How to Make Competitors Irrelevant

How can we position our businesses in a way that makes our competitors completely irrelevant? The answer: Avoid the trap of competing like every else.

 

What’s A Blue Ocean and Why Should You Care?

Blue Ocean Strategy was named one of the leading business books of the Century by Financial Times after successfully selling over 4 million copies. The book was based on a study of over 150 of the most significant strategic business moves spanning more than 30 industries over the last 100 years.

The authors of the book sought to answer the question: “Why do some companies succeed in creating new market spaces while others fail?” What they found is that most companies tend to compete in the same overcrowded marketplaces, with identical solutions and value propositions, vying for the same attention and diminishing profits.

What the Blue Ocean Strategy discovered was that the most successful businesses approached their customers in a different way than any of their competitors, and in so doing, made them entirely irrelevant for the marketplaces they serve. The goal of a Blue Ocean Strategy is for organizations to find and develop “blue oceans” (uncontested, growing markets) and avoid “red oceans” (overdeveloped, oversaturated markets).

 

“They’re called red oceans due to the cutthroat competition that results in the blood spilled from rivals fighting over shrinking profit pools.”

A company will have more success, fewer risks, and increased profits in a blue ocean by redefining the way we approach customers.

Change Your Approach to Make The competition Irrelevant:

Taking a Blue Ocean approach means your goal isn’t to outperform the competition, but rather to re-think the old approach everyone else is doing in the marketplace.

We can create new market opportunities by providing a different approach to the industry we serve by becoming the leading platforms of information to the markets we serve.

For example, with the launch of iTunes, Apple unlocked an entirely new market approach in providing access to digital music that has dominated the delivery of music for more than a decade. Apple observed a flood of traffic to file sharing sites that began in the late 1990s, with platforms like Napster, Kazaa, and LimeWire. While everyone else in the music industry fought to stop the cannibalization of physical CD sales, digital music consumption, the consumers preferred continued to grow.

With the democratization of digitally available “free” music, the trend toward digital music was clear. Apple capitalized on the consumer trend with the creation of iTunes in 2003, overcoming the need to purchase an entire CD when consumers only wanted only one or two songs they really wanted.

The value Apple offered attracted customers around the world to adopt iTunes as their preferred platform to consume digital music. iTunes is estimated to account for more than 60 percent of the global digital music download market.

But what does any of this have to do with YOU?

 

Provide More Value to Your Market By Providing More Information

Approach customers the way they consume information. In the information age, how can you produce insights to the customer you want to attract by becoming the go-to source of information in your space?

Instead of creating a website with an about page and a few blog posts, think about publishing the most comprehensive information on how to help most people achieve success in your industry. Most business experts, thought leaders, and influencers are hoarding their information behind paywalls via speeches, books, courses, consulting when 75% of web traffic is consuming free information, 23% are considering solutions. Only 2% of web traffic are active buyers.

Today our websites are designed in the reverse order pitching services to the 2% of buyers and not providing and attracting the other 98% with helpful insights they’re actively seeking.

Up until the digital age, businesses only had to compete on three differentiating factors: Speed, Quality, & Price. But now that’s all changed. Business leaders today also have the added pressure of answering why people should like and follow their content. Today, the most successful business platforms are creating uncontested markets by thinking about themselves as media companies providing the best most comprehensive information on their subject matter they’re passionate about sharing with others. Creating followers who begin to know, like, and trust them.

“You don’t want to interrupt the content that people are trying to consume. Be the content they want to consume. The buyer is in control, but you’re still marketing as if that’s not true.” –Mike Volpe

Once you build an audience, it’s yours. They’re on your channels, your site, and consuming YOUR content. In the past, businesses had to rent attention on other media sites by advertising on them. Today companies have the tools to create our own media sites to attract the customer’s attention.

 

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