Presented by Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne in 2005, the Blue Ocean Strategy involves creating a new demand in a market segment not exploited by your competition. You may want to read the 7th principle of The Art of War.

The objective of the Blue Ocean Strategy is to generate strong growth and high profits by avoiding competition with players who have a firm footing in an existing market.

Unfortunately, if you’re like the majority of organizations, you’re probably using the Red Ocean Strategy. A red ocean is a market segment where competitors tear each other apart like hungry beasts to retain or gain market shares. Hence the name “red ocean“.

The Blue Ocean Strategy inevitably involves innovation. In an era where new products and services are being developed at an alarming rate, an innovative product or service offer is no longer sufficient. You must also be innovative when it comes to the configuration of your organization and the customer experience. To learn more about this, discover 10 types of innovations.

The 6 Blue Ocean principles

Principle 1: Redesign the boundaries of your market
  • Determine the competitive strengths of your market: customers, competitiveness criteria, market threats and opportunities, etc.
  • Determine which standards you can ignore, develop and reinvent.
  • Exploit the weaknesses of your competitors.
  • Take advantage of trends that show potential for growth.
  • Use the Kano Model to define a new offer.
Principle 2: Define competitive criteria according to the 4P of marketing
  • Product: quality, features and options, brand, style, sizes, packaging, after-sales service, warranty, etc.
  • Price: rates, rebates, discounts, terms of payment, credit terms, etc.
  • Place: means and channels of distribution, points of sale, zones of influence, stocks and warehouses, means of transport, etc.
  • Promotion: advertising, sales promotion, sales force, direct marketing, public relations, etc.
Principle 3: See beyond your current customers
  • Discover new customers in order to diversify your customer base.
Principle 4: Use the LEAN Startup principles to test your new offer
  • Does your offer meet your customers’ needs?
  • Is your offer exceptional in the eyes of customers?
  • Do your rates attract a large number of customers?
  • Are the production costs for the product or service the ones you had planned?
  • What discourages customers from buying what you offer?
  • Is your offer simplified as much as possible?
  • Does your offer require maintenance or after-sales support?
  • Is it recyclable?
Principle 5: Free yourself from internal obstacles
  • Let go of some projects in order to make sure the changes you are implementing are successful.
  • Conduct a stakeholder analysis to facilitate the implementation of your Blue Ocean Strategy.
  • Establish your circles of influence before making changes.
  • Overcome resistance to change with the Goldratt Matrix.
Principle 6: Integrate the implementation of changes into your strategy
  • Draw a strategy map to incorporate changes into your business strategy.


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