Red oceans and blue oceans

In the last post about a shop diversifying into bags, I mentioned the book Blue Ocean Strategy and promised a little more detail about it. We’ve done this before but we’re doing it again because it’s a concept every textile shop owner should understand.

In essence it’s about moving out of intensely competitive, crowded markets (red oceans of bloody competition) into less crowded, less competitive markets (blue oceans) and making the most of them before they too become red oceans.

The T-shirt printing industry is a red ocean. If you doubt that, just Google “T-shirts” and scroll through the 1,780,000,000 (yes, that’s heading for two billion) entries. Screen-printed bags too will become a red ocean as the market created by the banning of plastic bags attracts competitors but for now it’s a relatively blue ocean when compared with the T-shirt market.

Since most markets are bound to eventually become red oceans (some quite rapidly so in our commoditized economy) an astute business owner has to constantly be on the lookout for blue oceans. This is why the book is worth reading. If reading isn’t your thing, download the audio version. But one way or another give some attention to the red ocean / blue ocean concept.