5 min read

What is Blue and Red Ocean Strategy?

A conversation between Kashi CTO Fitbots and CEO of Oceanforgs, Vinay on Navigating Red Strategy and Blue Ocean Strategies with Data.

World Map

Conversational Insights with Vinay & Kashi (Cofounder Oceanfrogs & Cofounder Fitbots)

Product & markets can be broadly be classified into Blue Ocean & Red Ocean as per Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne.

Overview of Blue & Red Ocean strategy

Blue Ocean Strategy is the holy grail of exploration typically where there is the first-mover advantage with no or little competition. This is often realized with an “AHA” moment, a new invention or insight and few or limited businesses jump to explore and mine the vast potential. Sometimes, Blue Ocean markets/products are faced with a high entry barrier, thus keeping competition at bay. However, with the emergence of technology and globalization, most blue oceans turn red sooner or later.

So, what is this Red Ocean Strategy?

It is all about beating the existing competition in limited (could be large) markets. Just because the market is heavily taped, it does not imply that it is a bad market to be in However, we should be prepared for tough competition to sustain for the long term and survive. The fact nonetheless remains that most existing companies & products today are in the red ocean category.

Do Blue Oceans exist today, despite such a competitive market?

Kashi: Businesses today are surrounded by immense competition & pressure. Can you shed light on whether blue ocean markets really exist?

Vinay: Whatever be the market scenario, we cannot ignore the fact that there always is scope for new frontiers in technology & innovation. People today have moved beyond the stage of discovery to the power of creation. This is a precursor to always creating new opportunities: Blue oceans are constantly being created. At Ocean frogs, we realized that choosing the right place to start is the key to the magic.

The first step toward this is in having an organizational directive with the right OKRs.

At Oceanfrogs we leverage Artificial Intelligence to accelerate the discovery process of mining & identifying potential markets. OKRs help us track progress and achieve outcomes helping teams go about with their game plan on strategy execution. Simply put, we unleash the power of OKRS to prioritize & measure outcomes.

Getting started with Blue Ocean Strategy

Kashi: That’s a powerful way to put it across. Can you throw more light into what aspects of execution can radically change with technology?

Vinay: A lot of time & effort is wasted in data crunching and getting started. People have too many priorities and often what’s on paper never gets executed. This is where Oceanfrogs come into the picture. We accelerate the start with a list and then give you insights into geographic expansion and team intelligence.

Vinay: I see many companies that have this great vision & strategy but fail to execute it right. Kashi, you have been a strategy consultant and technologist. I would love to hear what are some of the key challenges you see & how organizations can succeed. 

Kashi: The first challenge I see are these 3 simple things

  1. Lack of Transparency: Most of the data & thought is held by a selected few but there is an expectation for everybody to contribute. 
  2. Lack of Flexibility & Empowerment: While the failure has its implications there is a lack of flexibility in execution paths. Thus, hindering the discovery process. 
  3. Lack of Alignment, Accountability & Collaboration: This sounds simpler and but is one of the most complicated aspects. Making a shift from focusing on the individual to focusing on the team. Accountability is set with a dual lens—from the team and individual perspective. This becomes the most confusing piece of the puzzle. 

We believe that the most powerful elements of executing the blue ocean strategy and exploration of new frontiers is establishing radical focus toward the set direction with OKRs. And then deep diving into execution using outcome-driven conversations.

How do OKRs & strategy execution patterns change across Blue & Red oceans?

Vinay: Sounds interesting. Kashi, can you throw some light on what kind of Strategy execution patterns play across Blue Ocean & Red Ocean Strategies. Is it so clearly distinct?

Kashi: In my opinion, we may have to coin a new term Grey Ocean strategy to represent the clutter very soon.

But broadly we can see the focus in 2 categories and how organizations rally around them.

Blue Ocean focus

Red Ocean focus

Creation & capturing of demand at the same time.

Optimization & providing more value.

Broadcast existence cast wide nets to catch the fish.

Precision focus to catch the fish before a competition or snatch it back.

Aligning organization around value creation & value showcasing.

Align the organization around strategic difference or cost.

 

In reality, as organizations & services diversify, the strategy could be leaning towards blue or red depending on the product or offering.

Kashi: Vinay, Oceanfrogs caters to both the segments can you take a moment to explain about your amazing deep learning system & what has been your learning. 

Vinay: The first thing we learned is to serve the B2B segment. We continuously require human-assisted labelling which forms the core of our AI & ML engine.

 

Working of AI and ML Engine 

 

We gather data from 4000+ data sources with over 7 million decision-makers to help you drive your sales irrespective of the strategy you choose.

Kashi: Being a strong believer in OKRs, what challenges do you foresee and what do you think helps the most.

Vinay: Focus is the key metric to succeed. With OKR management software & platforms such as fitbots.com, we see the ability to align & focus the entire organization in a simple & powerful manner. The beauty lies in bringing information back to the user when they need it.

Here is a micro peek into how we did it: 

OKRs Summary Metrics

Dashboard of your Assignments and Milestones

Linking of KRs and Objectives

An Overview of your Progress

To quote Lord Kelvin

“If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.”