What is the ERRC framework?
The ERRC Framework is a systematic approach to identify blue oceans. By considering products dimensions, such features or attributes, that you can Eliminate, Reduce, Raise, or Create, you can attempt to identify a new way of competing in a market.
Eliminate: Scrap unnecessary features
The first component of the ERRC framework is to look for dimensions to eliminate. Consider if there are there components that a segment of the market does not value, that you can remove, potentially better alining the product for a segment of the market, while also saving costs in the process.
Reduce: Cut back on other needed features
While there may be some dimensions of the product that you can completely remove, there may be others that you need to keep to an extent. It may for example be an integral component of the product that you can’t simply remove. Consider if these dimensions can still be removed, cutting back on an item that not everyone may fully value.
Raise: Increase traditionally low features
While the first two elements of the ERRC model consider if there are dimensions that you can either get rid of or reduce, the raise dimension is to consider if there are dimensions that you can raise. Potentially you can attract a set of customers that you can gain by doubling down on these dimensions of the product.
Create: Identify new dimensions to compete on
There may also be other new dimensions that you can bring to the product – things that no other firms are already offering. Brainstorming additional dimensions that some customers may value can potentially identify new features to compete on.
Make sure that the features work well together
A key thing to remember with the ERRC Framework is that the new configuration of product attributes must work well together. It is not a case of just finding a new set of attributes, but rather identifying a gap that is attractive for a specific segment of the market – customers who specifically would benefit from the new configuration.
Consider how easy it would be for new firms to imitate your position
A final consideration when using the ERRC framework is whether other firms will be able to imitate your new strategic position. Mobility and entry barriers are important for protecting blue ocean positions. Mobility barriers help prevent other exiting firms from encroaching on your blue ocean, while entry barriers help prevent new firms from entering your market. Consider what challenges there are to other firms being able to copy your position – potentially resources that they would have difficulties acquiring, or incompatibilities that would make it unlikely for other competitors to follow your approach.