Ah, another story of blue and red — and no, we don’t mean politics. We’re talking about Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant (Harvard Business School Publishing). Authors W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne use a “blue ocean” metaphor to symbolize smooth, calm waters where winning companies sail and prevail, as opposed to those bloody “red oceans,” where too many rivals are locked in mortal combat over too few customers and dollars.

The authors argue that real winners don’t exhaust precious capital by duking it out over existing territory; instead, Zenlike, they reach beyond existing demand, remake market boundaries, and create new territory, as did Cirque du Soleil, Apple’s iTunes online music store, Australia’s Yellow Tail wines, and Curves, the no-frills chain of fitness centers for women.

Blue Ocean raises pertinent questions — for example, why do most companies tend to focus exclusively on existing customers rather than converting noncustomers? — and delivers valuable answers.