The authors of Blue Ocean Strategy are Kim Chan and Rene Moborn, and their book, first published in 2005, became a bestseller and must read for every marketer, director or manager. Exploring over 30 industries, the authors of the blue ocean strategy focused on identifying common factors that give companies the opportunity to escape from fierce competition and find areas where there are no competitors at all and there is the big potential for growth. Chan Kim and Rene Moborn named niches with a high concentration of competition red oceans, and niches without competitors – blue oceans.
The authors concentrate on studying strategies of big players in markets such as Starbucks, Ford, Apple and others. The book includes interesting historical facts and strategy analysis, e.g. the success of Cirque du Soleil or Apple. However, this book will be very useful for many bloggers as well. It will not give you the right plan for your actions, but it will force you to analyse your business environment and show you how to do that to build your own blue ocean and be successful in competitive niches.
While I was reading the book, I had ideas on how to create more boards on Pinterest without being spammy and how to increase the targeted audience for my second blog. The principles the authors describe can be applied to Pinterest strategy, but you need to remember about SEO-optimisation.
Most business experts or bloggers teach you how to analyse competitors in the proper way. So, before writing a blog post, you have probably checked to see what your competitors have already written or have not mentioned yet. However, have you looked at alternative solutions? Have you thought about them at all? Just an example, when you prepare a post about applications that help save money, will you think about those who use the classic way (pen and paper) or use the service of advisors? In case of the first ones, you can design templates and create a dedicated Pinterest board. For the second group, you can research the best advisors and interview them, mention sources of rankings, etc. So, instead of attracting only one segment of readers, you will reach more potential readers, as well as your Pinterest account including 4 boards, e.g. How to Save Money, Applications, Templates, and Best Advisors.
When choosing this route, answer the following questions:
- what businesses are alternative to my activity?
- why do clients choose other solutions?
Another principle says to look into a strategic group in your business. Do you know what influences your clients to buy more expensive or cheaper products? If a person buys a cheaper house, will they pay more if you offer personalised décor? So if your blog is about décor why not try to include information about companies or designers who offer individual solutions? Your readers will save time and get useful information, and you will reach a new group of readers.
Questions to be answered if you are going this route:
- why do clients buy more expensive services or products?
- why are clients interested in cheaper services or goods?
If you offer your service or products to one group of clients, have you analysed other groups? Danish company Novo Nordisk, an insulin producer, initially offered their products to doctors. Then Novo Nordisk decided to focus on patients instead. The manufacturer noticed that patients are uncomfortable with injections, especially when they are away from home. In 1985, Novo Nordisk created NovoPen, which looked like a pen and had a container with insulin. Thus, NovoPen was always at hand, and patients with visual impairment could also use it. Later, the manufacturer developed Innovo, a dosing system with built-in memory, which indicated the date of the last dose and dosage of the drug. Novo Nordisk’s strategy changed the industry, and the company has transformed from an insulin manufacturer to a company that cares for patients with diabetes.
If you want to go this route, you need to answer the following questions:
- what is the buyers chain in my niche?
- what group am I concentrating on?
- if I want to concentrate on other groups, what values can I offer?
If you are a Pinterest marketer, have you considered offering your service to companies that are based outside of your country e.g. the US? Nowadays, many businesses go international, and you can offer not only professional running of their Pinterest account but also knowledge of the market and cross-cultural differences that help companies avoid such pitfalls.
Another way to increase your business is to think about products or services that clients use before or after they use yours. Will you choose a clinic abroad that offers only high-quality treatment or a centre that takes care of your tickets, transfer from an airport or organises your leisure time? If you run a Pinterest account for a health centre, think about additional boards that help your future patients get to know a region, sight-seeing attractions or cuisine. You will get additional traffic to your profile and website, and your patients will feel safe knowing more details about their stay.
If you want to go this route, you need to answer the question:
- What happens before, during, and after clients use my product or service?
These are just a few examples you will find in the book Blue Ocean Strategy. Each strategy is illustrated by a massive number of examples that are also interesting from a historical point of view. This book has helped me create additional boards on my Pinterest account and also discover new channels of traffic to my clients’ websites. I’d like to stress that you won’t find ready to-do plans in the book but if you like creating, thinking and analysing, then the book is definitely for you.
Image credit: IvoryMix – FreePhotos and Stock Photo Membership
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