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Stop Competing—Start Listening and Creating

Co-author of Blue Ocean Strategy, Rene Marborgne suggests that companies should find their competition irrelevant and that they should not listen to their current customers. This might sound counter intuitive to common business orthodoxy, but what she means is that companies must find ways to create new markets that have not been explored and that they should listen to those who are not customers.

Marborge advises that companies should not let their competition determine the direction of their company and become a “me too” organization. This means following along with industry standards because this has always been the way things are done. Eliminating and reducing common elements of an industry can be met with resistance and Marborgne contends that businesses should change basic assumptions and create new norms. Drybar was created by a hairstylist who flouted the basic norms of hairstyling. Women wanted to feel good about themselves on a regular basis and cutting their hair sporadically was not cutting it. She eliminated hair cutting and the equipment and training associated with it. Specializing in blow drying revolutionized her business and created a new industry of blowout bars around the country.

Another contradictory suggestion is to not listen to your customers. Instead Marborgne reveals that speaking with non-customers is beneficial because those are the consumers that can describe their pain points regarding your company and can give insight into areas that can be addressed to convert them into your customers. ActiFry is a french fry business that broke apart from the french fry industry by asking their non-customers why they did not make french-fries at home. The non-customers pain points included dealing with large amounts of oil, the non-healthy aspects of the food and the arduous cleaning after use. After analyzing these pain points Actifry raised themselves above the industry and created a new system of french fry making that required little oil, making them less unhealthy, and was easier to clean. The result was 40% growth in the french fry market.

Renee Marborgne’s Blue Ocean strategy gives companies the tools to analyze their businesses so they can reduce and eliminate unnecessary aspects that may be industry standards but no longer add value. These companies raise and create products that establish their own markets. By making their competition irrelevant and listening to non-customers who have insight on how to be attracted and engaged, companies seeking Blue Oceans will be more successful in creating their own markets and breaking apart from their industry.

For more oinformation on Rene Marborgne and Blue Ocen Strategy visit: https://www.marieforleo.com/2018/02/renee-mauborgne-interview-blue-ocean-strategy-tips/

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