vSente is a marketing consultancy. We help challenger enterprises wage and win battles for market shares.

Disciplines - Advertising | Marketing | Sales
Competency - Challenge | Defend
Deliverable - Profitable Market Share
Audience - CEO's | Marketing | Sales
Scale - Small | Medium-sized Enterprise
Services - Campaigns | Workshops
Location - San Francisco | London


Join vSente's Campaigner list and get a free download of vSente's Campaign Planner.

This is the generic version of the planner we use for our workshops and campaigns. The planner is in Excel format and includes the campaign worksheet and one-page plan of campaign. Enter your name and email address to join and receive your planner.
If you're responsible for sales or marketing in a small or medium-sized enterprise, then I'd like to invite you to join vSente's Campaigner list. This list is composed of marketers interested in learning more about accountable and effective marketing campaigning techniques.

Weekly we send via plain text email a short description of a competitive marketing tool or technique along with a link to a resource you can download and use. These resources come from vSente's Armory and consist of wizards, manuals, white papers, planners all focused on helping marketing managers battle larger competitors.

The content and resources are free to members of the campaigner list. But should you find yourself engaged in a tough battle for market share against a larger competitor then you will likely gain value from paying for a monthly subscription to vSente's Armory, booking our two-day workshop or engaging us to help with your campaign.

This community is not for all marketers. If you're looking for basic marketing techniques, like trade show tips, writing press releases, designing a flyer, optimizing landing pages, etc. this is not the list for you. On the other hand if you're interested in exploring the underlying dynamics of competitive advantage, then the topics discussed on this list will be of help.

Submit your name and email address above and the link for the planner will be sent immediately to the email address you used to sign up. Then look for a plain text email from vSente weekly.

The Reality and Sustainability of a Blue Ocean Strategy Initiative

The last chapter of Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant (Harvard Business School Press), is dedicated to the topic of sustaining and renewing a Blue Ocean Strategy. Authors W. Chan Kim and RenČe Mauborgne, seem to compromise the main premise of their book by suggesting a successful blue ocean strategy will invite competitors, thereby creating the red ocean they so virulently abhor. Which begs the obvious question - what happened to creating uncontested markets? When confronted with competition the authors counsel abandoning the blue ocean and  innovating new blue oceans. Interestingly, nowhere in the final chapter do they suggest that after going through the process and investment of innovating a blue ocean that the enterprise might stay and aggressively defend that which it created.

Granted, the above can lead to a tedious debate over the definition and timing of sustainability, uncontested and irrelevant. However I will assume that Chan and Mauborgne intended these benefits to be more than fleeting opportunities especially since many of the case studies referenced in the book involved decades of advantage gained by early and mid-20th century enterprises implementing so-called blue ocean strategies.

For the adroit competitor keeping a list of those enterprises implementing a blue ocean strategy might be a lucrative exercise. Once the blue ocean enterprise has done all of the heavy lifting necessary to create a new market, they will be an easy target to attack and dislodge. As we have indicated in other posts the main issue we have with blue ocean folks is their assertion that you can make competition irrelevant in the 21st century.

The reality of any blue ocean strategy is that unlike the 20th century when business cycled at a much slower rate, in the 21st century, any productive blue ocean will quickly fill with competitors. Competition can not be avoided. So be prepared to compete. To engage in head-to-head competition always in search of sustained, profitable growth. You have to fight for competitive advantage, battle over market share, and struggle for differentiation.

Download vSente's Free Campaign Planner to learn more about how we help marketing managers battle larger competition.

Return to the Commentaries Index