in a realm of limited resources. You not only have to work to preserve your product, but you also have to compete with your peers to catch the eye of a flighty consumer audience.
Management leaders W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne want to challenge the constraints of that mode of operations. Their book, Blue Ocean Strategy, forces business owners of all calibers to look outside the imaginary boundaries of traditional business.
The advice in the book challenges you to look at your industry from a new perspective. If you break it down, you’ll find new ways of assessing the success of your business—ways that don’t require an entire overhaul, but that may boost your revenue stream in the end.
Red Ocean, Blue Ocean
Kim and Mauborgne outline two different business environments in their book: red oceans and blue oceans.
- Red Oceans: The existing consumer marketing, one with set rules, limited commodities, and “bloody” competition.
- Blue Oceans: Industries that don’t yet exist, where demand is created instead of fought for, and the rules of business have yet to be set.
Right now, you likely operate in a “red ocean.” You try to keep ahead of industry competitors daily, and there are rules you have to follow to better promote your product.
Creating a blue ocean hardly sounds like a walk in the park. However, the idea isn’t so separate from your reality.
At the core of your business is a drive for originality. Yes, your products and services need to outsell, outlast, and provide more for consumers than those of your competitors. Even still, your business centers on an original goal, which you set alongside the desire to raise your industry’s standard.
In short, you’re already questing for cleaner waters.
How do you create a new industry for yourself? Use the Blue Ocean strategy to assess your business with these four action terms in mind:
- Raise: How can this business raise the value of its product above the industry average? By exceeding the expectations of your consumers, you create a new space for your business to operate in; one with different rules from the one you just came from.
- Reduce: What elements of your product arose from the need to compete with your peers? If you start to peel away the excess of your product, or those details that only exist to help you outshine your competition, you can take a product forward into its true usefulness.
- Eliminate: What kind of competition seems inherent to your industry? You need to address those supposed “staples of functionality” and see if you can write them out of your business model. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck in a rut.
- Create: What new production elements or operations can you introduce to your industry? By filling the newly emptied spaces with refreshing, collaborative ideas, you can establish newer and financially healthier rules for your business.
Finding Blue Oceans
That may seem like a lot of work, but the Blue Ocean Strategy has seen a substantial success when enacted. Early adopters include:
- Bloomberg Business
- Cirque Du Soleil
- Novo Nordisk
- Polo: Ralph Lauren
What’s the value of looking at your industry from a different perspective? You can rejuvenate your business, reconnect with a consumer audience, and build a healthier work environment for yourself.
Image attribution: Worawut – stock.adobe.com