Why is it called 'Blue' Ocean Strategy?

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Blue Ocean Strategy > Best Practices > Why is it called 'Blue' Ocean Strategy?

Why is it called 'Blue' Ocean Strategy?
Samir, Student (MBA), India, Member
I would like to know meaning of 'blue' and its meaning when we refer to Blue Ocean startegy. Why it is called blue and not yellow, purple or white?

Why 'Blue' Ocean Strategy?
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
It's always nice to see someone questioning what seems obvious. Or as George Bernard Shaw said: 'The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man'.
I think the meaning of 'blue' in Blue Ocean strategy is simply 'clear'. I associate blue water with clear water, with nothing in it... - no competitors.
But maybe someone remembers what Kim or Mauborgne themselves have said about this?

Why Blue Ocean Strategy is Called 'Blue'...
R.F.E. Peters, Student (Other), Netherlands, Member
What Kim or Mauborgne exactly said or thought I don't know. But I'll try to clear this question for you.
Jaap was going in the correct direction. Follow the theory of the Blue Ocean strategy. Imagine that markets with many competitors are "red oceans" where the competitors fight each other as sharks for just that one tiny bit of space. The term "red" then refers to the "ocean" (market) colored red from the blood that flows from these "fights".
When a niche market is found (according to the strategic graph etc. from the theory of the Blue Ocean strategy) and the company who found it starts in this market, then it creates a blue ocean, as Kim and Mauborgne suggest. The term 'blue' here refers to a beautiful, clear and competitor-free ocean where no blood has flown.
Does this clear your question? Feel free to ask further:-).

Why an Ocean is Blue...
aissa Hireche, Professor, Saudi Arabia, Member
@Editor: Red ocean is called 'red' because of the red 'blood' of the competitors. This refers to battles and wars. Blue Ocean is called 'blue' because an ocean is usually blue, and because "blue" means calmness and serenity.

The Blue in Blue Ocean Strategy
Augustine Manyau, Student (MBA), Zimbabwe, Member
The Editor, Peters and Aissa have thoroughly explained the colour blue in Blue Ocean strategy. To add on, you can think of creating your own Blue Ocean by making anything that creates a utility that no one has been making before.
Even in your house there could be a tool that could help ease certain processes but no one has made it. You may then feel certain that a lot of people will like it. Then proceed and invent and create a new market (blue ocean) where there is no competition.
So blue means to think of increasing the cake rather than to try and grab the biggest piece of an existing pie.

Meaning of 'blue' as I Feel it....
Samir, Student (MBA), India, Member
How about this: blue ocean is an analogy to describe the wider, deeper potential of market space that is not yet explored.
Blue oceans, denote all the industries not in existence today the unknown market space, uncontested and untainted by competition.
In blue oceans, demand is created rather than fought over.
There is ample opportunity for growth that is both profitable and rapid. In blue oceans, competition is irrelevant, because the rules of the game still need to be set.

What Blue Ocean May Denote
Moses Omondi, Manager, Kenya, Member
To add on to Aissa's view in terms of colour management, BLUE always denotes calmness, stability, certainity and assurance of sorts, whereas RED always denotes ''danger" creating the impression that you must run for dear life, you must fight it out, nothing will come easy, it may blow out on you anytime etc.
Red is therefore an indication of dangerous waters or business grounds to do business, while blue indicates a nice world where it's possible to do good business.

What the Blue Color May Mean Also
aissa Hireche, Professor, Saudi Arabia, Member
Effectively Blue Ocean strategy is a matter of finding undisputed markets and creating demand. This refers to the industries not yet in existence. But I think that the blue color doesn't mean this. The blue color refers to the freedom we obtain after breaking the rules and, exactly like the boat when it goes away, the firm becomes able to establish new marks for market.

Blue Ocean Strategy
rafael angel calvo arguedas, Business Consultant, Member
@Augustine Manyau: Analyzing your example a little more, your venture will begin as a "BOS" and in most cases it will migrate to a "ROS", that is if "the business" worked out to be successfull. Then many other firms will like to join in to take a piece of the cake, effectively changing your blue ocean into a competitive, bloody, red one over time.

From a Blue to a Red Ocean Market
aissa Hireche, Professor, Saudi Arabia, Member
@Rafael angel calvo arguedas: Exactly. For example if we look at the smart phone market we find that it was a new market or a blue ocean at the beginning and now it's a red ocean because there are many strong companies in this profitable sector.

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