Monday, November 18, 2013

Blue Ocean Strategy: From Circus to Spectacle

When I hear about the blue ocean strategy my mind immediately forms images of the unique and wonderful shows that have made Cirque Du Soleil a brand.  Theirs is one of the cleverest strategies that completely revolutionized a much unexpected industry.  The idea came from ordinary individuals that built an enterprise when the circus industry was on a steep decline, consumers barely cared about it anymore, and animal friendly societies would only make things harder for the standard circus format to thrive.




Cirque Du Soleil reinvented the concept of the circus; they immersed themselves in an unexplored market segment by creating an innovative spectacle, unknown to the audience, and bringing a new type of show to life [1].

Strategic Thinking
The secret in their success was their strategy.  They chose not to enter the price competition and instead, chose to a “let’s not compete” strategy.  This was accomplished by finding a new market segment with no competitors and in which it would be difficult to be compared with other players.  Their success is clear as they not only stand out as a new concept of a circus, but they created an entirely new type of show.  This resulted in a rapidly growing fan base, which made them highly profitable and quickly weakened competition [2].

Blue Benefits
Some of the major advantages of adopting a blue ocean strategy have been:
  • Gaining and maintaining loyal costumers
  • Generating jobs with a lot of opportunities for growth
  • New target market – The circus is not just for kids, the shows are even tailored to appeal an older audience
  • Cost reduction – Traditional, non-value-adding circus elements were removed (i.e.: animals)
  • A new show – The most value-adding aspect; they reinvented and optimized traditional circus’s elements and incorporated elements of theatre, ballet, and even Broadway shows
  • Organizational culture – They created a culture of innovation, attention to detail, and a great sense of family

The implementation of their strategy not only reduced costs, but it also added more value for consumers.



Cirque Du Soleil is comprised by an entire ensemble of elements: performers, costumes, lighting, dance, music; all perfectly harmonized into making theirs a new spectacle for the audience that touches on feelings and emotions.  Everyone can be surprised by seeing a person do a balancing act on a cord, but this is what acrobats have been doing for years now.  However, when you throw the right lighting, costume, and music, that ordinary act transforms into a whole new show that touches on the spectators’ sensibility.  Their success is clear and so is the strategy, yet we don't hear from other competitors adopting or trying to imitate.  Why do you think that is? How has le Cirque managed to monopolized this industry?



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By Elisa Taymes

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