When the market has reached a peak, organizations create strategies to remain competitive in the mature environment. A Blue Ocean Strategy takes a slightly different approach by providing a means for an organization to create a new market that is completely devoid of competition. This marketing theory postulates that organizations are better off investing their energy into searching for an unoccupied segment of the market rather that trying to fight for visibility in a market filled with competitors.
What is Blue Ocean Strategy, and what are best practices, tools and online templates for teams and organizations?
Definition of Blue Ocean Strategy
Description of Blue Ocean Strategy
Blue Ocean Strategy comes from the book with the same name, which used an analogy comparing competition-less business to a clear blue ocean. Alternatively, a market filled with competitors was likened to an ocean red with the blood of vicious competitors, hence it was called a red ocean. A red ocean exists when the market is saturated. By contrast, a blue ocean is where there is potential for more profits or an area of the market that is undiscovered.
Creating a Blue Ocean for your organization can be accomplished with five steps:
Step One: Choose the right individuals to include on your team who will be responsible for scouting different areas of the market.
Step Two: Develop a thorough understanding of the current market situation, who the key players are within it and what areas remain to be explored. In order to gain deeper insight into the current state of the market, consider what elements of the industry are already exploited, what elements need to be de-emphasized or given more attention, and what elements need to be created because they have never existed in the industry.
Step Three: Discover the area(s) of the market that might have been too challenging or cumbersome to reach that are currently limiting the breadth of the industry. Additionally, consider the customers who would respond favorably to these untapped features.
Step Four: Reconsider the boundaries of the market and develop strategies for expanding them.
Step Five: Determine which unexplored area the organization will investigate, test if current marketing strategies are effective in this new area and launch into the new market. The test of current marketing strategies should highlight the features or qualities of the product or service being offered that would be most appealing to this new subset of customers.
In order to successfully venture into a new market, the Blue Ocean Strategy should have the following elements:
- A shift in mindset: The members of the marketing team as well as the individuals in the organization need to be open to broadening their mindsets and investigating uncharted territory.
- A value-creation focus: If the investigation into new territory is done with the intention of promoting new opportunities for profit, growth and jobs, employees become more inspired to conduct the investigation and actually execute marketing strategies in this new area of the market.
Tools & Templates
Blue Ocean Strategy is often considered a standalone tool to support strategic planning. More specific tools to create your Blue Ocean Strategy can include competitive analysis or business model canvas development.
upBOARD's Online Blue Ocean Strategy Tools & Templates
Unlike most traditional Blue Ocean Strategy techniques, upBOARD’s online Blue Ocean Strategy collaboration tools allow any team or organization to instantly begin working with our web templates and input forms. Our digital platform goes far beyond other software tools by including progress dashboards, data integration from existing documents or other SaaS software, elegant intuitive designs, and full access on any desktop or mobile device.
Learn more about upBOARD’s portfolio of other business strategy best practice tools and templates, including:
ADL Matrix, Affinity Diagrams, Baker’s 4 Strategies of Influence, Balanced Scorecard, Benchmarking, Blue Ocean Strategy, Bowman Strategy Clock, Build-Measure-Learn Feedback Loop, CAGE Distance Framework, Competitive Analysis, Competitive Landscape Analysis, Contingency Planning, Core Competence Analysis, Critical Success Factors, Discovery Driven Planning, Five Forces Model, Force Field Analysis, Gap Analysis, GE McKinsey 9-Box Matrix, Go To Market Strategy, Hambrick & Frederickson’s Strategy Diamond, Hedgehog Model, Hook Model of Behavioral Design, Hoshin Planning System, Kay’s Distinctive Capabilities Framework, Kotler’s Five Product Levels Model, Kotler’s Pricing Strategies, Lafley & Martin’s Five Step Strategy Model, McKinsey’s Seven Degrees of Freedom for Growth, Mission Statements, Mullin’s Seven Domains Model, OGSM Framework, Ohmae’s 3-C’s Model, PEST Analysis, Porter’s Diamond, Portfolio Management, Purpose Statements, Pyramid of Purpose, Scenario Planning, Simonson & Rosen’s Influence Mix, SOAR, Strategic Goals, Strategic Roadmap, Strategy Map, Strategy Roadmap, Strategy Uncertainty Map, SWOT Analysis, TOWS Matrix, Triple Bottom Line, USP Analysis, Value Chain Analysis, Value Disciplines Model, Value Net Model, Values Statement, Vision Statements, VRIO Analysis, and Weisbord’s Six-Box Model.