Blue Ocean


DEFINITION of 'Blue Ocean'

A slang term for the uncontested market space for an unknown industry or innovation. Coined by professors W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne in their book "Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and the Make Competition Irrelevant" (2005), blue oceans are associated with high potential profits.


In an established industry, companies compete with each other for every piece of available market share. The competition is often so intense that some firms cannot sustain themselves and stop operating. This type of industry describes a red ocean, representing saturated market share, bloodied by competition.

To avoid costly competition, firms can innovate or expand in the hope of finding a blue ocean. A blue ocean exists where no firms currently operate, leaving the company to expand without competition.

  1. Perfect Competition

    A market structure in which the following five criteria are met: ...
  2. Market Share

    The percentage of an industry or market's total sales that is ...
  3. Market Saturation

    When the amount of product provided in a market has been maximized ...
  4. Monopoly

    A situation in which a single company or group owns all or nearly ...
  5. Industry

    A classification that refers to a group of companies that are ...
  6. Liquidity

    The degree to which an asset or security can be quickly bought ...
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