The book Blue Ocean Strategy has a great theory on how to shift your business & marketing to a winning strategy. This tells us why some business strategies work while others don't. It's written by Renée Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim.
The blue ocean strategy is straight-forward: red oceans are the known marketplace where the rules are defined and the working order has already been established. Blue oceans are an unknown marketplace that's wide open for the taking with little or no competition. The rules and working order are yet to be established.
The blue ocean theory says that if you compete in a red ocean; you'll end up competing on things like price, product and promotion in a race to the bottom on lowering your price. This ends up in failure as you lower your profit margin again and again until there’s little or no profit.
Blue ocean theory compares setting up your own market by creating or shifting your business to something unique, instead for competing with others over the readily available ways of doing business. This is a blue ocean shift.
A blue ocean market has no competition because you've created something that nobody else is offering. This gives you a lot of room for growth.
This is where we want to be in the online business world! There's no reason for someone to buy a product or service from you if they can get the same thing from other people. Offering something that sets you apart makes you the best choice for a customer or client.
Blue Ocean marketing opens you up to distinguishing yourself or your company as something that others can’t compete with.
You can make a blue ocean shift by pivoting your business strategy to one that's unique and definitive for your business, instead of just offering the same things as everyone else.
We can find countless examples of red ocean marketing on social media and paid ads through Google and Facebook, they all look similar and also seem to be conforming to an aesthetic, idea and offering that are all parallel to each other. You can avoid this trap by forging your own unique path in which you offer a product and/or service that's different than what everybody else is doing. Let them all fight over scraps while you give your customers or business partners something nobody else is offering based on the blue ocean shift you make.
By making a blue ocean shift, you can focus on developing your own product or service that's unique that your competitors don’t offer.
The Blue Ocean Strategy book says it best by saying “Blue ocean strategy is the simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low cost to open up a new market space and create new demand. It is about creating and capturing uncontested market space, thereby making the competition irrelevant.”
You can use the essentials of blue ocean strategy and shift how you do business into an unknown market space. Competing in an ocean of of one (or an ocean of few) means you can be much more competitive in what you offer.
Finding creative new solutions is now essential for any of us to create not only a sustainable online business but one that grow over time. A blue ocean strategy “can be a huge opportunity for those who don’t ask 'should we?' but ask 'how can we?' create blue oceans,” according to the authors of the book.
With the current economic outlook, online business are trying to figure out what their strategy should be. Some key insights on Blue Ocean strategy from Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne are:
1) Buck the business cycle
2) Strategize like a market creator
3) Mix blue ocean strategies with red ocean strategies: innovate your own ideas but also incorporate your competitors ideas for a healthy mix
4) Act now instead of waiting for your growth to slow down or even for your audience or customers to arrive initially
5) Make your new blue ocean ideas a core component of what you do and not a side issue or skunkworks project
6) Always remember that technology alone doesn't create markets, the innovative use of technology does.