Blue Ocean Strategy By W. Chan Kim And Renee Mauborgne

1283 words - 5 pages

“The only way to beat the competition is to stop trying to beat the competition.” (Kim and Mauborgne, 2005, 4). Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne explains how to overcome competition by creating uncharted markets. The author, W. Chan Kim, is the professor of strategy and international, management at INSEAD, and the second author, Renée Mauborgne is the INSEAD Distinguished Fellow as well as a professor of strategy and management. The authors use the term “blue ocean” as a metaphor for undiscovered markets. This metaphor is juxtaposed to “red oceans” which signify saturated markets. Although the book contains a good foundation and is well-written, the overuse of anecdotes that trick readers into thinking the strategies are fool-proof, the flaws and self-evident content, and the redundancy of the steps and tools, prevent Blue Ocean Strategy from being a good read.
Blue Ocean Strategy is based on 150 strategic moves spanning more than 100 years that have been studied in over 30 industries. The authors’ objective was to compare successful companies to their less successful competitors to analyse for a trend and common strategy. The result was the blue ocean strategy, which emphasises creating uncontested markets. The book is divided into three parts. The first part of the book explains the “cornerstone” of Blue Ocean Strategy which is value innovation. Kim and Mauborgne say “[w]e call it value innovation because instead of focusing on beating the competition, you focus on making the competition irrelevant by creating a leap in value for buyers and your company, thereby opening up new and uncontested market space” (Kim and Mauborgne, 2005, 12). The authors’ offer readers analytical tools such as the strategy canvas, the four actions framework and the Elimination-Reduce-Raise-Create Grid (Kim and Mauborgne, 2005, 29-37). These tools help companies find untapped markets.
The second and third part of the book take readers through a six step process in order to successfully formulate and execute blue ocean strategies. The first step is reconstructing the market boundaries by dividing the chain of buyers into three groups: users, purchasers and influencers. The next step asks readers to focus on the big picture rather than numbers. The third step is about reaching beyond the existing demand, which is done by focusing on the needs of customers who were previously assumed to belong to other markets. The fourth step is about proper strategic sequence where “companies need to build their blue ocean strategy in the sequence of buyer utility, price, cost, and adoption” (Kim and Mauborgne, 2005, 117). Overcoming key organizational hurdles is the fifth step, such as employees who do not understand or want to be a part of a blue ocean strategy. Finally, the sixth step is building an execution within the strategy. This means having complete transparency within the...

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