Everything Is Changing. Is This A Great Time For A Blue Ocean Strategy?

Boy, is this ever a time for getting “off the brink” to reflect on how we get things done in our businesses and personal lives, and where some changes might need to be made. At SAMC, the recurring theme we’re seeing with so many of our clients is what to do post-pandemic (assuming we are post-pandemic) to rebuild their business strategy in order to help their company do what it’s supposed to do: adapt, pivot if need be, and grow.

As Blue Ocean Strategy® experts, we have had many calls and emails recently from companies large and small asking us to help them address their dilemmas. They want to know how should they revamp, or even overhaul, the way they offer their products and services while facing an abundance of challenges to their status quo. A big order.

One large investment firm called us because they are struggling with worker retention problems. Another firm is trying to determine what business growth strategy they should develop — a competitive “red ocean” approach from the past, or a forward-looking, innovative Blue Ocean Strategy to create new markets for the future. As you may have guessed, we said to both of them: “Go Blue Ocean!”

red ocean-blue ocean-1
With Blue Ocean Strategy, you make the competition irrelevant

Briefly, Blue Ocean Strategy isn’t about doing more of the same, cheaper, or competing with others in the same industry you’re in today (red ocean). It’s about finding customers’ unmet needs so you can open a new market space that you can own (blue ocean). In these turbulent, disruptive times, businesses of all types, even non-profit organizations, need a Blue Ocean Strategy more than ever so they can not just survive, but thrive.

The goal is to create a new market space by adding value innovatively

In essence, Blue Ocean Strategy enables you to “see, feel and think” about your customers’ and your non-users’ needs in very different ways. You stop thinking about how to compete with others for the same customer in the same way, and instead, explore new, uncluttered market space, thereby finding prospective customers with unmet needs, waiting for you to help solve their problems in innovative ways. Who could use you but hasn’t thought of you as a solution? To compare red and blue oceans, take a look at the following chart:

Blue ocean table-1

Think about your own business, your industry, and your job or career within that industry.

  • Do you compete with others to capture a client, or with other firms to hire employees?
  • Are you facing increased competition for your position, worried that you’re too much like everybody else when really, you need to stand out?
  • Is your product or service a “same as” wherein the only way to gain buyers is to win on price, or are you offering “an only” that no one else is?
  • What do your current customers ask you for, to which you say: “We don’t do that.” Maybe that is exactly what you should do.

Blue Ocean is a journey, not a point-and-click exercise

Blue Ocean Strategy challenges everything you thought you knew about strategic success in the marketplace. As you understand and implement its practices, you will increasingly see that lasting success comes not from battling competitors but from creating blue oceans of untapped new market spaces ripe for growth. I have done over 500 workshops in all types of industries in the US, Canada and around the world for businesses that need or want to find their Blue Ocean Strategies. I can tell you, it really works!

Here’s a video that further explains this approach. Click on the image below.

Maybe it’s time for your Blue Ocean Strategy?

Are you ready for a forward-thinking Blue Ocean Strategy instead of slugging it out in your old, backward-looking red ocean? At Simon Associates Management Associates (SAMC), we are certified Blue Ocean Strategists and culture change experts who specialize in helping organizations of all sizes and across industries rethink their business strategy to find new opportunities for growth and success. Contact us to discuss how our team of corporate anthropologists can work with you to discover, develop and apply a Blue Ocean Strategy. We look forward to hearing from you.

From Observation to Innovation,
Andi Rethink
Andi Simon, Ph.D.
CEO | Corporate Anthropologist | Author