Title: Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant Author: W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne Stars: ****
The authors use the ocean metaphor to differentiate between the typical strategic approach and the one that they advocate. The bloody red ocean is where the vast majority of companies thrash and battle furiously with their competition, adding incremental improvements to differentiate their products/services. The blue ocean, as the subtitle suggests, describes an uncontested market space that makes competition irrelevant. It is achieved through value-innovation – creating a leap in buyer value and reducing cost at the same time.
A variety of ways to create blue oceans are described in the book to include, reconstructing your market boundaries and reaching beyond existing demand. The authors provide easy-to-understand concepts and tools for taking your own organization through a strategic planning exercise.
The authors also acknowledge that even if you develop the most wonderful strategy, implementing it can be quite difficult, so they provide pointers for helping bring about organizational change.
It is acknowledged that all blue oceans eventually become red. Tips are provided to help determine the right time to start value innovating again, vs. riding out the blue ocean.
This is an important book. It’s a value-innovation in its own right for assisting with strategic development and execution.