Developing a winning marketing strategy requires more than a basic understanding of your target demographics and their needs. In order to truly differentiate yourself, you may turn to the blue ocean strategy.
By opting for a blue ocean strategy and going after uncontested markets, you'll open the door to many potential opportunities that are otherwise unavailable in traditional red oceans. This strategy is ideal for those seeking to create new market spaces while simultaneously pursuing differentiation and low-cost solutions.
But what exactly is a blue ocean strategy, and how does it differ from other marketing methodologies? We'll cover everything you need to know here, including the benefits and limitations of blue oceans.
What is a blue ocean strategy?
A popular yet risky startup marketing strategy that has taken the world by storm many times in the past includes the blue ocean strategy. Understanding what a blue ocean strategy is can help you to determine if the course is right for you or if you should shift gears and pursue another tactic.
Blue ocean strategies focus on innovation and building brand-new ideas and concepts that have yet to make their way into any existing market. When establishing a business in a market with plenty of competition, you’re considered to be entering the red ocean.
However, if you invent something unique and unexplored, you're entering a blue ocean. A blue ocean has uncontested marketing space but is often considered much more high-risk. While blue oceans are rare, they can have a significant payoff when they work successfully.
Notable success stories that come from blue ocean marketing include:
When Facebook began to roll out to the public, it stood out as a unique directory designed for those already enrolled in college. Unlike its predecessor, Myspace, Facebook was targeted towards adults and college students, helping to differentiate itself. Providing services for free with a simple and straightforward layout helped Facebook quickly gain traction and overtake Myspace in popularity within a few short years.
Netflix was the first to hop on the digital streaming bandwagon. Although Netflix initially launched with a DVD rental service, it quickly shifted its focus to an all-access streaming platform, which was unheard of at the time.
When Uber was introduced, it was an entirely new concept that had only been challenged by traditional cab companies in the past. By opening the doors to drivers everywhere, Uber quickly dominated the taxi industry with a blue ocean strategy that had yet to work in the past.
Another company to think of when pondering the blue ocean shift is Apple. When Apple released its iPod, it took the world by storm. What was once the job of a Walkman or a traditional portable CD player had just been overtaken by a device capable of storing thousands of songs. The Apple iPod significantly and drastically shifted the music industry until music began being stored on everyday smartphones instead.
What are the benefits of using a blue ocean strategy?
When it comes to developing the right marketing strategies, choosing the best route for your business and brand is critical. If you're entering a new market space or intend to create an uncontested one, turning to blue ocean strategy examples and implementing a blue ocean strategy is highly recommended.
Some of the benefits that come with integrating a blue ocean strategy into your own brand's marketing campaign include the following:
- Outperform the competition. Those who are successful with blue ocean marketing can quickly begin to reap the rewards. Outshining potential competition is much easier when entering a blue ocean as opposed to diving head-first into a red and highly saturated market.
- Differentiate yourself. Creating blue oceans is an ideal strategy for those looking to differentiate themselves within a known market space while standing out to a target audience.
- Growth potential. Entering an untapped market opens the door for more growth. When there's little to no competition, you have a greater chance of succeeding while simultaneously growing.
What are the limitations of using a blue ocean strategy?
Blue oceans are promising for those who are able to create a market that can take the world by storm. However, blue ocean marketing has its own risks, regardless of the resources you have to support your idea.