If you’re frustrated with the never-ending battles with the competition, the tugs-of-war, the see-sawing of market supremacy, this could be the answer.
It happens in most industries … a swarm of companies fight head-to head for the same market, offering the same product or service, with little or no differentiation, in the hope to increase market-share and profits.
Price wars. Profits plummet.The battleground gets bloody.
Add to that, the effects of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). Markets are dwindling so everyone’s slice of the pie is getting smaller. The poorer performing companies go to the wall. The better performing ones continue to fight it out at reduced margins.
What to do?
Re-invent your company, “create” a new market and make the competition irrelevant.
In the book, Blue Ocean Strategy, the authors, W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne talk about the power of this strategy and label it the “Blue Ocean Strategy”.
Here’s an example of that …
Before Cirque du Soleil came along, how popular were travelling circuses? They weren’t, were they (unless you think way back to the 1950’s and 60’s).
The circus market is shrinking dramatically. When Cirque du Soleil began, their choice was to create yet another circus like Ringling Bros or Barnum and Bailey, and fight head-to-head with these well-established brands, over a dwindling market, or think differently.They decided to think differently.
They re-invented the circus so it offered some of the glitz and glamour of theatre combined with the breathtaking feats of circus.
In turn, they created an entirely new market space that appealed to a whole new group of customers, at a whole new price point. They weren’t in competition with the established circuses. In fact, they weren’t in competition with anyone.
Cirque du Soleil succeeded because it realised that to win in the future, companies must stop competing with each other.
The key to high profit growth is to identify untapped market space then create the demand.
Let’s look at another industry … aerobics. Aerobics had been around since the 1980’s and was getting boring.
Enter Bikram Choudrey. Bikram created a new and controversial style of yoga which is performed in 40 degree temperatures and offers high calorie burn. It created a new market of people who wanted to improve their fitness but dislike the heart-pumping aerobic-style activities at gyms, as well as people who like the health benefits of yoga but would prefer something a little more active. Bikram Yoga has now created a sensation around the world with thousands of centres open worldwide.
I for one, absolutely love Bikram Yoga but you wouldn’t catch me dead at a fitness centre doing Body Jam classes.
Small businesses in virtually any industry can benefit from re-invention using a “blue ocean” style approach.
In fact, I’ve had the privilege of seeing and being involved in the positioning and marketing of “blue ocean style” strategies with many of our clients. For instance, back in the 90’s, Warwick Lindsay of Duco Magic saw the need for people to get small paint chips and scratches repaired on their vehicles without going to the expense of a Panel Beater.
They created an entirely new market with their paint chip repair service. For the most part, it didn’t compete with Panel Beaters because the types of repairs they did, were small repairs that they wouldn’t approach a Panel Beater for. Today, they get referrals from panel beaters.
So what can you do?
For a start, think beyond existing market demand. What other markets could your product or service appeal to if you gave your product or service a new twist?
Cirque du Soleil = circus combined with theatre and appeals to theatre-goers.
Bikram Yoga = yoga + calorie burn and appeals to fitness enthusiast/gym goers.
Duco Magic = affordable paint repair which appeals to a car detailing market.
If you’d like help with that marketing brainstorming and re-invention process or simply to develop a stronger Unique Selling Proposition, give our office a call. We’d be thrilled to be involved in the process.
Kristina Mills is a highly regarded direct response copywriter, marketing strategist, entrepreneur and success strategist having worked with and produced great results for some of Australia's most inspirational entrepreneurs, speakers, event companies, professional services firms, property companies, and internet entrepreneurs. She is the author of Invisible Genius Vol1 and 2, Freelance Copywriting Fast Track Course, Direct Mail Mastery, Web Copy Mastery, Invisible Genius Vol.1 and 2, Mortgage Broker Letters that Sell, Real Estate Letters that Sell, How to Create a Sales Explosion With Every Ad and Letter Your Write. To find out more about how Kristina can help you live your potential, arrange a free 15 minute phone chat.