BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY meaning

What is Blue Ocean Strategy? Examples, Pros & Cons!

What is Blue Ocean Strategy? Examples, Pros & Cons!

Hello readers! It is a new day and we are back with a new topic of discussion exclusively for you all!

Almost all of us have been to beaches for a weekend getaway or long vacations! If not holidays, we have definitely come across visuals of oceans and seas on social media and televisions. Haven’t we? Well, oceans are vast, deep, massive, wide and are the most baffling natural wonders of the world. Proper explorations and researches can give way to incredible discoveries and provide us information about its scopes and untapped prospects.

In a similar fashion, a path-breaking strategy, known as Blue Ocean Strategy, was introduced by  W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. It is a pacifist marketing scheme and is considered a strategic planning tool for assessing a business. A Blue Ocean Analogy is utilized to unlock the wider, unfathomable, powerful and vast potential in the unexplored market space in terms of profitable growth. This strategic planning theory is an escape from the general notion of benchmarking the competition and focusing on lump sum figures.

What exactly is a Blue Ocean Strategy?

Blue Ocean Strategy is all about devising and acquiring the uncontested market forum by spawning a new demand.

Since the industries are in a state of non-existence, there is absolutely no relevance of peer comparison. The strategy bags the new demand by familiarizing unique products with advanced features that stand apart from the crowd.

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In other words, the strategy spurs companies to offer extremely valuable products to the consumers. Thus, it supports the company to incur large profits and surpass the competition. The price tags of the products are generally kept on the steeper side because of their monopoly. Blue Ocean approach shuns the ideology of outperforming the competition and asserts to recreate the market boundaries and operate within the nascent space.

The kind of leadership and management required to initiate a Blue Ocean Strategy differs from the management of corporations that have short-term ambitions and mainly concentrates on increasing shareholder value by pushing up the stock prices via buybacks, mergers, and acquisitions. The Blue Ocean Strategy can be applied to all the sectors or, businesses and is not limited to just one kind.

On the contrary to the concept of Blue Ocean Industries, there exists Red Ocean Industries. Let us understand the concept in brief before moving to further analysis.

Red Ocean Industries

Red Oceans are those industries that are currently in existence or, what we call the contested market forum.

In Red Oceans, there are well-defined industry perimeters that are known and out in open to all. Due to the acquaintance with the competitive rules and acceptance of the drawn boundaries, the market space gets crowded and there is a consequent reduction in growth and profitability. When the product comes under the burden of pricing pressure there is always a chance that a firm’s operations could come under notable menace.

Companies under Red oceans strive to outperform their rivals by grasping a higher proportion of existing market share at another company’s loss. In order to keep themselves afloat in the marketplace, proponents of Red Ocean Strategy concentrate on creating competitive advantages by examining the blueprints of their peers/competitors. Such a saturated market space makes way for a toxic competition which ends up as nothing but an ocean full of rivals fighting over a dwindling profit pool. Such firms mainly seek to capture and redistribute wealth instead of creating wealth.

These kinds of market forums can be correlated with the shark-infested ocean waters which remain spilled with blood. Hence, the coinage of the term Red Oceans. Thus, the business world has pulled up their socks and is striving to skip the “Red Oceans” to create their very own “Blue Oceans”.

Examples of Blue Ocean Industry

Let us learn how organizations that have followed the path of Blue Ocean Strategy has undergone outstanding growth and profitability!

1) UBER

Uber Cab is a brainchild of the Blue Ocean Strategy and has dramatically transformed the picture of the transportation industry by discarding the nuisance of booking cabs, denial of services, meter issues and unwanted arguments.

It is a ridesharing service that enables customers to book their rides with the ease of swipes and taps. It also permits users to trace a  driver’s progression towards the pickup point in real-time through the medium of a smartphone application called Uber App.

Uber devised a new market by the amalgamation advanced technology and modern devices. It tried to differentiate itself from the regular cab companies and in turn developed a low-cost business model that offers flexible payments, pricing strategies and generates good revenues for both the drivers and the company. In the initial stages, Uber was successful in capturing the uncontested market space but was eventually flooded by the competitors. In spite of that, it continues to command the market and is speedily expanding across the world. As of 2019, Uber approximately has 110 million riders worldwide and holds 69% of the market share in the United States.

2) iTunes

Apple headed into the space of digital music with its unique and eminent product ie. iTunes in 2003. In previous days, conventional mediums like compact discs (CD) were put to use to disseminate and listen to music.

When iTunes ventured into the market, it solved the basic problems which were faced by the recording industry. As a result, iTunes cut down the practice of illegally downloading music while simultaneously catering to the demand for single songs versus entire albums in a digitalized version. High-quality music at a reasonable price offered by Apple became a talk of the town. All the available Apple products have iTunes to download music and have largely ruled the market space for decades. It is also recognized for driving the growth of digital music.

These examples of the Blue Ocean Strategy can enlighten future startups regarding the execution of a  strategic planning scheme and successfully unlocking new demand.

How to find and develop/Launch them?

