Blue Ocean Strategy the book


#marketing #strategy # productdevelopmen #competition

Blue Ocean Strategy how to create uncontested market space and make competition irrelevant    Kim and Mauborgne     A really quick book review

Why is it that Ford did so well with their Model T and so poorly with the Edsel? This book explains it well.

The basic idea is much like hit the ball to where there is no one to catch it in baseball. Great idea, but how? The approach recommended is to focus on the blue ocean of what does not yet exist rather than flail around in the old fashion competitive space were the blood-letting turns everything red. A basic here is to create factors that the existing industry has never offered. Think of the Tesla electric car, or a few decades earlier, of cold water clothes washing detergent. The initial responses were not at all encouraging. As performance was measured and displayed for all to see, the avalanche started. Tesla cannot keep up with demand now producing 5000 cars per week. Cold water detergent has long been accepted and lauded.

The Model T Ford was a blue ocean initiative. Ford launched into the space of many identical cars for a modest price. This when the custom car, hand built, was the way things were, everywhere. Hi addressed a market then not addressed at all, shunned actually. He was all about opening the highways to everyone. People laughed. Ford prospered. At another time, Ford introduced, with much fanfare, the Edsel, as a panacea for what the public wanted. The idea behind the Edsel was the opposite of the idea behind the Model T. Edsel was an upmarket, large, much like other cars vehicle that was poorly manufactured to boot. It is pointed to as a classic automotive industry failure. That model was launched into a deeply red ocean. The market wanted the compact economy car.

Kim and Mauborgne argue strongly and effectively, to listen to what the market ‘could want’, and that is not more of the same of what it has already. This seems so obvious and yet, we have many, many examples of blind, deaf industry responses to the developing market, not just the existing (red ocean) market.

There are many examples in the book to guide us to identify blue ocean opportunity and to develop blue ocean responses. One of the pivotal concepts they call ‘value innovation’. In an overly simplistic description of that idea we have Reduce what we really don’t need, Eliminate what is taken for granted (always done it this way), Create what the industry needs but does not yet have and Raise the bar, a lot, where what the industry is not responding quickly enough to what the buyer wants (or will soon want).

A bit simplistic, but the book provides lots of suggestions on ‘how’.

I recommend this book. Your team will be glad that you read it. Encourage them to read it too.

Joseph Seiler –  Master Certified Coach since 2011