What is Blue Ocean Strategy and Why Businesses Need it

Blue Ocean Strategy is a strategic marketing approach that focuses on finding and exploiting untapped markets and markets with little or no competition.

It is often described as creating uncontested market space to make the competition irrelevant.

The idea stemmed from the 2004 “Blue Ocean Strategy” book by co-authors W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne.

A real-life example would be how Airbnb leveraged their unique network of excess housing resources to create their own unique market and disrupt the existing hotel industry.

In its early days, Airbnb essentially focused on offering an innovative alternative to hotels, leveraging the platform’s unique network of existing housing in new untapped markets.

Airbnb’s blue ocean strategy is one of the great success stories of the last decade.

By creating their own blue ocean market with little competition, they were able to drastically reduce overhead costs and capitalize on a demand that the hotel industry had been ignoring.

As a result, Airbnb experienced explosive growth and led to a new wave of independent hospitality providers popping up in the hospitality industry.

How to find untapped opportunities in any market

Before you can identify untapped potential in any market, you must have a solid understanding of the current landscape.

Market research: Use market research techniques to investigate the current state of the market. Analyze the potential areas for growth.

This research can give you useful insights into new opportunities that haven’t been explored yet.

Competitor analysis: Thoroughly analyze your competitors to gain an understanding of what they are doing.

What are their strategies and successes. Looking at the weaknesses they have exploited can help you spot opportunities in the market that nobody else has identified.

Industry trends: Analyzing industry trends can uncover potential opportunities that have yet to be explored.

Look for changes in customer demand, emerging technologies, and economic shifts that could present an opportunity to fill new market gaps.

Pay attention to customers: Your customers can provide invaluable insights into their needs and desires.

Listening to them and finding ways to meet those needs can help you find untapped potential in the market.

Online tools to find new marketing opportunities

Google Trends: Google Trends can be used to determine the most popular search terms related to your business and find potential untapped market areas that may be under the radar.

Reddit and Quora: Reddit and Quora can be used to zero in on popular topics related to your business, helping you to identify areas where you may not have thought to target.

Surveys: Surveys are a great way to gain direct feedback from consumers and find potential untapped market areas that they may be interested in.

Social Media Monitoring: Monitoring conversations through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites can help you identify potential untapped market areas based on what people are saying about your business and industry.

Characteristics of a blue ocean strategy

High Investment: Implementing a blue ocean strategy can be a costly affair.

It involves a high investment in terms of resources and money for research and development, as well as creating new value propositions.

High Risk: Along with the high investment comes a high risk that the blue ocean strategy may not eliminate competition in the market and may result in losses instead.

Unpredictable Outcome: As the blue ocean strategy relies on innovation and creativity, the outcome is unpredictable and creating a blue ocean strategy can be a trial and error process as far as forecasting results go.

Regulatory Restrictions: Depending on the industry, there may be regulatory restrictions in place that limit the ability to create such a strategy.

For example, airlines cannot significantly lower their prices due to government regulations.

Advantages of a blue ocean strategy

Why businesses should go for a blue ocean strategy

Increased Profitability: By creating an uncontested market space, businesses can charge premium prices for their product and achieve higher profitability.

Create New Demand: A blue ocean strategy creates demand from sources and users not previously identified which helps to expand the company’s customer base.

Break From the Competition: A blue ocean strategy can help a business differentiate itself from the competition and open up new, previously unexplored areas of opportunity.

Unlimited Potential: By creating an uncontested market, the potential for future growth and success is unlimited.

Ease of Implementation: If regulatory restrictions are not present, a blue ocean strategy is relatively easy to implement because it allows businesses to focus on creating a compelling market offering instead of getting trapped in a competitive rat race.

Blue ocean strategy certification institutes in India

There are many institutes in India offering certification in blue ocean strategy. I have compiled a few prominent names. The list is not exhaustive and thorough research is not done about the quality of these institutes. Do your own due diligence before enrolling in an institute.

  1. M.A. Zahir’s Blue Ocean Strategy Certified Professional (BOSCP)
  2. Impact Skills Blue Ocean Strategy Certification
  3. ITM Group Blue Ocean Strategy Certification
  4. CERT Knowledge Solutions Blue Ocean Strategy Professional Training
  5. Great Lakes Institute of Management Blue Ocean Strategy Certification
  6. NUPSPD Institute Blue Ocean Strategy Certified Professional Training
  7. LEAD Academy Blue Ocean Strategy Certification
  8. Blue Ocean Strategy Certification by Training Edge India
  9. KPMG India Blue Ocean Strategy Certification
  10. eDynamic Learning Blue Ocean Strategy Training

I have also not given links here to avoid excessive linking. Just search in Google with the institute’s name and you will find the information.

Famous books on blue ocean strategy

After the immense success of the original book, there have been thousands of copycats and other books written on the same topic. I have compiled a list (including the original) that you can consider giving a read.

  1. Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
  2. The Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing — Proven Steps to Inspire Confidence and Seize New Growth by W. Chan Kim, Renée Mauborgne, and John Abraham
  3. Value Innovation: The Strategic Logic of High Growth by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
  4. Beyond Competition: The Power of Exceptional Insight by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
  5. Blue Ocean Leadership: How to Create New Market Space and Maximize Value at the Verge of Disruption by Mikolaj Jan Piskorski, Gareth Donovan, and W. Chan Kim

The original book was great! But the subsequent books on this list are also good enough for a business student!