The Blue Ocean Strategy for Beginners

If we talk about innovation, we must always keep in mind the blue ocean strategy. And you may be wondering, what is this blue ocean strategy?

The blue ocean strategy is a business management method whose objective is to achieve new markets and business opportunities rather than continue insisting on destructive competition in already exploited scenarios.

The main objective of this post is to expose the 6 basic principles on which this strategy is based and cite some examples of success stories.

In 2004 the theorists W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne published a book with the title the blue Ocean Strategywhere they defend the importance of innovation when opening new markets, distancing ourselves from the destructive competition that exists in the most exploited business fields.

They raise the possibility of creating a winning strategy based on “non-competition”something that is only possible by exploring new territories, which they symbolize with a blue ocean, contrary to the red one that represents the fierce fight between companies.

Blue ocean

1. Expand market boundaries

The first thing is to expand the market to which we belong, that is, analyze what other business options it can offer us. Markets are not static; They are made to be rebuilt as many times as necessary.

2. Make a strategic map

Next, a plan must be made or map to define the strategy we would follow once we find the business opportunity. This must be done based on the creative potential of our company.

3. Explore other areas beyond current demand

We will begin to explore those areas of the market that no one has entered up to that point or that are not fully exploited. For now it is just a matter of trial and error. Diverge without fear, then the convergence will arrive that marks the path to follow.

4. Design an operation strategy

Once we are sure of the business option and the viability of the market we aspire to, the next step is to design a specific strategy that reflects our offer: product qualities, benefits, utility, price, etc.

5. Solve obstacles

Those responsible for the blue ocean strategy must allocate a series of resources to solve problems that may arise during its execution.

6. Execute the innovation strategy

Finally, we just need to implement our business strategy and evaluate the results obtained. Measure, measure and measure (don't forget!).

Cirque Du Soleil

It is the most used example to explain what a good blue ocean strategy consists of. This circus created a market totally unrelated to circuses, innovating with shows full of music, dance, color and artists. It became entertainment for adults, contrary to traditional circuses in which animals are used for their main shows and are normally aimed at a children's audience.


The French advertising space provider revolutionized the global advertising market when it decided to bet on innovation by providing furniture and maintenance to municipalities so that they could sell advertising space. This increased the exposure time, allowing the content to be fed and sometimes more complete messages to be projected. In this way, at each bus stop you can see modern panels with the most recent advertising. In fact, in some European countries, these panels are tactile and serve as small information kiosks with which people interact and, most importantly, have enough time to capture the message that any company wants to convey.


In the 90s, illegal music sharing began to become a problem. For this reason, programs began to be developed that allowed music to be shared and downloaded for MP3 players, being available to any device for free. However, despite the fact that this harmed the recording industry at the time; Apple decided to innovate with what we now know as the iTunes Store. This virtual store offers more than 8 million songs to be purchased through its store.

And what was its main value at the beginning? Being able to buy just one song, something that was impossible with CDs and on many occasions was a deterrent to purchasing the entire album. This way, you could create your own digital library including only your favorite songs. Currently, the iTunes Store not only offers music, there are also books that can be purchased and kept in digital form.