Posts Tagged ‘blue ocean strategy

27
Oct
09

Words of wisdom

cover[1]sn7926[1]Two of my favorite business books are Blue Ocean Strategy and Groundswell. The first is my recommendation for best book on opening up new markets and the second is the definitive primer on how social media and online communities work to build business.

Taken together, they are a roadmap for brand vitality where the highway is a well crafted business strategy.

In Blue Ocean Strategy, W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne advise companies to stop competing in the bloody, market share stealing “red ocean” and find uncontested market space in the “blue ocean.”  Like Cirque du Soleil.  They eliminated  costly to maintain circus animals, marque names and expensive arena rentals and created their own portable show; one that was fun, family entertainment in the consideration set with dinner and a movie or a night out; instead of a once a year major event.

Recently, I gave a friend a copy to help him rise above his red ocean.  He owned a bike store in town.  For over 20 years, his shop was known for superior service and customer involvement.  This year bike sales slowed, competitors cut prices and his landlord raised his rent forcing him to close up shop.

He saw uncontested space going direct to customers with two well-branded vans.  This took advantage of the reputation he built for personal service.  He generated more awareness from referrals and vans travelling around towns than a stationery store and his operating cost dropped.  Now, he’s back in the black with a reinvented business.

Groundswell by Forrester analysts Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff explains the effectiveness of everything social from wikis, blogs, social networks to brand communities.  They present compelling case studies; all beginning with a company’s unmet business need, social media tactics that meet the business objective and return on investment is well detailed.

Take Blendtec blenders.  They’ve sold exclusively to the commercial market since 1978.  Starbucks uses them.  In 2007, they decided to sell to consumers directly with videos from owner, Tom Dickson.  With an investment of less than $1,000 for videos that ran on YouTube, company sales increased +500%…plus the cost of an iPhone.




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