Introduction: The Blue Ocean strategy is said to be the next big thing in the area of business strategy development. Formulated and researched upon by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne of INSEAD, it was published as a book and subsequently in the Harvard Business Review. The Blue Ocean Strategy looks to make competition irrelevant by developing new market spaces, forming vast stretches of “Blue Ocean” where competitors exist but competition does not. The authors maintain that this can be done only if a company looks to reduce its costs while innovating at the same time and this becomes the basis for our study. As a group we were quite intrigued by this and decided to base our research report on testing this concept. We took three companies from the cyber world, all leaders in their respective areas of operation and those that had formed such blue oceans for themselves, and checked whether these companies encourage an environment of innovativeness and risk taking. This was done using secondary data and checking the kind of organizational culture that the company promoted. Although this would give us only an outsider’s view, it would still be a fairly accurate one. As these companies have already been researched upon by others. If we were able to establish that these companies indeed encouraged risk taking and innovativeness and had thus successfully implemented the BOS, we look to take our study further by identifying three companies who do not have a sizeable presence online but are prime candidates to implement this strategy in cyberspace. As such our hypothesis for the research is as follows, “Companies in cyber space which encourage a culture of innovation and risk taking are prime candidates to implement the blue ocean strategy” Blue ocean strategy – Google When it comes to innovation, Google always comes in our minds, which has changed the definition of a search engine. Founded by Larry Page and Sergy Brin, Google has changed all the rules of the market. Such is its competitive advantage that Google has become a house hold name. If you have any doubt in your mind, just type that into Google and you will get your answers. Now, how can we say that Google used Blue Ocean strategy? Following are some of the points in support of it which will show that Google took risks and stressed on innovations (two key pillars of Blue Ocean Strategy): It did not engage in the massive advertising campaigns typical of so many dot-coms in 1999 and early 2000, relying instead on word of mouth. Hence, it has not been forced into the deep cutbacks that have hurt some of its rivals. Search engines receive much of their revenues from advertising. Some observers say Google has weathered the past years ad slump better than its competitors because it relies on text-only ads linked to keyword searches. This is a growing ad niche because of the strong likelihood the user will be interested in the ad. Google had no restriction for Ad blockers. Google claims to have taken a lot of consideration to allow such extensions to be built by developers. Has Google taken a wild step? Analyst suggests that Google is tied on with their eco-system because they cannot piss off developers the way Apple do. Apple has a revenue sharing option, Google doesn’t have any. But many fear that such extensions could dilute the effectiveness of online advertisement. On the other hand, Google is optimistic about it. Google has reasoned out that market will stabilize itself, and people using those extensions are any way not a fruitful target for advertisers. Hence forth, the balance with strike in coming time. For the facts, recently, Google Chrome surpassed Safari becoming the third most popular browser. Blue ocean strategy – Apple Apple has created a blue ocean for itself setting its own benchmarks. It has achieved so by following the tools to achieve blue ocean environment. 1. Value Innovation Value Innovation is the cornerstone of blue ocean strategy. Value innovation is the simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low cost. Sl.No Awards Winner Runner Up 1 Most Anticipated gadget of 2007 iPhone Sony PSP Slim 2 The Drop Dead Gorgeous Award Apple Mac Book LG Prada 3 Top Commuter Gadget Apple I Pod Archos 704 4 Best Music Gadget Apple I Pod Sonos Bundle 5 The Best Gadget of All Time Apple I Pod Sky+ 6 The Best Download Service Apple I tunes E music The above list of award justifies the innovative approach used by Apple which has made its products a class of its own. The ingredients of Apple's success are: 1) Focus on design thinking 2) Product development strategy and execution 3) CEO as chief innovator 4) Bold business experimentation. Apple has maintained a pricing strategy in accordance with its value proposition. 2. 