Greenwater Or Bluewater Navy

Here’s an interesting concept I learned courtesy of China’s first aircraft carrier launch. Without any planes. Welcome to the club. Ahem.

The idea is the typical totalitarian game of flex military muscle and generate jingoism, á la 1984. In which ridiculously the only Western player remains America.

If your marine capability is in place purely to protect your coastline, then it is termed Greenwater. If though, it goes beyond this, and seeks a role further afield, for whatever purposes, then it is known as Bluewater.

Apparently there are around 48 landlocked states, although a couple may well have ships for large saltwater ‘seas’ they neighbour. Of the rest, it seems up until now, only Britain, France and America are the bluewater boys.

Business strategists will be familiar with one sea-faring analogy. Blue Ocean Strategy, among other things, promotes the leaving behind of red oceans, filled with the blood of cut-throat competition, and sail instead the new market that you uniquely create of open blue ocean.

A combination of these two ideas is worthy of Sales consideration.

For one thing, it seems a decent term to use rather than the old hunter-farmer demarcation. Your Bluewater operations being new business, the Greenwater looking after the base.

A second strand occurs to me by way of how to get salespeople visualising their product portfolio. Green products are ones every single client should buy. Red are specifically aimed at competitive displacement. Blues are about forging new markets. (You could take this theme a lot further with blends of these as well as brand new colours to).

Both ideas strike me as a neat way of getting salespeople to think a bit differently, and in a winning way.

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