ERIC: Using Blue Ocean Strategy to deliver spectacular returns

14th October 2022

ERIC: Using Blue Ocean Strategy to deliver spectacular returns

Inspire is a digital disruptor evolving and deploying World Class competition and management strategies to produce stunning results for our clients and making their competition irrelevant.

We do this by evolving the Four Actions Framework (ERRC), part of the Blue Ocean Strategy toolkit. This approach inspires our team and clients to think outside the box and look at challenges from several angles.

We lead the way in our sector by following the same proven framework employed by Marvel, Nintendo, Cirque du Soleil and many others.
But following this framework is not sufficient, so Inspire has evolved it.
While listening to Fife Chamber Premier Partner David Smith of Henderson Loggie at their Business Leader Group eulogising the benefits of EERC, I was reminded of why this has been a core part of my career for almost 20 years, and how it’s become an integral part of what Inspire does.

What is ERRC?

The ERRC (Eliminate - Reduce - Raise - Create) Framework is a core component of the Blue Ocean Strategy, which was developed by world-renowned management theory thinkers Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne.

As an analytical tool, it can be used by companies in any industry. It encourages them to eliminate and reduce unnecessary elements of their business whilst raising and creating aspects that will drive the company forward. These actions will then promote long-term growth and success.
The key principle behind ERRC and the Blue Ocean Strategy is to think outside the box. It encourages business owners to challenge the pre-disposed notions of their industry, arriving at a new "Blue Ocean" of opportunity from the "Red Sea" of survival in existing markets. We will explore this concept further in a later e-shot.

Evolution of a Profound Truth

Being dyslexic, I struggled to remember 'ERRC'. I also saw an opportunity for that model to be improved and evolve. After some thought, I retitled 'ERRC' and called it 'ERIC', making it fit for purpose for Process Improvement, Website Reviews and New Product Development.

How we use it at Inspire

At Inspire, one of our Core Values is Respect. And a key part of that is valuing our clients' budgets to offer the best possible return on investment.

Typically, a client brief is to improve their website. For many in our sector, this means a refresh of the look and feel of a website. Unfortunately, the laziest and most common approach within our industry is to show the client several examples and ask which one they like.

In these cases, the provider is often using a standard template library, like the hundreds of examples you can find at Theme Forest.

Regrettably, a template is exactly that: it doesn't take into account the many aspects that separate you from your competitors. Ultimately, your website is your way of communicating your offering to the world, and should reflect your values, ethos and business model.

This is why we discourage the use of templates as much as possible. Yes, the alternative means the effort is higher and the process can be very challenging and longer. But our experience has shown us the returns are spectacular.

Our team always uses the ERIC approach to guide this process.
Intrigued? Get in touch to know more about ERIC

Step 1. Eliminate

Each website page needs to have a purpose/objective and stakeholder map.

Once that is understood, we identify what doesn't contribute to the objectives and eliminate it from the site. Perhaps there are:
  • Too many distracting marketing messages being offered?
  • Maybe there is a clickable email at the top of the page - a bad choice, since these can't be tracked by the website as a genuine enquiry and will likely be lost in the ether
  • Social media links at the top of the page, leading to a reduced conversion rate (as the user leaves your website and then gets caught up in reviewing their social profiles, forgetting why they came to you in the first place)
  • An overwhelming load of messages, images and pop-ups, making the user swiftly exit your site

Stripping the site down and analysing the primary goal helps us to eliminate all the elements that distract users from the main objective.

Remember that humans are easily distracted and overwhelmed. Our ability to make a decision becomes reduced when we are overloaded with choices, leaving us less likely to make a final choice or take decisive action. This is known as OVERCHOICE and is an essential aspect of intelligent marketing and having a lean process.

Step 2. Reduce

Now that we've analysed the website and scrapped the unnecessary features, it's time to streamline the strategy further by looking at what can be reduced or even re-prioritised on the page.

It always helps to refocus on the number one priority and then reduce all the things that take users further away from that goal. For example, a service might not need to be eliminated entirely, but its presence could be reduced, helping attract customers to the services that were identified as more important or more valuable.

Re-prioritising your content, on the other hand, will allow YOU, the business owner, the opportunity to showcase what makes you money, giving it greater prominence over less profitable services.

Step 3. Improve

The next step in our ERIC approach to reviewing a website focuses on the principle of improving.

The idea here is to improve the factors that are key to the business and connect them to the primary goal of the site.

Say, for example, a dentist is focused on providing high-quality dental implants. This is the service they're best known for and is where a large chunk of their revenue comes from. It makes sense, then, to have this service improved so that it's immediately visible and made prominent throughout the site.

By doubling down on the feature or service that is most important for the business (or product), users will be clearer about what is being offered and will be more drawn to the primary action that we want them to take.

Step 4. Create

This step is all about adding value.

On a website, this could be something as small as a new icon highlighting a qualification, or a testimonial or case study video with glowing customer experiences.

In previous e-shots we’ve covered Google’s E-A-T, Experience, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness expectations, and the create step is no different.
For a process, it could be simply ensuring the right data is being captured for management information purposes.

When it comes to the fourth step of the ERIC process, one should always be creative but logical. For us, this means following an approach that isn't common in our industry but as a consequence isn’t one being followed by your competitors.

Could ERIC help your business achieve its goals?

By using the ERIC Framework, businesses can instil a culture of creative and analytical thinking in their workforce.

Whether it's to enhance your internal working practices or improve the way your business deals with external projects, the ERIC Framework can ensure a fresh approach is taken in the areas that matter most.

Stand apart from your competition and raise your working standards by experimenting with the ERIC Framework. It could be the kickstart your business needs to freshen things up and produce fantastic results in the long term.
Best regards from
David Dwyer
Director - Inspire Digital

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