Blue Ocean Strategy – Actionable Tools and Frameworks

Blue Ocean Strategy – Actionable Tools and Frameworks

April 25, 2018

In this piece, we share actionable tools and frameworks that can create a Blue Ocean Strategy that can give your company a competitive edge.

Value Innovation

This is the cornerstone of Blue Ocean Strategy. The company should attempt to make their competitors irrelevant. Within this strategy, there should be an equal emphasis on innovation as there is on value.

Here the company should increase value whilst reducing costs. Looking at the possibility of altering the cost structure for company and client (decreasing cost) and simultaneously increase the buyer value.


Strategic Canvas

To move forward with the model, and thus the company’s new Blue Ocean Strategy, the use of the strategic canvas can be one of the most crucial aspects of the planning of the strategy.

The canvas can be split between a diagnostic framework and an action framework.

The diagnostic framework is somewhat of a situational analysis. It looks at the current state of play, what the competitors are doing and investing into, and the competing factors of an industry.

The action framework is the part of the canvas that formulates the offering level that buyers receive across all key competing factors.

Here, the company would start to think about alternatives instead of competitors, to think about non-customers instead of customers.


Four Actions Framework

In short; reducing, eliminating, increasing and creating competing factors are the four choices within the four actions framework.

Your company could reduce certain elements well below the norms of the energy management industry. It could eliminate the elements that aren’t necessary. The firm can look at either reducing or eliminating competing factors from their own current strategy.

The company could raise certain competing elements well above the norms of the industry. Creating new elements that ultimately provide value is a way to enter a new space in the market. Value can be increased by raising or creating competing factors that the industry has never seen.

This, in turn, creates a new value curve that has a distinctive shape against the competitors.

A company can use the Eliminate-reduce-raise-create grid to help with the four actions framework. This is a tool to simply plot the four actions framework and present it in a digestible format.


Six Principles

There are six principles that the company should be conscious of. They are split between formulation and execution principles. They should be remembered throughout the planning and implementation of the model.


Can the company reconstruct market boundaries? Does the blue ocean strategy focus on the big picture as opposed to numbers? Does the new strategy reach beyond existing demand? Does it get the strategic sequence right?


A company needs to overcome organisational hurdles and the execution needs to be built into the strategy.

In terms of organisational hurdles, there are four main components that companies need to be conscious of. Cognitive hurdles (when the company is ‘stuck’ in the status quo). Hurdles due to limited resources (denying the initial change/alteration in strategy). Motivational hurdles are related to the cognitive hurdles in that employees could have little motivation to move out of the status quo. The political hurdles then consist of opposition from powerful interests. The company could plan with all the hurdles accounted for.


3 Important Characteristics

The company should be aware that three characteristics of a good strategy are focus, divergence and a compelling tagline.

These are actionable tools and idea generation processes that can help your company implement a Blue Ocean strategy. Let us know what you think of this piece!

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