I don't want to go into too much detail about niche markets and market share and all those kind of business strategy. That can wait for another time, what I do want to cover is a different way of viewing the market place and how it has helped new business grow and create new opportunity.
Whilst on an international training program somewhat like an MBA, I had the amazing opportunity to Study at a number of Universities including Stanford University (who ran the program). I was then fortunate to meet the Authors of Blue Ocean Strategy, W.Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne. If you've never heard of the book or read it well its worth the time.
The book looks at how you make the competition irrelevant. One of the key parts of Blue Ocean Strategy is the "Four Actions Framework", in this you look at a current offering and follow these 4 points
1. Reduce - Reduce the parts of the current offering below the industry standard , the things that people are not really bothered about.
2. Create - Create factors that the industry has never offered
3. Raise - Raise or increase above current industry standards
4. Eliminate - Remove the factors the industry takes for granted and that should be eliminated.
By following the above you can not only gain customers from the current industry , but attract new customers to your offering.What does that all mean I can hear people asking the question so some examples are required to make it relevant and easily understood.
A great example is Cirque du Soleil if you've never seen a show I can recommend truly great experience. Cirque du Soleil was entering a space occupied by the circus industry. They followed the 4 steps ,
1-Eliminated star performers, animals ,multi-show arena
2. raised - Unique venues ( Albert hall as an example , was a great show)
3. Reduced - Humor, Thrill and danger
4. Created - Theme , refined environment , multiple productions , Artist music and dance (they don't use language as such so anyone can watch and enjoy)
These changes from traditional circus also attracts another kind of customer, those looking for entertainment such as cinema and theater.
There are loads of examples to Blue Ocean , Budget airline, Hotel chains such as travel lodge just look how they have changed their industries with the 4 steps. There is obliviously more than the 4 steps but it give you a flavor.
I look for blue ocean strategy in other business, I am group Leader at 4n leamington Spa breakfast .
Let's look at 4N is that Blue Ocean?
1. Eliminate - Forces referral and attendance
2.Raise - Introduce a 4sight slot not a sales pitch but informative, motivating
3. Reduce - Reduced the corporate approach making it more human, friendly
4. Create - Introduced a passport system where your not restricted to any one meeting making it flexible
So if you're looking to enter a crowded market re- thing your strategy don't just emulate what's already there create your own "Blue Ocean"