This book will make you think. Powerfully.
This book will challenge you to create, yes, "create," as if you are digging it out not merely discovering a new ocean on the globe. And, yes, this is an implementation book, not just a theory book.
The authors give clear steps how to create uncontested market space. After reading this book, it is like a science, this "blue ocean strategy," not merely speculation for only the highly evolved business mind. It's a strategy book that can be applied, albeit with innovative thinking and willingness.
The idea behind a "blue ocean" can first be understood by understanding what is meant by the "red ocean" of today's shark-filled marketplace. The current market could be described that way, for all the red blood spilled, as one company competes with another, produces a similar product to another's, and differentiates based on price, quality, and service, all courting the same customers.
This is the "red ocean" of competition, winners and losers in the market. It's like Toyota vs Honda multiplied and divided hundreds of times over. This, the Red Ocean.
What Is the "Blue Ocean"?
A "blue ocean" is created by developing a product or service that satisfies a new customer with such innovation and at such a price that you have no real competition. You are not just differentiating, you are offering something unparalleled. The authors suggest practical ways to do this.
At the cornerstone of a blue ocean strategy is what the authors call, "value innovation." It's where your focus is not on beating out your competition but by providing such a unique leap in value for your customers that the competition becomes irrelevant and you gain dominance in this "blue ocean" market you have created.
Several examples of companies that did this are discussed in the book. Cirque du Soleil, a circus in Canada that because of its innovative changes to its format, attracted a whole new audience, gaining heaps in revenue growth while Barnum and all other circuses continue to tough it out in the Red Ocean.
Or NetJets, which created a hugely profitable blue ocean in the leasing of corporate jets, by pricing down and providing more service. Unbeatable. Unmatchable. In the past seven years, 57 other jet leasing companies have tried and all have failed.
Or Curves, a fitness franchise for women, you probably have seen one in your town, that exploded in growth by tapping into a market for women with the right cost basis, and space and time allotment that satisfied an unserved population of women. They created a blue ocean in the health and fitness arena.
This book not only describes what a blue ocean is but, significantly, this book provides concrete strategies for thinking about how to create one in your industry. Each chapter explains practical, useful steps that require you to deliberately and carefully implement to create for yourself a blue ocean.
Look Beyond the Ocean Horizon
It shows how to look beyond the traditional market boundaries to engage "non-customers." It explains how to see beyond the existing demand and touch untapped needs in the market. It walks you through the organizational hurdles to involve properly all levels of a company in successfully strategizing a blue ocean.
This book, indeed, is one you that will urge you to think. It pushes you to imagine. It emphasizes value innovation. Seriously, this is a book for leaders.
Book Review: "Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant" by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne
by Eugene Harnett