Blue Ocean Strategy

Value Innovation & Creating Uncontested Market Space

By Renee Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim

Blue Ocean Strategy is a great exploration of frameworks and tactics for discovering opportunities to create “blue ocean value innovations.” The book combines theory with practical tools and case studies that allow the reader to explore the myriad ways of creating value for customers. As a marketing consultant this book was very useful in helping clients understand how to look at their business with news eyes. The strategy canvas, in particular, has been useful due to its ability to lay out visually strategic differences and similarities between competitors. By mapping features and value points out my clients can see exactly where they stand and make informed strategic decisions.

Each section of the Blue Ocean Strategy offered guidance on particular aspects of what they call “value innovation” that allow the reader to apply the learnings almost instantly to current world problems and business cases. The main foci of the book are as follows:

  1. Create uncontested market space by reconstructing market boundaries
  2. Focus on the big picture
  3. Reach beyond existing demand
  4. Correct Strategic Sequence

While I find the book very useful critics have argued that the research is descriptive not prescriptive and the fact that only one use case (Nintendo) has used the strategies described to create “uncontested market space” lends credence to this criticism. I still believe however that the book offers value to readers seeking to understand more about the strategy behind innovation and provides a good framework to dissect challenges facing businesses in “red oceans” of competition. I would love to hear of more cases where the books frameworks and tactics were used with some success. In short I still feel “Blue Ocean Strategies” is a worth while read and would help any consultant or business leader become more effective in managing innovation.

Please comment below to share your success or failures at using the tools.