Blue Ocean Strategy

Articulated by W. Chan Kim and Reneé Mauborgne in their book that was published in 2004 and later expanded in 2015. This book has changed the free market and developed a new way of strategizing for businesses. These new strategies allow businesses to create new markets and push pass competition.

Basically, there are two ways of building a business and in the book, they are broken down this way.

Red Ocean Strategy

Red ocean strategy is the kind of business and marketing strategy we might most commonly think of. Red ocean represents a market that already has competition and other business in it. To be successful in the red ocean, businesses must work to become better than their competition. You must create a better product, have better customer service, or become superior in marketing to drive more business to your products and/or services than the competition.

Blue Ocean Strategy

Blue ocean strategy wasn’t created by W. Chan Kim and Reneé Mauborgne but instead was recognized and explained in a creative and relative way for people to understand and implement. When a business is working with blue ocean strategy it is creating a fresh and new market free of competition. This can be something that existing companies do to push past their competition or a way that entrepreneurs develop fresh business ideas.

There are several examples of companies that have used this concept. But before we get into those it’s good to also understand that there are two different ways of going about taking over blue oceans.

For more on the differences between Red and Blue Ocean strategies or just for more information check out either of these articles:


Successful Blue Ocean Businesses

The first of the two ways is innovating. Innovation is something that is inevitable. But it takes strategy and planning to be on the front end of it. (We love talking about strategy. If you’re looking for some info on that check out one of my last two blog posts on our website). An example of a company that has innovated to expand their market is Starbucks. Starbucks was known as a great coffee shop. They changed the game when they decided to roll out full menus of teas and smoothies as well as pastries, treats, and of course coffee. As well as this they were one of the first franchises to create modern and inviting seating areas that made their customers want to stay in their store for longer periods of time.

The second example is creating fresh and new businesses from concepts that almost don’t exist. An example of this type is Cirque du Soleil. This company revolutionized the entertainment industry by drawing on the concept that an old-time circus had. Shows going from town to town. Simple right? Well, Cirque du Soleil took it to a whole new level when they built a blend of opera and ballet that followed the concepts of the circus. Not only did they do this, but they eliminated animals as well as star performers from the traditional circus’ example making it much easier to put shows together and keep them going.

Here’s a small case study on how Cirque du Soleil successfully implemented blue ocean strategy.

These are just two examples of businesses that have implemented ideas and concepts along the lines of what is now called blue ocean strategy. If you are looking to accomplish something along the lines of blue ocean strategy and find yourself needing some help, we’d love to have a part in your process.

Cole Anderson

Cole Anderson

Cole Anderson is a student at North Central University where he studies music. As a music major, he is obviously very interested and talented in playing guitar and other forms of music. When he’s not studying, writing, or playing guitar, you can typically find him hanging out with his girlfriend Jessica or being a good person and helping someone in need (cause he’s just like that).

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