When Steve Jobs introduced the concept “Think Different” in 1997, perhaps he had more on his mind than just a new marketing campaign for Apple. The slogan was meant to “honor those people who think different and who move this world forward…because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones that do.” Entrepreneurs everywhere have taken this to heart, knowing on some level that thinking differently is the key to discovering a new kind of success. The Blue Ocean Strategy is a method of helping business owners do exactly that.
At the most basic level, business success comes from delivering a much-needed service or product to a given market. In over-developed markets however, companies are often caught in the headwinds of intense competition, leading to mediocre results or even failure. But there is a way to avoid these scenarios altogether. It’s called the Blue Ocean Strategy, and it’s a method that’s beneficial to companies at every stage of development. The Blue Ocean Strategy is a system of evaluating a business to find out how the company can think differently to achieve sustainable growth.
The concept of the Blue Ocean Strategy is simple. Avoid starting a business that would be operating in an already saturated market, and recognize that when your company loses business due to competition, you are swimming among sharks and killing your market share, and that limiting your company in this way is completely unnecessary. The blue ocean is a metaphor that illustrates the idea that a successful business operates in open waters, with few dangers, and all the fish (i.e. clients) it needs to survive. The image of a blue ocean is juxtaposed against a red ocean, full of large sharks eating the fish that would otherwise be yours.
The Stale Business
If you do a scan of the city you live in, you’ll find that many business types are essentially replications of one another. There is little difference for example from one corner store to another: they both sell essentially the same products, and compete for clientele among their neighborhood locals. If housing is at peak capacity in the area, there is little hope for growth, unless one of these stores can come up with a way to create a new market.
Creating New Markets
The solution to standing apart, keeping costs low, and avoiding competition, is to create your own market. This means creating elements that the industry has never offered. A perfect example of a company creating a blue ocean, is the company Cirque du Soleil. At a time when the circus industry was working with the tried and true clowns with wigs and big shoes, and standard animal tricks, most would have thought that the idea of owning a circus would be a dangerously poor business move. After all, any circuses already in existence would be larger, and more established, practically guaranteeing that the newcomer would be left a very small audience. But Cirque du Soleil saw an opportunity in reinventing the concept of the circus. They did away with the animals and focused on performances that included advanced acrobatics and theatrics with a magical quality rather than the standard goofy clowns and animals. They opted for a market-creation strategy rather than a market-competing strategy, and it was a homerun. Cirque du Soleil increased revenue 22-fold over a period of ten years by making their competition irrelevant.
Be-Bound’s Blue Ocean
The Blue Ocean Strategy represents exactly what Be-Bound is doing with mobile technology. Open any tech blog, go to any conference, and you will find a concentration on 5G and what comes next in innovation. While most businesses focus on these saturated areas, Be-Bound is using our patented technology to reach untouched markets, all while using the already existing infrastructure.
There’s no question that the smartphone market is saturated in developed countries, and growing rapidly around the world. But while the rest of the herd is traveling in one direction, working on adding infrastructure, or developing bandwidth-consuming services for high-end customers, Be-Bound has found a way to provide a totally new service to both developing and developed countries: connectivity everywhere, no matter what the network. This is something everyone needs, and not everyone can provide. In fact no one can provide our technology. And not only do we bring a new technology to the markets, but we actually are operating in geographic areas where we find little to no competition. Because our technology can bring connectivity to areas with just a 2G network, we are able to bring connectivity where no one else is working. We rest assured that we have ample room to grow and a sustainable path ahead.
How to Implement the Blue Ocean Strategy for Your Own Business
Established companies can review their entire business by looking at it through the lens of the blue ocean strategy and carving a new path to lead them to a “blue ocean” with an open market share, where competition is scarce, and customers are plenty. Not only can you do this with the Blue Ocean Strategy book, but the website created by the authors provides a program called the Blue Ocean studio that takes you through each step of evaluation via digital collaboration. There are even apps to download to assist with the process. Get started and take the leap out of the shark-filled waters!