Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim
  • Title: Blue Ocean Strategy
  • Subtitle: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant
  • Author(s): W. Chan Kim, Renee Mauborgne
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Year: 2015-01-20
  • ISBN-10: 1625274491
  • ISBN-13: 9781625274496


In “Blue Ocean Strategy,” W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne present a groundbreaking approach to business strategy that challenges the traditional competitive mindset. The authors argue that instead of engaging in cutthroat competition in existing market spaces (red oceans), companies should strive to create new uncontested market spaces (blue oceans). Drawing from a range of industries, the book provides numerous examples of successful blue ocean strategies implemented by companies such as Cirque du Soleil, Southwest Airlines, and Nintendo. Through these case studies and practical frameworks, the authors guide readers on how to systematically analyze existing value and create new value for customers, enabling organizations to stand out from the competition and redefine industry boundaries.

The authors present a comprehensive framework for implementing blue ocean strategies, guiding readers through the steps of reconstructing market boundaries, focusing on the big picture, and identifying differentiation and cost-saving opportunities. They emphasize the importance of value innovation, which involves delivering a leap in value to customers while simultaneously reducing costs. By strategically integrating several key elements, such as the buyer utility map, the strategic canvas, the four actions framework, and the three tiers of non-customers, Kim and Mauborgne illustrate how companies can successfully navigate uncharted waters and differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace. “Blue Ocean Strategy” provokes fresh thinking and challenges conventional wisdom, providing practical and actionable insights for businesses looking to create their own blue oceans of opportunity.

Book Review

“Blue Ocean Strategy” by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne is a thought-provoking and innovative guide to achieving business success. The authors introduce the concept of blue oceans, which represent untapped market spaces with little to no competition. By steering clear of red oceans crowded with rivals competing in existing market spaces, companies can create new markets and thrive with high growth and profit potential.

One of the book’s strengths lies in its extensive use of real-world examples to illustrate the implementation of blue ocean strategies. One standout case study is that of Cirque du Soleil, a contemporary circus company that revolutionized the stagnant circus industry. Instead of competing head-on with traditional circuses, which were stuck in a red ocean of dwindling audiences and fierce competition, Cirque du Soleil created a blue ocean by combining elements of theater and circus arts. They successfully appealed to a broader audience that sought artistic performances in a sophisticated environment. By eliminating certain costly aspects of traditional circuses, such as animal acts, and enhancing the overall customer experience, Cirque du Soleil created a distinct and uncontested space for itself, achieving remarkable success.

Another compelling example is Nintendo, which broke free from the intense rivalry of the video game console market by targeting non-gamers. By designing the Nintendo Wii console to be simple and accessible, and focusing on fun social experiences rather than complex graphics and gameplay, Nintendo created a blue ocean of casual gaming. This strategy enabled them to attract a new segment of customers, including families and the elderly, who were not traditional gamers. The Wii became a worldwide sensation, outselling its competitors and redefining the console gaming market.

The authors provide comprehensive frameworks and tools to guide readers in their pursuit of blue ocean strategies. Key concepts, such as the buyer utility map and the strategic canvas, help companies identify areas where value can be increased for customers while simultaneously reducing costs. Additionally, the four actions framework encourages businesses to challenge industry norms and create unique value propositions. By examining the actions taken by successful blue ocean companies, readers gain a clear understanding of how to apply these concepts to their own industries.

“Blue Ocean Strategy” is an eye-opening book that challenges conventional thinking and urges readers to explore uncharted market spaces. By providing a range of practical examples and frameworks, the authors empower businesses to rethink their strategic approach and unlock new opportunities. Whether you are an established company seeking to revitalize your business or an entrepreneur looking to create a disruptive startup, this book is a valuable resource that can inspire you to chart a successful course in the blue ocean of your industry.

Word Count: 444

Target Audience

The book “Blue Ocean Strategy” by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne is targeted at a wide range of individuals interested in the fields of business, strategy, and management. It is recommended reading for the following audiences:

  • Business Leaders and Managers The book provides game-changing insights into strategy formulation and execution. It encourages business leaders to think outside the box, challenge industry norms, and create uncontested market spaces. Whether you are a seasoned executive or an aspiring manager, “Blue Ocean Strategy” offers practical tools and frameworks that can guide you in identifying untapped opportunities and achieving sustainable success.

  • Entrepreneurs and Startups For those looking to disrupt an industry or create a successful startup, this book illuminates the potential of blue ocean strategies. By showcasing real-world examples, it inspires entrepreneurs to think differently and shake up existing markets. The frameworks provided in the book can help aspiring entrepreneurs identify their unique value propositions and navigate through the uncertainties of starting a new business.

  • Students and Academics “Blue Ocean Strategy” is highly recommended for students studying business, strategy, and innovation. Its practical frameworks, vivid case studies, and thought-provoking concepts make it a valuable resource for understanding strategic management in a dynamic business environment. Scholars and researchers interested in strategy development and disruptive innovations will also find this book insightful.

  • Industry Professionals and Market Analysts Professionals working in industries with intense competition can benefit from this book’s perspectives on creating new market spaces. Market analysts seeking to understand emerging trends and evaluate market opportunities will find the analytical tools and frameworks outlined in “Blue Ocean Strategy” particularly useful.

In conclusion, “Blue Ocean Strategy” is recommended reading due to its ability to challenge conventional thinking and provide a fresh approach to business strategy. Its practical frameworks, supported by numerous real-world examples, make it accessible and applicable to a wide range of readers. Aspiring entrepreneurs, business leaders, students, and anyone looking to revitalize their business or gain insights into strategic innovation will find immense value in this book.