It can been said that successful business people fall into the category of, “What do you get for the man or woman who has everything?”

Business strategy, marketing, product management executives are busy and often rely on past experience, short articles, or conferences for new ideas and fresh takes on foundational business concepts. Giving brilliant books is an excellent way to show the executives in your life that you understand their objectives and share their passion. Giving the gift of valuable, business-changing ideas is always in style.

The following are three transformative books that every executive, with a stake in marketing, strategy, or product management, should internalize to have seriously successful products and services.

Blue Ocean Strategy
How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant
By W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

How will these ideas help you?
While competitive strategies are important, astounding growth lies, not in your existing market, but in creating new market space (“a blue ocean”), thereby making the competition irrelevant. By investing in the innovation that matters to your market and stripping away the rest, the strength of your product or service will align with where your target audience places value. This book outlines how business leaders can both systematically create wide-open new markets and consistently innovative strategies, as well as how to communicate their vision to the rest of their organization, investors, and board members.

Imagine if IKEA entered the furniture market by openning a typical furniture showroom or by distributing their products through Walmart or Target. IKEA would not nearly have experienced the growth that they have. Recognizing that both high priced, high selection furniture stores and stores in the low price, low selection quadrant were in abundance, IKEA developed a strategy that invested in the areas that mattered to their large target market such as selection, quality, affordability, and a comfortable shopping experience. At the same time, they shifted investment away from the things that their market did not value such as delivery costs, fine materials, and showroom sales people.

Rather than sending idle sales people to hover over you while you browse in hopes of making their commission goals the month, IKEA focused their customer service headcount on answering functional questions about products, helping customers find what they are looking for, and getting customer’s purchases home and set up.

By aligning their innovation and investment with the values of their target market, IKEA was able to avoid competing against the Thomasvilles, Office Depots, and Room Stores of the world, and grow unchallenged in a new market for high-selection, affordable, self-constructed, above average-quality furniture and home accessories.

Get a taste of Blue Ocean Strategy online.

Read part two of this three-part series..

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