Blue Ocean Strategy

Don Dewaay, founder of The Profit Zone and member of Smuckers Networking, turned me on to Blue Ocean Strategy (Renée Mauborgne, W. Chan Kim)

I just started reading the book, but am already excited about what deep dark business secrets it holds. The basic premise of the book is that most companies have a Red Ocean Strategy. They focus on competing with and dominating their competitors. A Blue Ocean Strategy, on the other hand, focuses on making your competition irrelevant.

Barnum & Bailey, Ringling Brothers and in our market, the Shriners, have competed for decades in a Red Ocean. They spend more and more money to bring bigger names and bigger acts to a shrinking audience. Cirque du Soleil ignores what the traditional circuses are doing, creates new value (mind boggeling, crazy acrobatic stuff) with less cost (no big name stars or exotic critters) and charges more per ticket (Vegas-style), and in the process, makes their competition completely irrelevant.

I can think of a few of you who already employ a Blue Ocean Strategy. Tim with Chauffeurs of Distinction offers his services to executive types & sports stars, and lets everybody else fight over the Bachelor Party Cuervo-Shot Pukers (BPCSPs). David Bell has shifted Gershman Mortgage away from competing for the lowest rate and fees to focusing on education.

Table Topic: I think this is a great topic of conversation, but let’s put a twist on it. Think about your own BOS, but at the meeting, let’s look from the outside in and see if you can come up with any ideas for the person next to you to begin to dial in on his/her BOS.

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