The blue ocean is an open market free of competitors. The red ocean is a crowded market filled with competitors, or sharks, constantly attacking one another. The barbaric nature of competition leaves businesses bleeding, and oceans red. So business strategists Renée Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim wrote a whole book about the importance of finding a blue ocean.
“The only way to beat the competition is to stop trying to beat the competition.”
In saturated markets, its hard to compete on much more than having the lowest price. And as an artist, I would bet that you don’t want to just compete on price–you probably want to compete on the creativity and quality of your artistic abilities. This is where the blue ocean comes in. If you can find a new ocean to swim in, you don’t have to worry about other sharks, other competitors, driving down your price. Your value stands so far apart from competitors, that you’re in an ocean of your own. Of course, easier said than done. Finding a blue ocean isn’t easy, otherwise everyone would do it–and that would defeat the purpose.
The first step in finding a blue ocean is understanding what’s already happening in the marketplace. Ever think of an awesome invention, only to find out that its already been invented? Don’t let that happen to you in your artrepreneurial journey. Do your research to understand what other people/companies are doing, and think about how you can offer a value that’s truly different.
The authors of Blue Ocean Strategy urge readers to look beyond demand that already exists and think about how new demand can be created. Sometimes people want something that no one offers. Sometimes people don’t even know they want something until someone else offers it to them. New demand can come from many places. Think about how you can “innovate” your value to help create a blue ocean, free of competitors.
What do you think about the “blue ocean strategy”? Would you like to read more about the tools that are presented in the famous book? Leave a comment below.
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