In this post, I break down blue ocean strategy’s six paths framework and cover path 2. We are diving into blue ocean for solopreneurs. Reconstruct boundaries with path 2 of 6.
Today’s translation of Blue Ocean Strategy deals with path 2 of the six paths framework.
Path 2: Look across strategic groups within industries.
In the book, it is noted that most companies seek to bolster their position within the same strategic group. It provides us the example of Mercedes, Jaguar, and BMW all pursuing customers in the luxury category. They don’t spend much time reaching out to those new car buyers in the economy class.
Alternatively, the blue ocean strategy success story provided is Curves, the successful women’s workout facility that began franchising in 1995. They succeeded for a season by virtue of their understanding of why women didn’t always feel comfortable in a traditional gym and how distracted they were working out from home. This lead to the introduction of strategic factors of competition that led to massive franchising and strong growth. It could be argued that Planet Fitness niched down as well with an approach based on no contracts and a compelling culture driven tag-line in “the no-judgment zone”.
In my work with solopreneurs, I find the look across strategic groups is equally compelling.
Sarah is a graphic design pro. She was trained and found compelling work for an agency. After a while, she began to understand the business side of things and found her interest in professional growth and development required a move to self-employment. With her understanding of strategy, specifically Blue Ocean Strategy, she began to look at how customers had traded up away from her previous employer or what drove them to trade down.
Sarah made a move. Through obtaining a certificate in UX/UI her work in graphic design took on a higher-end path. She began consulting with companies on issues around their entire UX/UI Graphic Design project. Her hourly rate sky-rocketed and full price project bids became easier to land.
Through building her strategy canvas and carefully looking across strategic groups within the industry, she was able to add value to her customers and lower her costs of client acquisition.
What are the strategic groups in your industry? Why do customers trade up for the higher group or offering and why do they trade down to the lower offering?
If you struggle with these important questions you’re not alone. Reach out to me, the blue ocean strategist, Sherman G. Mohr for a complimentary discussion. No pushy sales pitch or obligation. Schedule your chat here.
Also, I’m launching a Blue Ocean Strategy for Solopreneurs Mentorship and Implementation Cohort in the next couple of months. If you or someone you know may have an interest in learning more, opt-in to my newsletter or shoot me a message in the contact form.