How to survive in a red ocean
I am in the textile business, which has long been considered a declining industry. But I dare to say that the textile industry is worth challenging until nudist culture is established as mainstream.
We call a market that is saturated and barely maintains its existence a “red ocean.” But does a blue ocean welcome any participant and guarantee a beautiful future? Ironically, we can still devise a survival strategy in a red ocean.
First of all, we need to maximize the capacity of the organization to attain outcomes at once. Innovative technologies are not enough. There has to be philosophy. I emphasize technology based on love, which can be summed up as a concept of HEALing: human love, earth energy, animal love and live love. Examples include the bioactivity technologies, energy-efficient heating technology and solar energy to replace goose down fill to save the animals.
Second, borrowing an opportunity for growth can be a strategy. Technology to make a drone is different from piloting a drone. Small and medium-sized companies have far inferior human and material resources. They have no tanks and lack guns to fight. But if they can borrow enemy fighters, they can actually fight efficiently.
A company with innovative technology can actually use various infrastructure of global companies for free, and sometimes get paid to do so. Recently, my company exported solar heating technology and instant drying technology to Invista, a U.S.-based textile company. It was a mutually beneficial deal to combine our technologies with Invista’s brand name and marketing network. Korea can transform from a textile technology importer to an exporter.
Third, the opportunities need to be utilized. When drones are simply flown, it is nothing but a mere flying object with better functions than a kite. But a drone can become a weapon when equipped with explosives or a PR tool when an advertisement is attached. The core technology needs to be reinterpreted for various purposes and utilized to create new paradigms.
Until now, functional materials used to be dominated by sports and outdoor gear markets. But Uniqlo broke the convention and added the function on casual clothing. Its Heattech products became popular globally. Uniqlo expanded the possibilities for textile technology to create a new market. Creative economy is the buzzword in Korea. We need to get out of the linear mindset and rule the red ocean with multidimensional ideas.
by Go Kyung-chan, Chief executive officer of fabric developer Ventex