Blue Ocean Strategy

How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant

by W. Chan Kim , Rene’e Mauborgne

Number of pages: 256

Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press

BBB Library: Sales and Marketing, Corporate Success

ISBN: 9781591396192

About the Authors

W. Chan Kim : W. Chan Kim is the Boston Consulting Group Bruce D. Henderson


Rene’e Mauborgne : Rene'e Mauborgne is The INSEAD Distinguished Fellow and a Professor of


Editorial Review

The dominant thinking of strategy work over the past 25 years has only focused on competition-based red ocean strategies. The result has been a fairly good understanding of how to compete skillfully in red oceans, with tools such as downsizing, differentiation, focus and benchmarking the competition. We rarely find any tools that help create blue oceans. Creating blue oceans has remained wishful thinking. We hope to change that by providing practical frameworks and analytical tools for the systematic pursuit and capture of blue oceans.

Book Reviews

Blue and red oceans have always coexisted and always will. Practical reality, therefore, demands that companies understand the strategic logic of both types of oceans. At present, competing in red oceans dominates the field of strategy in theory and in practice, even as businesses’ need to create blue oceans intensifies. It is time to even the scales in the field of strategy with a better balance of efforts across both oceans. For although blue ocean strategists have always existed, for the most part their strategies have been largely unconscious. But once corporations realize that the strategies for creating and capturing blue oceans have a different underlying logic from red ocean strategies, they will be able to create many more blue oceans in the future." Harvard Business Review

"What if your business could be in a league of its own? Instead of competing with others in your industry, what if you were setting the pace, creating unique products and profiting from lucrative new markets?Generating that kind of environment is the goal of blue ocean strategy, a business theory that suggests companies are better off searching for ways to gain "uncontested market space" than engaging in traditional competition.The term is derived from the book "Blue Ocean Strategy" (Harvard Business Review Press, expanded edition, 2015), by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne. It describes how companies traditionally work in "red ocean"conditions, where businesses viciously fight against each other for a share of the marketplace. Instead, according to the blue ocean strategy, organizations should find a way to work in a marketplace that is free of competitors." Business News Daily

"In their best-selling book,Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant, W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgnepropose a bold new way to think about business markets. It’s a useful read for marketers looking for innovative ways to approach business strategy. The old, standard way of thinking is what the authors refer to as red ocean strategy, where businesses operate within bounded, known market space and engage in bloody competition by trying to best competitors who are basically doing the same thing. Blue ocean strategy, on the other hand, focuses on creating blue oceans of uncontested, new market space and growing untapped demand in spaces where competition is nonexistent because the rules of the game haven’t been set." Envison

"There are two main takeaways from this book; the first is to use the tools as an aid to concentrate creativity where it will make the most difference. The tools encourage this by giving a framework and breaking problems down into easy to handle chunks to create that unique hybrid strategy. The second takeaway is the tools are really good as a visual communication aid especially when communicating complex issues to gain funding or obtaining buy-in from employees. This book is a must read especially if you are planning to change strategic direction."ai:consortia

"After studying 150 strategic moves by companies spanning more than a hundred years and thirty industries, W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne — professors at France’s INSEAD business school and co-founders of the Value Innovation Institute — found that tomorrow’s leading companies will not succeed by battling competitors. Instead they will win by creating “blue oceans” of uncontested market space."

"This is a must read for any business leader who is striving to make their organization REMARKABLE. As the book illustrates, it doesn't matter what industry you're in, how small or large, or the how old or new the organization is - every organization can benefit from the blue ocean strategy."Joe Grant's Blog

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Wisdom to Share

There are several driving forces behind a rising imperative to create blue oceans. Accelerated technological advances have substantially improved industrial productivity and have allowed suppliers to produce an unprecedented array of products and services.

The Red Ocean strategy focuses on the company as the real source of innovation, while the Blue Ocean strategy focuses on the strategic move as the real source of innovation. That’s why red strategic thinking fails while blue strategic thinking prevails.

It is important to distinguish between value innovation, as opposed to technology innovation.

Every great strategy has focus, and a company's value curve should clearly show it.

When a company's strategy is formed reactively as it tries to keep up with the competition, it loses its uniqueness

A good strategy has a clear-cut and compelling tagline.

When a company’s value curve converges with its competitors, it signals that a company is likely caught within the red oceans of bloody competition.

When a company’s value curve on the strategy canvas is shown to deliver high levels across all factors, the question is, “Does the company’s market share and profitability reflect these investments?”

When a company’s value curve looks like a bowl of spaghettiــــa zigzag with no rhyme or reason, where the offering can be described as “low-high- low-low-high-low-high” it signals that the company doesn’t have a coherent strategy.

All industries are subject to external trends that affect their businesses over time. Think of the rapid rise of the Internet or the global movement toward protecting the environment.