Blue Ocean Strategy Case Studies and How to Apply Them to Your Writing

As we’ve explored the differentiation between Blue and Red Oceans, and dissected the meaning of value innovation, take some time to explore what companies have done to create Blue Ocean strategy.

YellowTail is an Australian wine company. When you think of infamous wine regions, you think California, France, and Italy, maybe throw South Africa in there and Chile among others. Regardless, Australia is one of the newer candidates to have entered the ring.

They created a niche by appealing to non-wine drinkers. By reducing acid and tannins, as commonly found in stronger wines such as Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, they created a sweeter, easier to drink wine. It was a novel concept, but they also wanted the flavors to be distinguished enough so that wine drinkers would feel okay about drinking YellowTail at your average dinner. Sure, it wasn’t meant for fancy occasions, but that’s part of what they did. They created a market space all their own to create affordable, yet delectable wine offerings. It worked. In 2005, a total of 11 percent of imported wine into the United States came from YellowTail. Not Australian wines, just YellowTail. Read more about it on The Wine Economist.

The Nintendo Wii wasn’t expected to do great. It was thought to be Nintendo’s continued struggle with Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PS3, that was coming out the same year. Yet it sold incredibly, they could hardly keep up production to meet customer needs.

This is because the Wii created a strategy all their own. Instead of competing for graphics, processors, and video implementation with high definition disc compatibility, it aimed to only do one thing: bring non-dedicated gamers back to gaming.

With family friendly content, and simplistic gameplay, it proved a true competitor in the video game market while PS3 and Xbox went head to head to fight over the existing market. It was a true success case of using simple approaches and doing one thing right, not much else. Instead of trying to create huge innovations all across the board, they aimed to do one thing right. It shows how focus and dedication to perfecting one approach can be remarkably empowering for a brand.

Cirque du Soleil is one of the most often discussed Blue Ocean examples. As they looked at what it would take to succeed, as authors W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne discuss in their book, “The only way to beat the competition is to stop trying to beat the competition.”

Rather than try to make a modified theatrical venue, or modify a circus, they found a new market by combining multiple entertainment mediums to create a truly uncontested experience.

The one common thread all of these companies had is that they saw a need that wasn’t being fulfilled. There were consumers that weren’t partaking in comparable products. By providing new experiences, they captured an untapped market space.

So there are Blue Ocean Strategy examples for you. Are there consumers out there not buying books, or graphic novels that you could try to bring into the market? How will you do so? Find a void in a consumer’s life, fulfill that need, and the market space will be yours to capture with no one to contest you, until everyone tries to catch up. However, at that point, there won’t be a substitute so it won’t really influence your sales.

What is your Blue Ocean Strategy? Chime in with the comments section. The conversation’s always live on Twitter @ThomasAFowler, and keep checking my official website for the latest updates. Thanks so much for taking on the Writer’s Conquest.

Published by thomasafowler

Thomas A. Fowler is the author of nerdy things, entertaining readers by writing primarily science fiction. An award-winning author, he self-publishes some books while pursuing the traditional route with his feature-length projects. Fowler works as a Producer/Project Manager to help pay the bills, especially since he is a father of four. He's had work featured in Buzzfeed, AdAge, Creativity Online, and is a proud Hufflepuff, INFJ, and forever Team Cap!

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