Blue Ocean Strategy Synopsis
Rather than summarize, I thought I would give you a few quotes that lay out the theme in the authors' words:
"The only way to beat the competition is to stop trying to beat the competition. In red oceans, the industry boundaries are defined and accepted, and the competitive rules of the game are known. In blue oceans, competition is irrelevant because the rules of the game are waiting to be set. ...The companies caught in the red ocean followed a conventional approach, racing to beat the competition by building a defensible position within the existing industry order. The creators of blue oceans, surprisingly, didn't use the competition as their benchmark. ...Instead of focusing on beating the competition, they focus on making the competition irrelevant by creating a leap in value for buyers and your company, thereby opening up new and uncontested market space. …Value innovation is based on the view that market boundaries and industry structure are not 'given' and can be reconstructed by the actions and beliefs of industry players. …To fundamentally shift the strategy canvas of an industry, you must begin by reorienting your strategic focus from competitors to alternatives, and from customers to non-customers of an industry. As you shift your strategic focus from current competition to alternatives and non-consumers, you gain insight into how to redefine the problem the industry focuses on and thereby reconstruct buyer value elements that reside across industry boundaries"
The first example in "Blue Ocean Strategy" is Cirque de Soleil. The criteria/boundaries/
A key thing they did at Cirque de Soleil was that they looked across market boundaries to alternatives to the circus. It ended up being part circus and part theatre. Rather than focus on the market boundaries, they focused on the job the customer was hiring for -- in this case, it was adults looking for sophisticated entertainment. Another key thing they did was not targeting the existing market (i.e. children), rather they targeted non-consuming adults. Blue ocean strategy is all about creating and capturing net new demand by ignoring boundaries defined by traditional competitors.
The authors are big on stressing that new technology rarely turns into a great company. They state that unless the technology makes buyers lives dramatically simpler, more convenient, more productive, less risky, or more fun/fashionable, it will not attract the masses.
Blue Ocean Strategy Framework
The Blue Ocean Strategy authors propose a graphical framework for helping readers understand the book and for helping businesses create blue oceans of their own. Here's an example of the tool applied to Southwest Airlines, who are an interesting case. Southwest entered a terrible marketplace that a Porter five forces analysis would have said was a blood bath. The criteria/rules/
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Rev mission, vision, policies, plans, targets & processes
Balanced appr of opporn, resources & strategy
Identify, understand, & analyze key drivers
Formulate stratgies & align these wit key drivers
Provide & support framework 2 implement strategy.