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Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant [Hardcover] Paperback – 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (2005)
  • ASIN: B004LSJE4U
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 14.9 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,190,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is an especially thought-provoking book which, as have so many others, evolved from an article published in the Harvard Business Review. According to Kim and Mauborgne, "[in italics] Blue ocean strategy [end italics] challenges companies to break out of the red ocean of bloody competition by creating uncontested market space that makes the competition irrelevant...This book not only challenges companies but also shows them how to achieve this. We first introduce a set of analytical tools and frameworks that show you how to systematically act on this challenge, and, second, we elaborate the principles that define and separate blue ocean strategy from competition-based strategic thought." There are six principles which are introduced and then discussed on pages 49, 82, 102, 117, 143, and 172, respectively.
Frankly, I was somewhat skeptical that this book could deliver on the promises made in its subtitle. In fact, the material provided by Kim and Mauborgne is essentially worthless unless and until decision-makers in a given organization accept the challenge, are guided and informed by the six principles, and effectively use the tools within appropriate frameworks. The responsibility is theirs, not Kim and Mauborgne's. To assist their efforts, Kim and Mauborgne focus on several exemplary companies which have dominated (if not rendered irrelevant) their competition by penetrating previously neglected market space. They include the Body Shop, Callaway Golf, Cirque du Soleil, Dell, NetJets, the SONY Walkman, Southwest Airlines, Starbucks, the Swatch watch, and Yellow Tail wine.
Of greatest interest to me is Kim and Mauborgne's assertion that the innovations which enabled these companies to succeed with a Blue Ocean strategy did NOT depend upon a new technology.
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Format: Hardcover
The authors have published many articles over the last decade on Value Innovation. This is their first book. It summarizes their extensive knowledge on out-of-the-box strategic thinking. I'm looking forward to reading it. This review is based on their article in Harvard Business Review, Oct 2004, on "Blue Ocean Strategy".
What is a BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY? The authors explain it by comparing it to a red ocean strategy (traditional strategic thinking):
1. DO NOT compete in existing market space. INSTEAD you should create uncontested market space.
2. DO NOT beat the competition. INSTEAD you should make the competition irrelevant.
3. DO NOT exploit existing demand. INSTEAD you should create and capture new demand.
4. DO NOT make the value/cost trade-off. INSTEAD you should break the value/cost trade-off.
5. DO NOT align the whole system of a company's activities with its strategic choice of differentiation or low cost. INSTEAD you should align the whole system of a company's activities in pursuit of both differentiation and low cost.
A red ocean strategy is based on traditional strategic thinking - e.g. Harvard's strategy guru Michael Porter - and is what the authors believe you should not do.
A blue ocean is created in the region where a company's actions favourably affect both its cost structure and it value proposition to buyers. Cost savings are made from eliminating and reducing the factors an industry competes on. Buyer value is lifted by raising and creating elements the industry has never offered. Over time, costs are reduced further as scale economies kick in, due to the high sales volumes that superior value generates.
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Format: Hardcover
I have been reading their reviews over the years and its good to see a summary book of their principles of value innovation. Their contextual examples really emphasise their thoughts well and for any practising marketeer, the strategic canvass section is an excellent tool in developing genuine new market space. By identifying key qualities in a market, or consumer need, and then reducing, eliminating, increasing or creating qualities, new market space is found. The end of the book is filler and offers no more insight than many other books on similar subjects - but then at least you only have to read half the book to gets it true value.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
By now (2011) this is known as a 'classic' with its metaphor of both Blue Oceans and Red Oceans for new clear markets or competitor bashing crowded markets. There is a wealth of material and both a theory and lots of cast studies.

I do think a number of the case studies have been fitted to the theory and the authors might have sought out only examples that fit the theory but overall this is a decent read and compelling.

My one observation is that the section on change is rather portable and not particularly Blue Ocean though is a decent essay on change
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Format: Hardcover
The authors have published many articles over the last decade on Value Innovation. This is their first book. It summarizes their extensive knowledge on out-of-the-box strategic thinking. I'm looking forward to reading it. This review is based on their article in Harvard Business Review, Oct 2004, on "Blue Ocean Strategy".
What is a BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY? The authors explain it by comparing it to a red ocean strategy (traditional strategic thinking):
1. DO NOT compete in existing market space. INSTEAD you should create uncontested market space.
2. DO NOT beat the competition. INSTEAD you should make the competition irrelevant.
3. DO NOT exploit existing demand. INSTEAD you should create and capture new demand.
4. DO NOT make the value/cost trade-off. INSTEAD you should break the value/cost trade-off.
5. DO NOT align the whole system of a company's activities with its strategic choice of differentiation or low cost. INSTEAD you should align the whole system of a company's activities in pursuit of both differentiation and low cost.
A red ocean strategy is based on traditional strategic thinking - e.g. Harvard's strategy guru Michael Porter - and is what the authors believe you should not do.
A blue ocean is created in the region where a company's actions favourably affect both its cost structure and it value proposition to buyers. Cost savings are made from eliminating and reducing the factors an industry competes on. Buyer value is lifted by raising and creating elements the industry has never offered. Over time, costs are reduced further as scale economies kick in, due to the high sales volumes that superior value generates.
There are two ways to create blue oceans.
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