There’s an Easier Way to Gain More Customers
Today, countless companies spend an impressive amount of money trying to stay ahead of the competition. They often do whatever it takes to become noticed by customers, decisions that are sometimes based on emotion rather than a proper business strategy. Although sometimes the practices become fruitful, more often than not they result in bloody “red oceans,” in which competition between companies becomes fierce as each company fights for a shrinking profit pool. The key to gaining more customers could be as simple as changing your playing field and strategy.
WHAT IS A RED OCEAN?
A Red Ocean is usually an overcrowded industry with high competition and rivalry between competitors, each searching for ways to attract new buyers. Often, competitors will attempt to generate awareness of what they are selling and create value in one of two ways: spending money on advertising to build more awareness of the brand, or by reducing the cost of their product or service in an attempt to become a low-cost leader in their industry.
The strategy of spending money on advertising has worked well over the years; according to Publicis’ ZenithOptimedia, the total amount of money spent on advertising in 2011 was around $464 billion! For most companies, their marketing budget will not allow advertising at the level of mega-corporations, and even those that do have a hard time keeping up with others in their industry. For example, after spending money of an advertising campaign, it is likely that you competition will do everything they can to produce an even more effective (and often more expensive) ad to cover the effects of yours. Afterwards, you may feel the need to build another campaign, spending even more money, in attempts to stifle the success of your competitor’s ad. This is an example between only two rivals – next, add dozens of other competitors to the mix, and you can start to see what a Red Ocean is. You may end up spending embarrassing amounts of advertising dollars based on emotion, which is usually an ineffective strategy.
What about becoming a low-cost leader in your industry? In an industry with high competition, your first thought may be to lower the cost of your product or service to make your offering more appealing to price-conscious customers. The problem with this strategy is that your competitor may react by lowering their price below yours, and on it goes… With each price reduction, your profit margins become lower until a point where you are selling at-cost or below cost, which is obviously not a very sustainable practice.
BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY
Rather than spending time and resources battling for market share in a bloody Red Ocean, The Blue Ocean strategy focuses on developing an innovative new market without the threat of competition. It sounds overly-simple and obvious, but can take a considerable amount of time and thought to develop a good strategy; you want to create a new market that differentiates your product- or service-offering enough that direct competition is literally eliminated! While this approach may take a different kind of creativity, there are many companies who have benefited from such a strategy, such as iTunes, Barnes & Noble, and Curves. The main idea is to “go where profits and growth are, and where the competition isn’t” (Kim and Mauborgne – Blue Ocean Strategy). A Blue Ocean Strategy can help you attract more customers through effective advertising, increase profit margins, and help to eliminate stress related to high-competition markets.
For more information on how a Blue Market Strategy can strengthen your business, visit www.BlueOceanStrategy.com.
ClientRunner offers an amazing relationship marketing CRM so that you can apply these concepts to your business.
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