Blue Ocean Strategy becomes the need of the hour when supply surpasses demand in a market. When there is limited scope for further growth, businesses try and search for verticals for discovering new business lines where they can enjoy the advantage of uncontested market share or ‘Blue Ocean’.

In order to find and identify an attractive  Blue Ocean, one needs to take into consideration the “Four Actions Framework” to devise the aspects of buyer value in creating a new value curve. The Four Actions Framework emulates strategic triumphs and guides towards the path of launching a Blue Ocean initiative.

The framework poses four key questions, namely:

A) Raise

It includes points that must be blossomed by industry in reference to the line of products, price tags and caliber of services. A startup must analyze the pros and cons of the existing organizations and their strategies for key aspects of differentiation.

2) Reduce

It points out the arenas of an organization’s product or, service which foreplays a crucial character in the industry but is not absolutely essential in nature. Therefore,  the proportion of the products can be curtailed without entirely eradicating them.

3) Eliminate

It points out the arenas of an organization or industry which could be eliminated absolutely for the purpose of cutting down the costs and also to fabricate a completely new market. At times, newly invented products can lead to self-assassination of the existing products and thus,  leads to an unwillingness to interfere with the current revenue source.

4) Create

It nudges the companies to shape up trailblazing products. The introduction of an entirely new product line or, service leads to the establishment of a new market and points of differentiation. Identification of the needs of the target market provides sound knowledge regarding the addition of unique measures and consequently tracking the progress for illustrating a Blue Ocean.

Now that we have discussed the Blue ocean strategy and how to find them, let us also discuss the pros and cons of this strategy.

Pros of Blue Ocean Strategy

Here are a few of the advantages of using the blue ocean strategy:

  1. Blue Ocean Strategy cooperates with organizations to find uncontested markets and avoid matured and saturated markets.
  2. It assists to move from the impediments of competing within the existing industry and cost structure and to gradually migrate towards constructive value improvement. In short, it demonstrates how to break free from the traditional strategic models and to expand profitability and demand for the industry by using the analysis.
  3. Value innovation is the backbone of a Blue Ocean Strategy. Value innovation is the alliance of innovation with price, utility, and cost positions. It eventually creates new value/demand for consumers and thereby, expands the chances of growth potential.
  4. Blue Ocean Strategy enables a fundamental transformation in mindset. It develops mental horizons and helps in recognizing the opportunities.
  5. Blue Ocean Strategy is based on “time and again” proven data rather than unproven theories. It is based on practical approaches that have proven results during live market executions.
  6. Products under the concept of the Blue Ocean Strategy doesn’t make a consumer choose between value and affordability. It is the simultaneous pursual of differentiation and low-cost theorem.
  7. Creating blue oceans is non-zero-sum with high payoff possibilities.

Cons of Blue Ocean Strategy

Let’s us also look at a few of the common cons of using this strategy:

  1. It’s quite difficult to come up with futuristic ideas and identify colossal and untapped markets.
  2. Nominating an articulate Blue Ocean Strategy is a result of a calculated and detailed research process backed by extensive analysis. It is to be kept in mind that there is no magic formula or, silver bullet.
  3. Venturing into a market in the early phase comes with baggage of risk. There is a high possibility that the customers might not understand the grass root of the products and services because of the absence of a fully developed technology.
  4. Production of a new market is never easy because an organization has to be smart and clear regarding its customer base and ways to impart education about new ideas, new products, and new solutions. It also requires clarity about the trade-offs, obstacles and the workforce.
  5. Opting for a different ocean i.e the Blue Ocean, requires a lot of patience, persistence trust, preparation, and faith. It is also extremely paramount to look at initial indicators for confirming the fact that “fishing”  is not being done in a dead sea.
  6. On finding a new ocean, other sharks from the saturated markets aka the Red Oceans and other adjacent oceans will be lured to the new market. Thus, building strategically defensive alternatives would be a wise step. Defensive alternatives majorly consist of brand power, technological advancement, and speed of execution.

Also read: What is a BCG Matrix? Explanation with Example!

Summary

Let us quickly summarise what we discussed in this article.

A path-breaking strategy known as Blue Ocean Strategy is a pacifist marketing scheme and is considered a strategic planning tool for assessing a business. It is all about devising and acquiring the uncontested market forum by spawning a new demand. Since, the industries are in a state of non- existence, there is absolutely no relevance of peer comparison. The strategy bags the new demand by familiarizing unique products with advanced features that stand apart from the crowd. Blue Ocean approach shuns the ideology of outperforming the competition and asserts to recreate the market boundaries and operate within the nascent.

These days, the Blue Ocean Strategy becomes the need of the hour when supply surpasses demand in a market. In order to find and identify an attractive  Blue Ocean, one needs to take into consideration the “Four Actions Framework” to devise the aspects of buyer value in creating a new value curve. The framework poses four key questions, namely, Raise, Reduce, Eliminate & Create.

That’s all for this article. Let me know what you think about the blue ocean strategy in the comment section below. Cheers!

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