Red Ocean vs Blue Ocean Structuralist view Reconstructionist view *Key Determining Factors: Align the whole system of a firm’s activities in pursuit of differentiation and low cost. Align the whole system of a firm’s activities with its strategic choice of differentiation or low cost. Break the value-cost trade-off. Make the value-cost trade-off. Create and capture new demand. Exploit existing demand. Make the competition irrelevant. Beat the competition. Create uncontested market space. Compete in existing market space. Blue Ocean Strategy Red Ocean Strategy
Value Innovation Value innovation places equal emphasis on value and innovation. Value innovation is a new way of thinking about and executing strategy that results in the creation of a blue ocean. The creation of blue oceans is about driving costs down while simultaneously driving value up for buyers. Buyer value is lifted by raising and creating elements the industry has never offered. Costs Buyer Value Value Innovation Cost savings are made by eliminating and reducing the factors an industry competes on.
Six Principles of Blue Ocean Strategy Risk Factor each Principle Attenuates Execution Principles Lowers Scale risk Reach beyond existing demand Lowers Management Risk Build execution into strategy Lowers Organizational Risk Overcome key organizational hurdles Lowers Business model risk Get the strategic sequence right Lowers Planning risk Focus on the big picture, not the numbers Lowers Search risk Reconstruct market boundaries Risk Factor each Principle Attenuates Formulation Principles
The strategy canvas is both a diagnostic and an action framework for building a blue ocean strategy.
Allows you to understand where the competition is currently investing, the factors the industry currently competes on in products, service, and delivery, and what customers receive from the existing competitive offerings on the market.
The horizontal axis captures the range of factors the industry competes on and invests in.
The vertical axis captures the offering level that buyers receive across all these key competing factors. A high score means that a company offers buyers more, and invests more, in that factor.
Example of strategy canvas for Curves :
Reading the Value Curves
The 6 Paths * These 6 assumptions, on which most companies build their strategies, keep companies trapped competing in red oceans. * These 6 paths give companies insight into how to reconstruct market realities to open up blue oceans. Look across time Focus on the same point in time—and often on current competitive threats—in formulating strategy Look across functional or emotional appeal to buyers Accept their industry’s functional or emotional orientation Look across complementary product and service offerings Define the scope of the products and services offered by their industry similarly Look across the chain of buyers Focus on the same buyer group, be it the purchaser, the user, or the influencer Look across strategic groups within industries Look at their industries through the lens of generally accepted strategic groups and strive to stand out in the strategic group they play in Look across alternative industries Define their industry similarly and focus on being the best within it The New 6 Paths Old Way of Thinking
Conceiving New Market Space
Through reconstructing existing elements across industry and market boundaries, companies can free themselves from head-to-head competition in the red oceans.
This table summarizes the six-path framework:
Four Steps of Visualizing Strategy 1. Visual Awakening 2. Visual Exploration 3. Visual Strategy Fair 4. Visual Communication Go into the field to explore the six paths to creating blue oceans. Observe the distinctive advantages of alternative products and services. See which factors you should eliminate, create, or change. Distribute your before-and-after strategic profiles on one page for easy comparison. Support only those projects and operational moves that allow your company to close the gaps to actualize the new strategy.
The process which builds on the six paths of creating blue oceans and involves a lot of visual stimulation in order to unlock people’s creativity has four major steps.
See where your strategy needs to change. Compare your business with your competitors’ by drawing your “as is” strategy canvas. Get feedback on alternative strategy canvases from customers, competitors’ customers, and non-customers. Draw your “to be” strategy canvas based on insights from field observations. Use feedback to build the best “to be” future strategy.
