Stay out of the red water
The authors of the book The Blue Ocean Strategy are contrasting the wide open waters with the red ocean, the ocean seething with the blood of fierce competitors. They argue that instead of facing competition head on, you should strive to find new, uncharted opportunities.
Their prescription has a lot of overlap with SCAMPER, the ideation technique I have written about extensively in this blog. Ideation isn’t just for fun – it can create enormous opportunities, as the following examples will show.
The Nintendo Wii eliminated (SCAMPER – E is for Eliminate) a lot of the advanced features of other popular consoles like PlayStation and Xbox. It had weaker graphics and processing capability, no DVD or BluRay playback and no internal hard drive.
What it had was family friendly gameplay and an intuitive wireless gesture controller. These differences made the Wii the console for the non-gamer and opened up a whole new market.
Yellow Tail Wines
Establishing a new wine brand is typically an arduous process. Wine connoisseurs seek technical sophistication and an excellent reputation in their choices. At the very least they seek a brand that is freighted with that air of snob appeal.
A new entrant does not have these advantages, particularly a new entrant that comes not from Europe but from Australia.
Instead of competing head on with incumbent brands, Casella Wines pursued a blue ocean strategy, which according to their website was, “to create an approachable wine that everyone could enjoy [and] … demonstrate that wine could be fun, easy to choose, easy to drink and easy to understand.”
They simplified their selection, their labelling, and even used the same bottles for both white and red wines. They also skipped the typical aging process that gives many established wines their distinct aroma and taste. These steps kept their costs low, made their wines simple to choose and easy to drink.
By eliminating (SCAMPER – E is for Eliminate) snob appeal, they created mass appeal.
Cirque de Soleil
The success of Cirque de Soleil can be traced to many innovations, including its use of story and live music.
The master stroke was that eliminating (SCAMPER – E is for Eliminate) animals from the act. Not only are animals extremely expensive to care for and transport, there are many who have misgivings about what they view as animal exploitation.
With the money saved, Cirque de Soleil is able to put on a more choreographed and spectacular show that appeals to a wide audience, including well-heeled adults and corporate clients, instead of the typical family audience.
E is for Eliminate
These are all examples of the SCAMPER principle Eliminate.
I’ve prepared a free guide to producing more ideas than you thought possible to initiate the innovations you need in your job, your business and your life.
Click here to get your free downloadable guide to the SCAMPER’s 7 Powerful Idea Generators, which includes seven examples of idea generation involving Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Delicious!