“The only way to beat the competition is to stop trying to beat the competition”

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The only way to beat the competition

Blue Ocean Strategy rocked the business world in 2004 and has continued an impressive sales streak since. In the intervening years Renée Mauborgne, one of the co-authors and a fellow member of the Thinkers50, and I have become friends. In honor of her new book, Blue Ocean Shift, I wanted to share some of what you need to know from her work.

Great strategists do not try to beat the competition – they aim to make the competition irrelevant.

As discussed in Renée’s first book, Red Ocean strategies are those that keep you fighting over limited market share. A company with a Red Ocean mindset seeks to outperform competitors and pursues decisions they believe will give them a competitive advantage, for instance, cutting price. Organizations that stay in Red Oceans will experience declining profit margins, growth, and prospects. In contrast, Blue Ocean strategies are those that seek to create or move companies into markets without competition. Fortunately, Renée laid out a process to find your Blue Ocean strategy.

Market Creation can be achieved through a reliable and systematic process that can be reproduced. 

Like any good business professor Renée isn’t content to say what your end state should be, she also can help you get there. In Blue Ocean Shift, she used her research to create a five-step process for creating new markets for your business, including strategies to create the right team and teaching how to discover the pain points that limit the size of your industry.

A Brand Community is a Business Strategy.

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Much like I discussed with regard to Beyoncè’s immense success, Renée’s work also shows the value that exists simply from building and listening to a community of followers. As she teaches, and as I know from years of doing small data research, the answers to business questions often lie within the conscious and subconscious thoughts of consumers. Connecting with your customers will alter everything about your business.


This post first appeared on LinkedIn on December 18, 2017.

hc_author_1This article is authored by Martin Lindstrom. Martin Lindstrom, one of the world’s premier branding experts, is author of Small Data: The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends. His previous books have been translated into 47 languages and have sold well over one million copies. He was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. In 2016, Thinkers50 named him one of the top 20 business thinkers in the world, and he has been ranked the world’s #1 branding expert for three consecutive years.

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