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Madagascar 3 - lesson in Blue ocean strategy
Before I begin, I would like to let you know that this piece of article is by no means a movie spoiler. This is just a result of a hot summery evening, the advantage of having a movie theater as a neighbor and truck loads of time at hand. So, Wednesday the 13th proved to be a one and a half hours of complete entertainment for me. Madagascar 3 lives up to its promise of providing a supremely witty, fun filled, action packed animation movie suitable for children and adults alike. Having said that, I would also like to point out that every movie is always a package of entertainment and messages. I must tell you that Madagascar 3 has many. I would just be focusing on one of the many here. Why Blue Ocean Strategy is key for budding business tycoons.
What is Blue ocean strategy?
A concept presented by Kim and Mauborgne, Blue Ocean Strategy aims to create a market space which is uncontested. It aims to focus the attention of firms in making the competition irrelevant and not fighting for market share in an industry with decreasing profit margins.
According to the authors, firms fight against each other in the great battle of market share and create a bloody Red Ocean. This way everyone loses. The advocated idea is that firms should eliminate factors which the industry takes for granted and create new demand. Thus, not going head on with the competition but, creating new market space.
Madagascar 3 is an excellent example of Blue Ocean Strategy. A bunch of familiar animals in their quest to reach their home, New York, join a group of animals who run a circus on their own. These tycoons are fighting a losing battle. All the usual tricks have become old and uninteresting. The audience has got bored of watching the animals do the same thing over and over again. Nothing works for them and the crowd storms out of the circus.
This marks the entry of a fantastic CEO to the rescue, the lion. The lion pep talks everyone into getting rid of their usual boring act and create something out of the ordinary. To achieve what is impossible. The animals use the most superior American technology to the circus. With the use of jet-packs, rocket launchers, elevated rings, vibrant colors, 3D view, a flying circus on a hot air balloon they create a product designed not just for the kids but for the seekers of out of the ordinary. Simply speaking, they take the show to the next level. They change the game entirely.
The movie itself is an excellent example of an animation product, not just for kids but for the adults as well. With humor, mature talk and some serious flirting, the product appeals to adults a lot. I am sure at least 20% of the readers reading this article have a lion, a donkey or a penguin as their profile picture.
Popular examples of Blue Ocean Strategy
There are many inspiring examples of Blue Ocean Strategy. I have picked out the two most popular ones here.
Yellow tail wines
The US wine industry is supremely competitive with wines from across the world fighting massive battles leading to consolidation, buy outs and customers getting confused. Wine manufacturers focused on conventional industry knowledge, churned out products with complex packaging, head spinning variety, extremely wide range, and quality ranging between very aged to very inferior quality wines. An elite wine drinking population was cultivated but the majority found it pretentious, difficult to appreciate and undesirable. They preferred their chilled glass of beer. Casella winesfrom Australia found gold here. They eliminated fancy terminology and aging qualities. They reduced complexities in wine and packaging. They created a product which was easy to drink, easy to select and enjoyable to drink. This created a new market space where consumers could enjoy their wines without being judged or fooled.
Cirque du Soleil
In 1984, Cirque du Soleil created magic. The circus as an industry had lost its sheen. People were bored with the usual tricks; children had other forms of entertainment at their disposal to keep themselves engaged and animal rights department made life hell for circus owners. Cirque du Soleil created something which was never seen before. It was a luxurious experience. As many said, it was a treat to the mind, body and soul. Extremely skilled artists pulled out mind boggling entertainment keeping the aesthetic elements alive. This moved the target segment from ‘just’ the kids, to the money splashing corporate clients as well. Their show has been witnessed by more than 50 million people in over 100 countries.
This was just one of the lessons I learnt. The movie offers much more, pleasant as well as certain unpleasant things which I will ramble about on a different day.