Every industry has been experiencing massive, fast, and sometimes devastating changes over the last decade or more. Take Lyft and Uber, for example, and how they’ve upended transportation. Or how Airbnb and the sharing economy have disrupted the hospitality industry, or how Spotify forced Apple to rethink its iTunes business proposition. Apps and mobile devices continue to cause major market shakeups as they either change the way people interact with a market or find their way into new markets. And it’s not slowing down, it’s speeding up!
At SAMC, we are rather passionate about the power of Blue Ocean Strategic thinking. In fact, I recently spoke to the Pennsylvania Petroleum Association on Blue Ocean Strategy, and I was reminded how the theory, methods and tools of this unique business growth approach are so timely for an industry like this. On the one hand, consumers expect vendors to provide them with the services they need when they need them, not when vendors can deliver their home fuel or when fuel trucks can re-fill gas station tanks. On the other hand, the petroleum industry has collapsed over the past decade, shrinking from 12,000 distributors to less than 4,000. Clearly, this consolidation reflects the changing nature of the fuel delivery industry.
But it also reflects the trends that are coming next. WaWa is a perfect example: a gas station with high quality food that also sells gasoline. This dual-service model has enabled WaWa to outsell 7-Eleven stores and even McDonald's. Its secret? WaWa realized that people want quality food fast, but don't necessarily need a drive-up or a place to sit down to eat. By redesigning their operations, WaWa's leadership found their Blue Ocean Strategy and out-performed the rest of the pack, which were still competing over having the best gas prices in the right locations.
What the oil and gas industry is discovering: cars are going to be electric or hybrids, now or soon
The phenomenally successful book, "Blue Ocean Strategy" by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, powerfully teaches business leaders of all stripes how to "go where the profits and growth are and the competition isn’t." Easier said than done, right?
But even if you know what a Blue Ocean Strategy is, and also if you don't, how do you find this untapped market space where nobody else is? Where prospective customers with unmet needs are waiting for you to help solve their problems in innovative ways? These 10 blogs, podcasts and white papers will show you.
Hopefully they will also spark some Blue Ocean "a-ha" moments of your own and open your eyes to all the wonderful growth opportunities that might be right in front of you...if only you could see them. Enjoy.
Great digital marketing campaigns are based upon great content. But as you know, the role of content in SEO power is evolving, forcing all of us to adapt as we try to tell our story to the right audience.
At Simon Associates Management Consultants, we know that great content will always be king. Yet, the delivery of that content has changed over time. Understanding and adjusting to these changes is what will make you a much better digital marketer.
SERPs are the big thing now
There are several things you should consider up front as you evaluate your website, social media and content marketing strategy. Perhaps the most important one is the growing importance of Search Engine Results Pages, or SERPs. I am sure you have seen this on the top of a page. You might even have scored high on one. But most often, between the paid advertisements and the answer to the search question which Google has identified, your website ranking falls well below the hot spot you thought it would be in.
So what’s going on?
What types of innovations open new markets successfully—and help you grow your business by adding innovative value, not just incremental improvements? And a related question: are you just thinking business innovation or doing it?
Blue Ocean Strategy shows you how to find uncontested market space which you can own
Blue Ocean Strategy focuses on unlocking new markets, described as "blue oceans," rather than competing in existing markets, or "red oceans." By creating a blue ocean of new customers, businesses don't compete for a small, highly competitive pool of existing customers.
How are you attracting customers?
At SAMC, far too many of our clients are working with the same customers in the same way they have always done...until something happens and those customers float away.
As we work with our Blue Ocean Strategy clients, we repeatedly see some great "aha moments" when they realize that amazing opportunities are often all around them. All they need to do is recognize them. This typically begins when clients go exploring with us to "see, feel and think" in new ways—and it is that "seeing" part that is so important.
I'd like to share two stories here, each of which are available in more detail in my award-winning book, "On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights."
Recently, we gave a workshop to several dozen CEOs who had less than stellar years. They had their strategic plans in place and tactical actions laid out. Now they were ready to see how their strategies were working for them — or not.
While they could each explain why results were not as strong as expected, what began to dawn on them during our workshop was that part of the problem was their strategy. In each case, it needed to be reviewed and reworked in order for their businesses to get going again.
Need business growth?
You might need a Blue Ocean Strategy.
At Simon Associates Management Consultants (SAMC), we specialize in Blue Ocean Strategy® thinking and in working with companies to redesign their business strategies. Blue Ocean Strategies help companies find unmet needs and add value in innovative ways so that they are not just "another business solution" but the "only solution.” (At least for awhile until others catch up.)
As trained Blue Ocean practitioners with over 350 workshops and dozens of client engagements under our belts, we help companies see how a new approach — Blue Ocean style — can lead them to find new untapped markets awaiting their solutions. Exploiting these untapped markets then leads to business growth, the ultimate goal.
- Blue Ocean Strategy®: A Brief Introduction
- Time to Make the Competition Irrelevant, Blue Ocean Style
- To Capture Men, Healthcare Systems Need a Blue Ocean Strategy®
So, what is Blue Ocean Strategy?
Blue Ocean Strategy is a theory, method and toolkit developed by W. Chan Kim and Reneé Mauborgne and outlined in their breakthrough book, Blue Ocean Strategy. First published in 2005 then republished in 2015 with new information, it has become the core approach we use with our clients, many of whom are literally "on the brink" before getting unstuck and moving ahead in new directions. (You can read more in my book, "On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights.")