Tips and tricks for spotting Blue Ocean opportunities for your Brand
Stiff market competition brings out the aggressive side of most business.
They employ various marketing stunts or look for unconventional ways to succeed. This is where the Blue Ocean Strategy (BOS) comes into play, which W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne of Harvard Business Review Press, explain as the condition where businesses search and apply marketing approaches that other competitors haven’t tried before.
Business News Daily said, “instead of working in conditions, known as the red ocean, where businesses are viciously fighting against each other for a share of the marketplace, organizations should try and find a way to work in a marketplace that isn't bloodied by the competition and is free of competitors.”
This approach involves being unique with your content marketing strategy and being innovative in the kind of products or services you provide your customers.
For this entry, we’ll give you tips on how you can find Blue Ocean Opportunities successfully.
Reconstruct Your Market Boundaries
The first step is reconstructing your market boundaries. You must avoid competing with established brands on the market, where you most likely won’t stand a chance. It’s best to look for new consumer groups to penetrate; the ones that are still out of reach by your competitors.
Reconstructing your boundaries also means discovering new growth opportunities for your business. Kelly Lucas of BBR Marketing suggests that you need to pay attention to the latest trends by using social media to easily predict the “next big thing” in your industry.
In line with this, the same Business News Daily article encourages you to consider what they call the “Four Actions Framework” in finding the elusive “blue ocean:”
- Raise: What are the factors that are missing in your industry that should be included as a standard? This will help you design a new product that meets people's demands. For example, if you’re in the smartphone business, they might be looking for a true evolutionary device that blurs the boundary between a computer and a mobile device.
- Eliminate: What are existing trends in your industry that should be eliminated? These are products and/or services that are already competing for the longest time and are not really valuable to your consumers. Be the first one to figure it out.
- Reduce: Based on your own research, what are the things that should be reduced in your industry’s standards? An example would be an LCD display with a very high resolution that is actually hard to discern with the naked eye. Will the prospective consumers need this feature, or is it just a waste of resources?
- Create: What kind of products are yet to be discovered in your industry.
These frameworks may sound simple, but they require a lot of brainstorming and field research.
Focus on the big picture
Don Power of Sprout Social said that this strategy involves focusing solely on the number of sales you will get or the number of social media followers you will gather in your business pages. In BOS, you are advised to implement a good social media strategy, one that creates a lasting relationship among your customers.
When deploying campaigns, you should omit the practice of hard-sell advertising. Instead, give them something valuable. It could be a how-to video, a human interest article, or a useful infographic about your industry’s products and services.
Unlike the common practice in Red Ocean, Blue Ocean strategy does not permit bashing other brands. This will save you from being bashed back by a swarm of competitors, analysts, and consumers. On their Twitter page, Wise Marketing (@letsgetwise) shared a post from Meme Burn containing some of the indicators of an ethical content marketing strategy:
- Being transparent and direct to the point
- Credible, logical, and emotional
- Not being too disruptive of your consumer’s interests
Use a CRM tool to monitor your progress and interact with followers
Analytics is also a part of this strategy. You need a CRM (customer relationship management) tool from private vendors like Sage CRM that will empower your business to:
- Track your sales
- Plan, execute, and evaluate the success of your online marketing campaigns.
- Provide a space for customer service support.
- Allow you to listen to what people are saying about your company, your brand, and your industry.
- Keep track of your competitors and their followers.
Taylor Jennings is a freelance blogger, who helps businesses succeed by constantly writing helpful tips online. To be in the loop with the latest trends and best practices in the industry, he dedicates his time reading books and attending online webinars.
Feel free to follow him on Twitter: @taylorj427