4 Actions Framework What factors can be eliminated that the industry has taken for granted? At Apple store thirty percent of products are Apple and remaining seventy percent of products are those which support Apple products. Example-Harman kardom, JBL Speakers and over 25000 accessories. Hence Apple was one of the few companies which eliminated the concept of ignoring the complimentary products, infact they emphasized on other products availability to add more value to their products. What factors can be reduced well below the industry’s standard? Promotions – Apple announces it new products on WWDC (World Wide Development Corporation) and it’s an event which is awaited by millions of Apple fan. It’s a three day event where all the new products and products for future are discussed. This is one of the major events for promoting their products. When it comes to Apple Stores opening, the event starts at twelve in the night and goes on till seven in the morning and people wait in lines for hours to enter the store By using this hype they create curiosity amongst the crowd and later on use this to satisfy customers craving to own an Apple product. What factors can be raised well above the industry’s standard? Green Marketing: MacBook is designed with the following features to reduce its environmental impact: Highly recyclable aluminium and glass enclosure Mercury-free LED-backlit display Arsenic-free glass PVC-free internal cables Meets ENERGY STAR requirements Genius Bar-An exclusive executive in every Apple store who answers any question or query regarding Apple product. Hence, making it very convenient for the customers to resolve their issues. What factors can be created that the industry has never offered? Technology Apple has come up with technology which Industry considered ahead of their time. Apple due to its high technological advancements has given industry, products which set new standards and never competed DC Design is an Indian design firm from Mumbai, which is noted for their concept cars and prototypes. The firm, founded in 1993, is headed by designer Dilip Chabaria and under a contract with Ford Motor Company built the first Aston Martin AMV8 Vantage prototype featured at the 2003 Detroit Auto Show. The company also builds custom special order vehicles, such as a modified Porsche Cayenne coupe, and a modified Rolls Royce coupe. Innovation is a key driver for the success of DC design. The company has been known to make some of the most mind - boggling and unconventional designs, which have earned it national and international acclaim. Recently, DC Design was in the news for designing TATA NANO, which carried a price tag of Rs. 1 Cr. The design studio has designed the cars flaunted in many Hollywood movies including James Bond’s, The World is Not Enough and Transporter 3 among others. Innovation is seen as the key to the company’s success. In the words of the company’s founder and chief designer Dilip Chabaria, “ DC Design values out of box thinking as the most important resource of our company, this is what has driven the company in the past and will continue to do so in the future. Technology might touch higher planes but can never surpass the power of the human mind.” We believe that DC Design embraces and encourages risk as a part of their daily business routine. The company’s core business, redesigning cars, itself reflects this. In a country which sees conventional as beautiful, where the highest selling car has been the plain jane Maruti 800, DC Designs has been able to sustain itself and grow making cars which seem impractical and over the top. DC Design is therefore a prime candidate to implement the Blue Ocean Strategy. It comes up good on the two factors that are essential to develop such a strategy and taking into account the entry of global auto designers and the sharp increase in the number of local designers in the redesigned car segment we feel that DC Designs will be able to carve a special market for itself in the online world by implementing this strategy. The company can design a website which promises to make car designing an experience rather than a mundane activity for its clients, which allows them to design their dream cars themselves and get DC to make it for them. Therefore we see a potential Blue Ocean for DC Design in the Online world. Conclusion We have analyzed using different tools that innovation and risk taking are the major factors which a company in cyberspace should consider while creating its own blue ocean. Blue Ocean Strategic planning for a company comprises planning in different levels of an organization. Starting from corporate level to the business unit level, a well designed blue ocean strategy in cyberspace consists of developing the strategies for various different activities keeping in mind the financial performance of the firm, the consumer’s perspective, the internal business of the company and the learning. Now having all these in the right place at various different levels of a firm gives operation and execution of strategy a structured roadmap. Having the proper risk and innovation will not only help the firm to create its blue ocean, but in a long run it may give the company an edge over all other competitors in terms of efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery. Thus, from the above discussion we can see that a blue ocean strategy majorly focuses on planning for the creation of competition free market space by setting strategic objectives and goals which a company in cyberspace wants to achieve in a given period. That is why, it can be said that even though strategic planning for creating a blue ocean in cyberspace may not immediately create a competitive advantage for the firm at a shorter time frame, but looking at the big picture, we can assume that this planning will definitely create the building blocks for success for an organization, therefore assuring the competition free market and gaining sustainable competitive advantage for the future.
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