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Case Studies by Chan W. Kim and
Renee Mauborgne

64 case studies

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Abstract:
The case narrates Manuel Olave’s blue ocean journey as Rector of the Universidad Privada Boliviana (UPB). After he took the reigns in 1999, enrollment dropped and faculty fled as a result of the unstable economic and political situation in Bolivia. Charged with turning around the struggling university, Olave realized that head-on competition would not help UPB thrive. Instead of benchmarking against leading universities, Olave formed a team to explore growth opportunities, using blue ocean methodologies like the Buyer Utility Map, Strategy Canvas, and ERRC Grid. Based on insights from the blue ocean shift process, UPB made a series of strategic moves to capture untapped demand for higher education that was more affordable and of higher value for students. Two decades later, UPB is ranked the best private university in Bolivia, enrollment is at capacity, and the school is planning a third campus.

Pedagogical Objectives:
• To explore a real world example of how a struggling education institution can turn around based on the blue ocean shift process. • To learn how a noncustomer analysis can help an organization uncover hidden pain points and create new demand. • To understand how a blue ocean leader can galvanize support and build confidence through the blue ocean shift process.

Keywords:
Education, University, Business School, Blue Ocean Strategy, Blue Ocean Shift, Value Innovation, Turnaround, Bolivia, Universidad Privada Boliviana, Upb Bolivia, Evo Morales, Santa Cruz De La Sierra, Latin America, Non Profit

published: 30 Nov 2018

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
Charity fundraising in the UK was a deep red ocean when Comic Relief started. Costs were up and donations were down. To stand out from the crowd, organizations had to work harder at fundraising and marketing. Yet Comic Relief rapidly achieved 96 percent national brand awareness and has now raised over £1 billion without spending anything on marketing. Its flagship event, held once every two years, is almost a national holiday in the UK. The case reveals how Comic Relief redefined the problem of the charity-giving industry - from how to get the wealthy to give out of guilt, to how to get everyone ‘to do something funny for money’ – thus reconstructing the market boundaries. It understood how to create new demand by looking to nondonors and what turned them off (the blocks to giving). In so doing, it erected formidable barriers to imitation – cognitive, organisational, economic and legal. Its enduring success relies on the alignment of its value, profit and people propositions. It can be used to teach the following Blue Ocean concepts: (1) the Buyer Utility Map; (2) the Three Tiers of Noncustomers; (3) Barriers to Imitation; and (4) Disruptive versus nondisruptive creation.

Pedagogical Objectives:
• The central importance of noncustomers as a way to gain insights into how to create new demand and generate new growth. Instead of fighting for a greater percentage of existing donors, Comic Relief looked to noncustomers and what turned them off charitable giving, uncovering the major pain points imposed by the industry. This gave critical insight into how to open up new market space - a blue ocean of noncustomers • Barriers to imitation Barriers to imitation effectively prolong the sustainability of a blue ocean strategy, in this case the alignment of value, profit and people propositions, and cognitive, organizational, brand, economic and legal barriers – keeping challengers for many years. • Market creating-strategies are not synonymous with disruptive creation. Rather than replacing an earlier technology or existing product or service, Blue Ocean Shift | Strategy goes beyond disruption to embrace what Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne call “nondisruptive creation” of a new market and with it new growth. While Comic Relief triggered a measure of disruption, it principally unlocked nondisruptive creation, where its gain didn’t come at the expense of others.

Keywords:
Social Services, Blue Ocean Strategy, Nonprofit Organization, Disruptive Creation, Nondisruptive Creation, Barriers to Imitation, Noncustomers, Market Creating Strategy, Charity, Blue Ocean Shift, Charity Fundraising

published: 29 Oct 2018

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
The case reviews how the Japanese company Park24 reinvented the short-stay parking industry in Japan and expanded it over the years, establishing itself as the unchallenged market leader. Hitherto short-stay parking in Japan was largely provided as a public service. Shortage of land and the high price of real estate explained the severe shortage of city parking space was due to land scarcity and lofty prices of land resources. Park24 saw that the solution was not building gigantic multi-storey car parks but making parking lots available everywhere people went and accessible anytime of the day. Drawing insights from the convenience store industry, Park24 looked for small plots near popular destinations and launched a low-cost, secure and automated parking service called Times. Rolled out rapidly across Japan, it fundamentally redrew the landscape of the short-stay parking industry. Park24’s blue ocean move shows how a nondisruptive market-creating approach can open up new value-cost frontiers, new demand and high growth.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The teaching of this case aims to investigate and discuss how Park24: 1) Gained insight into creating a blue ocean from non-customers of the existing short-stay parking industry and analyzing their pain points. 2) Redrew the landscape of short-stay carparks in Japan by borrowing key elements from the convenience store industry. 3) Redefined the industry problem (parking) and provided a new solution, opening up a huge new market via non-disruptive creation.

Keywords:
Parking Industry, Short-Stay Parking, Unattractive Industry, New Market Space, Market Creation, Blue Ocean Strategy, Blue Ocean Shift, Noncustomers, Demand Creation, Market Reconstruction, Nondisruptive Creation, . Car Sharing, Digital Data, Differential Pricing

published: 22 Aug 2018

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Travel Industry
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
The case is a combination of strategy formulation exercise and case method. It consists of three parts: 1) Part A looks into the competitive landscape of the travel industry in Korea and ends with the challenging question to participants to create their own blue ocean strategy as a group work. 2) Blue Ocean Shift Exercise is conducted in the classroom using the worksheets. It provides detailed information in a pre-set format. Participants follow the process of blue ocean shift using the Buyer Utility Map, the Noncustomer Analysis, the Six-Path Framework, the E-R-R-C Grid, and the To-Be Strategy Canvas to create their own blue ocean strategy. 3) Part B provides an example of creating a new market space in the travel industry in 2012 in Korea—My Real Trip. This theory-based video case narrates how My Real Trip reconstructed the market boundaries and created new demand in the crowded and divided travel industry. The strategic move can be discussed in the classroom accompanied by lecture slides.

