143: Ask Andi—How To Find Your Blue Ocean Strategy® Step 1

Ready to find your Blue Ocean Strategy and soar? Listen in! 

Tired of competing against all those “others” that you’ve been benchmarking yourself against for years, without much benefit? Are you ready to carve out a new market space and make the competition irrelevant? It might be time for you to find your Blue Ocean Strategy, the amazingly successful methodology that helps you see, feel and think in new ways about your business in these rapidly-changing times. In this “Ask Andi” podcast, I’ll take you through the initial steps of a Blue Ocean Strategy so you can learn how to apply it to your own business. Listen in and learn!

Blue Ocean Strategy helps you create a market space where you are the “only” — at least for a little while

The basic premise of Blue Ocean Strategy is not to do more of the same, cheaper, or to stay within the same market space, or to compete with others in the same industry that you’re in today. Neither is it about digging deeper into a consumer’s profile and selling them more product.

Blue Ocean Strategy is about identifying your customer’s (and potential customer’s) problems, their pain points, their unmet needs, so that you can offer them your one-of-a-kind solutions.

When Renée Mauborgne and Chan Kim conducted their original research which led to their groundbreaking book, “Blue Ocean Strategy,” they studied 150 companies, looking for ones that thrived. What they found was that the businesses that excelled did so because they solved a problem differently from their peers. Not simply finding ways to do things cheaper or faster, these companies created their own unique solution to consumers’ needs. They “saw” completely differently. They looked at the market with fresh eyes.

Here are some well-known examples of Blue Ocean thinking: Starbucks, Uber, [yellow tail] wine, Cirque du Soleil and Airbnb. Every day, more come on the scene.

So, how do you find your Blue Ocean Strategy?

The first step is to take stock of where you are now, how you’re competing in the industry you’re in, and what you’re offering from the buyer’s perspective backwards. The tool that helps you see, feel and think about your business in new ways is called a strategic canvas. It’s an interesting and simple tool, but often hard to use, because a lot of business people aren’t really sure what parameters they’re competing on or who their competitors are.  

Think of the strategic canvas as an analysis that depicts the way an organization structures its products or services to buyers in relation to the offerings of other companies who are trying to solve the same problem in the same way. This will help you clarify whether you’re in a “me-too” position or really out ahead of the pack.

Everybody is wedded to what they know and the new is terrifying

Your job in finding your Blue Ocean Strategy is to begin to see, feel and think in new ways before you go and do anything. In my next Ask Andi (How To Find Your Blue Ocean Strategy® Step 2), I’ll talk about the importance of visual exploring. I’ll explain the places where you can go and hang out, take pictures and videos, and begin to see what’s really happening out in the marketplace. You’ll learn to observe what people are actually doing with your product, what are they not doing, and what go-arounds they’re using when they can’t find what they’re looking for.

With Blue Ocean Strategy, change and growth are waiting for you. Stay tuned!

In this episode, I discuss:

  • Who’s going to be your customer in three years
  • Creating your strategic canvas
  • Identifying key competing factors
  • Finding new market space you can capture
  • Looking for non-customers
  • Think from the buyer’s perspective backward
  • Who could use you who isn’t

To learn more, check out these blogs, podcasts and white paper


Get the full transcript of this Ask Andi episode here.