In the modern society competition is something we see everyday and everywhere. Even when there isn’t a direct competitor you’ll have to ‘fight’ to make a want and need for your product or service. This strategy will help you to look further than your competition and create a completely new market and standards for your own business.
The purpose of this strategy is to create a new standard in the market where only your products and services can live up to. This way you automatically create a new market and stand above all your previous competitors. In short: from the red ocean (competition) you go to your own, blue ocean where you’re king.
This age is called the ‘consumer age’ by many marketers, everything is about the consumer. The Blue Ocean strategy too. This strategy actually implies to craft your offer in such a different way that a new market develops itself for you.
A small example of the power of the Blue Ocean strategy:
Samsung changed it’s strategy in 2006, leaded by the slogan ‘Market-Driven Change’. A number of product developers en designers gathered in Seoul to work on a new flat-screen TV, code name ‘Bordeaux’. They worked there, under the supervision of the CEO’s, till they met all the expectations, wants and needs of the consumer were met.
By this and several other developments of the strategy, the market share of Samsung grew to 26.4% where Sony scored 24.6%, followed by Sharp with 8.2% And note that Samsung started in 2006 with a market share of just 12.1%
Here are the pro’s and con’s of the Blue Ocean strategy.
Superior strategy for small- and medium-sized businesses. These are often more flexible and can move more quickly towards the needs and wants of their customers and market. Because they’re relatively small they stand closer to their customers, whereby more information can be obtained from them.
Smaller companies can obtain lots of publicity quickly by using this strategy. Even quicker then big companies. Because small companies normally operate on a local or regional basis, they can get their message out more quickly and gather more free publicity.
This strategy is perfect for companies that now how to use their marketing and communication effectively. Lots and preferably ‘close’ contact with the customers and market is needed to obtain the best results from this strategy.
It’s quite difficult to create a blue ocean without the necessary knowledge and experience of marketing and communication. A marketing budget comes very handy but many small- and medium-sized companies don’t have one.
After a while the first copycats will arise, competing on the very same value points as you. That’s completely normal, however it forces the entrepreneur to find a new strategy every several years.
For big companies it’s harder to maneuver or change, to get a new strategy working in the complete company as soon as possible. These companies do have the resources and budget, but before the process has even started – smaller competitors might have run off with the idea already.
If you want to know more about the Blue Ocean strategy you can find more information at the links and the literature list below. First, some practical tips to create and apply a Blue Ocean strategy.
Checklist ‘How To Apply’:
1) Research what the customer truly wants. Ask for the problems and challenges they face and what the solutions could be. Ask for the ideal situation the customer wants to achieve.
2) Research which points the competitors use in their marketing and which not.
3) Try to find the ideal solution for the client outside the borders, criteria and standards of your market or industry. Forget about standards and ‘unspoken rules’ but only think about the best possible solution for your customers – and how you can help them achieve that in an efficient and pleasant manner.
4) Create a marketing system that sells your product as nicely and simple as possible. Don’t let the customer leave with any problems, questions or choices – but make the whole process as easy as possible.
5) Teach the potential client and market about what you can do about the problem, that you go beyond any competitor and that you care more about the clients
6) Come up with the best possible guarantee, a 100% unconditional money-back guarantee for example. This points alone goes beyond many competitors in many cases.