Perhaps you’ve heard that your business needs a USP / ESP (Unique Selling Proposition or Emotional Proposition) – you know, the secret sauce. The thingy-majiggy that distinguishes you and creates NEW demand in a NEW market space – also known as the blue ocean strategy.
This tactic is excellent because it aims to reduce costs while increasing value and set your business apart in a significant way. Most of the time this is a small detail that makes this big difference. When you find your blue ocean strategy, you aren’t competing anymore, you are simply… DIFFERENT, a cut above the rest.
Starbucks is an excellent example of a company that has successfully implemented the Blue Ocean Strategy. There were already a lot of coffee shops when Starbucks opened. Instead of focusing on their coffee, they made the Starbucks brand stand out, a strategy that has yet to be tested in the industry.
Another Blue Ocean Strategy example is Netflix. It successfully revolutionised the way we consume media by creating a new market space for on-demand streaming of films and TV series. By allowing viewers to access content on-demand, it increased customer productivity and convenience significantly: The restriction of needing to wait until 6 pm on Wednesday night to enjoy your favourite show no longer exists.
iTunes, Uber, Facebook and AirBnB are also great examples.
Here are some questions to consider when thinking about your Blue Ocean Strategy:
- What do you think you do well? Why do customers choose and keep doing business with you?
- How does your competitors operate? Why might your ideal customers go elsewhere?
- What is your red ocean? What features and benefits do you offer that directly comparable to those offered by your competitors?
- What exactly is your blue ocean? What do you offer your clients that no one else can?