Blue Ocean


When it comes to business strategy, finding a unique and untapped market space can be the key to success. This is where the concept of “Blue Ocean” comes into play. Coined by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne in their book “Blue Ocean Strategy,” the term refers to creating uncontested market space where competition is irrelevant. In this article, we will explore the concept of Blue Ocean and how it can revolutionize the way businesses approach their strategies.

The Red Ocean vs. Blue Ocean

Before diving into the details of Blue Ocean, it is important to understand the difference between the Red Ocean and Blue Ocean strategies. The Red Ocean represents the existing market space where competition is fierce, and companies fight for a share of the existing demand. This leads to a bloody “red ocean” filled with cutthroat competition, price wars, and shrinking profit margins.

In contrast, the Blue Ocean represents an untapped market space where competition is irrelevant. Instead of fighting over the same customers, companies create new demand and make the competition irrelevant. This allows businesses to break away from the traditional boundaries of competition and create their own market space.

Examples of Blue Ocean Strategy

Several successful companies have implemented the Blue Ocean strategy and achieved remarkable results. Let's take a look at some notable examples:

Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil revolutionized the circus industry by creating a Blue Ocean. Instead of competing with traditional circuses, which were struggling to attract audiences, Cirque du Soleil combined elements of theater, music, and acrobatics to create a unique and artistic experience. By targeting a new audience segment that valued artistic performances, Cirque du Soleil was able to create a new market space and achieve tremendous success.


Netflix disrupted the video rental industry by introducing a subscription-based model for streaming movies and TV shows. By eliminating the need for physical stores and late fees, Netflix created a Blue Ocean where customers could access a vast library of content at their convenience. This innovative approach not only attracted millions of subscribers but also forced traditional video rental companies to adapt or face extinction.


Apple's introduction of the iPhone is another prime example of a Blue Ocean strategy. While the market was saturated with traditional mobile phones, Apple created a new market space by combining a phone, music player, and internet device into a single product. This innovative approach not only revolutionized the smartphone industry but also allowed Apple to dominate the market and generate billions in revenue.

The Six Principles of Blue Ocean Strategy

To successfully implement a Blue Ocean strategy, businesses need to follow six key principles:

1. Reconstruct Market Boundaries

Instead of competing within existing market boundaries, companies need to redefine them. This involves identifying new customer segments, exploring alternative industries, and challenging traditional assumptions about the market.

2. Focus on the Big Picture

Blue Ocean strategy requires a holistic approach that considers the entire system rather than individual components. By understanding the interconnections between different factors, businesses can create a value proposition that stands out from the competition.

3. Reach Beyond Existing Demand

Instead of solely focusing on existing customers, companies should aim to attract non-customers as well. This involves understanding the barriers that prevent non-customers from entering the market and finding ways to overcome them.

4. Get the Strategic Sequence Right

Timing is crucial when implementing a Blue Ocean strategy. Companies need to ensure that they have the right sequence of strategic moves to create a compelling value proposition and gain a competitive advantage.

5. Overcome Organizational Hurdles

Implementing a Blue Ocean strategy often requires significant changes within the organization. Companies need to overcome internal resistance, align their resources, and create a culture that supports innovation and risk-taking.

6. Build Execution into Strategy

Execution is key to turning a Blue Ocean strategy into reality. Companies need to have a clear plan, allocate resources effectively, and continuously monitor and adapt their strategy to ensure successful implementation.

The Benefits of Blue Ocean Strategy

Implementing a Blue Ocean strategy can bring several benefits to businesses:

  • Reduced competition: By creating a new market space, companies can avoid direct competition and enjoy higher profit margins.
  • Increased customer value: Blue Ocean strategies often focus on creating unique value propositions that cater to unmet customer needs. This leads to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Opportunity for growth: Blue Ocean strategies open up new growth opportunities by tapping into untapped market spaces. This allows businesses to expand their customer base and revenue streams.
  • Enhanced brand image: Companies that successfully implement a Blue Ocean strategy can differentiate themselves from competitors and build a strong brand image associated with innovation and uniqueness.


The concept of Blue Ocean strategy offers a fresh perspective on business strategy, encouraging companies to think beyond traditional boundaries and create their own market space. By implementing the six principles of Blue Ocean strategy, businesses can break away from cutthroat competition and enjoy the benefits of reduced competition, increased customer value, growth opportunities, and an enhanced brand image. Embracing the Blue Ocean mindset can be the key to unlocking new levels of success and profitability in today's competitive business landscape.

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