Four Actions Framework To break the trade-off between differentiation and low cost and to create a new value curve, there are four key questions to challenge an industry’s strategic logic and business model This question forces you to consider eliminating factors that companies in your industry have long competed on. This question forces you to determine whether products or services have been over designed in the race to match and beat the competition. This question pushes you to uncover and eliminate the compromises your industry forces customers to make. This question helps you to discover entirely new sources of value for buyers and to create new demand, and shift the strategic pricing of the industry. Use these to determine how to drop your cost structure Reduce Which factors should be reduced well below the industry’s standard? Eliminate Which of the factors that the industry takes for granted should be eliminated? Raise Which factors should be raised well above the industry’s standard? Create Which factors should be created that the industry has never offered? A New Value Curve
The Eliminate- Reduce-Raise-Create Grid Eliminate Reduce Raise Create
Pioneer, Migrator, Settler Map Pioneers : businesses that offer unprecedented value. These are the blue ocean strategists, and they are the most powerful sources of profitable growth. Migrators : businesses offer improved value, but not innovative value. These are the businesses whose strategies fall on the margin between red and blue oceans. Settlers : businesses whose value curves conform to the basic shape of the industry’s. Settlers will not generally contribute much to a company’s future growth. They are stuck within the red oceans.
All the companies that created blue oceans have been pioneers in their industries, not necessarily in developing new technologies but in pushing the value they offer customers to new frontiers.
Three Tiers of Noncustomers First Tier Noncustomers These soon-to-be noncustomers are those who minimally use the current market offerings to get by as they search for something better. Second-Tier Noncustomers This tier of noncustomers are people who refuse to use industry’s offerings as an option to fulfill their needs but have voted against them. Third-Tier Noncustomers These noncustomers have never thought of market offerings as an option. By focusing on key commonalities across these noncustomers and existing customers, can help to understand how to pull these customers into the market.
Sequence of Blue Ocean Strategy 1. Is there a compelling reason for the mass of people to buy it? If not, park the idea, or rethink it until you reach an affirmative answer. 2. Is your offering priced to attract the mass of target buyers so that they have a compelling ability to pay for your offering? If it is not, they cannot buy it. 3. Can you produce your offering at the target cost and still earn a healthy profit margin? Can you profit at the price easily accessible to the mass of target buyers? When the target cost cannot be met, you must either forgo the idea because the blue ocean won’t be profitable, or you must innovate your business model to hit the target cost. 4. What are the adoption hurdles in rolling out your idea? Adoption hurdles include potential resistance to the idea by retailers or partners. It is key to address adoption hurdles up front. 1. 2. 3. 4.
The Six Stages of the Buyer Experience Cycle Customer productivity Simplicity Convenience Risk Fun and Image Environmental friendliness 1. Purchase 6. Disposal 5. Maintenance 4. Supplements 3. Use 2. Delivery The Six Utility Levers The Buyer Utility Map : outlines all the levers companies can pull to deliver exceptional utility to buyers as well as the various experiences buyers can have with a product or service.
Buyer Experience Cycle At each stage, managers can ask a set of questions to gauge the quality of buyers’ experience. Each stage encompasses a wide variety of specific experiences.
Uncovering Blocks to Buyer Utility
To test for exceptional utility, companies should check whether their offering has removed the greatest blocks to utility across the entire buyer experience cycle for customers and noncustomers. The greatest blocks to utility often represent the greatest and most pressing opportunities to unlock exceptional value.
This shows how a company can identify the most compelling hot spots to unlock exceptional utility:
Price Corridor of the Mass In setting a price, all companies look first at the products and services that most closely resemble their idea in terms of form. The second step helps managers determine how high a price they can afford to set within the corridor without inviting competition from imitation products or services.
Profit Model of Blue Ocean Strategy This shows how value innovation typically maximizes profit by using the foregoing three levers. To hit the cost target that supports that profit, companies have two key levers: One is streamlining and cost innovations, and the other is partnering. When the target cost cannot be met despite all efforts to build a low-cost business model, the company can use a third lever, pricing innovation, to profitably meet the strategic price. A company begins with its strategic price, from which it deducts its target profit margin to arrive at its target cost.
Blue Ocean Idea Index (BOI) Other companies Companies should build their blue ocean strategy in the sequence of utility, price, cost, and adoption, these criteria form an integral whole to ensure commercial success. The blue ocean idea index provides a simple but robust test of this system view. Having passed the blue ocean idea index, companies are ready to shift gears from the formulation side of blue ocean strategy to its execution.