Blue Ocean Strategy is proving to be an interesting book. I am only about 35 pages into it but it has already captured my attention with the case studies that it uses: Cirque de Soleil and Casella Winery are the first two (appealing to my background as a street performer and winemaker). The thesis of the book is that there are two main types of market strategies – Red Ocean and Blue Ocean. Red Oceans are the standard competitive strategy, a carefully calculated balance between price and value to beat the competition. Blue Oceans are entirely new markets created by throwing out old assumptions and resulting in the ability to drive both price and value together. Cirque de Soleil is given as one example of a Blue Ocean strategy – when Cirque started they did not even compete with Ringling Brothers or other circuses because they opened up a new market (meaning new customers) with a new experience (somewhere between circus and theater). They were able to drive both value for customers and increase price above that of a standard circus.
This is a particularly exciting idea for me at the moment as I am considering a new business venture – although very casually at the moment. This concept of creating a completely new market fits in with the business model that I have been devising with a few close friends. I am not very familiar with standard marketing strategy (other than having read a bunch about technology marketing) so Blue Ocean is both intriguing and challenging for me to read.