Pedagogical Objectives:
1. To show how fierce competition in Korea’s travel industry led to dissatisfied customers and a price war that put local travel operators in financial trouble. 2. Market creation is not entirely driven by entrepreneurship, based on a random, high-risk endeavor, and conducted through trial and error. With market-creating tools and guidance, anybody can make a market-creating move with confidence and creative competence. 3. While the human element is often sidelined in strategy formulation, a Blue Ocean shift emphasizes the importance of building confidence for creating new growth. Without the confidence to act, few will venture down a new path. 4. My Real Trip identified the market problems and solved them in a different way by looking across industry boundaries – and across time. By offering a different degree and kind of value, My Real Trip achieved a Blue Ocean shift, shaping unfavorable industry conditions in its favor. 5. My Real Trip did not replace the existing industry; it seized new growth and created a new market and jobs that did not exist before. This is nondisruptive creation.

Keywords:
Blue Ocean Strategy, Blue Ocean Shift, Sharing Economy, Travel Industry, Korea, Entrepreneurship, Start-Up, Strategy Formulation, Workshop, Market Creation, Exercise, Innovation

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published: 30 Jul 2018

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Automobiles and other motor vehicles
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
Waymo, the self-driving car division of Google, has ordered 82,000 self-driving cars for delivery through 2020. Cruise Automation, from General Motors, is perfecting their own fleet. Countless companies are driving full-throttle into the future. This case explores whether self-driving cars (autonomous vehicles or AVs) are a red ocean or blue ocean opportunity, and explains the difference between technological innovation and value innovation. It will prompt students to think about disruptive innovation and nondisruptive market creation, and why inventors of major technological innovations throughout history have often failed to meaningfully monetize their inventions.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case has proved to be well suited to a discussion of any or all of the following topics: 1. Value innovation (Blue Ocean Strategy, Six-Paths Framework, Kim & Mauborgne’s ERRC framework, Kim & Mauborgne’s Strategy Canvas); 2. Technology innovation, disruptive innovation (How do firms respond to new technology?) 3. Fundamentals of industry change

Keywords:
Blue Ocean Strategy, Disruptive Innovation, Nondisruptive Innovation, Self-Driving Cars, Autonomous Vehicles, Waymo, Uber, Invention, Darpa Grand Challenge, Bmw, Automation, Job Loss, Automobile Insurance, Taxi Services

published: 26 Jun 2018

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Computer software
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
The case describes a series of blue ocean strategic moves made by Salesforce.com in the CRM application market. In particular, the case addresses the concern of business executives over the applicability of blue ocean strategy in the B2B area. B2B managers often find that they are locked into providing products of certain types and specifications to their immediate customers. But in fact, value innovation can take place on the three platforms of a business offering, i.e., product, service and delivery. Salesforce.com’s strategic moves provide an exemplary demonstration of how a company can effectively create and renew its blue ocean in the B2B field by value innovating its single business on the product, service and delivery platforms alternately. The case is accompanied by a comprehensive teaching note that analyzes and explains the key strategic moves of Salesforce.com using major BOS frameworks and tools.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case is intended to demonstrate the methodology for creating a blue ocean for the B2B business. It highlights the importance of value innovating on the three platforms of product, service, and delivery to create and renew blue oceans. Participants are also expected to reinforce their understanding about important BOS concepts and frameworks such as the noncustomer concept, the buyer utility analysis, the six paths framework, and the ERRC analysis.

Keywords:
Blue Ocean Strategy, Value Innovation, Salesforce.com, Social Enterprise Solutions, Cloud Computing, Customer Relationship Management, Business Software

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published: 26 Jun 2018

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
This case is excellent for teaching both MBAs and executives how to create a blue ocean strategy that is hard to imitate and sustainable. It focuses on Wikipedia versus Britannica.com in the online encyclopedia industry. The case teaches participants the importance of aligning the three strategy propositions of value, profit and people around both differentiation and low cost to break the value-cost trade-off and create a blue ocean that is hard to imitate.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case shows participants how to create a blue ocean strategy that is hard to imitate by aligning the value, profit and people propositions using a reconstructionist approach that pursues both differentiation and low cost. In the case of Wikipedia, this alignment allows each strategy proposition to also support and reinforce the other two strategy propositions, resulting in a self-sustaining cycle of growth: as more people are motivated to contribute knowledge, the value of its content increases for the users of Wikipedia, which makes its social impact even greater.

Keywords:
Blue Ocean Strategy, Wikipedia, Three Strategy Propositions, Value Proposition, Profit Proposition, People Proposition, Strategic Move, Online Encyclopedia Industry

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published: 26 Jun 2018

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Entertainment, Circus
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
This is the second of a two-case series. Cirque du Soleil very successfully entered a structurally unattractive circus industry. It was able to reinvent the industry and created a new market space by challenging the conventional assumptions about how to compete. It value innovated by shifting the buyer group from children (end-users of the traditional circus) to adults (purchasers of the traditional circus), drawing upon the distinctive strengths of other alternative industries, such as the theatre, Broadway shows and the opera, to offer a totally new set of utilities to more mature and higher spending customers. The case series is designed to serve a variety of purposes in the value innovation and creating new market space teaching module of an MBA strategy course or executive education programme. The case series can be equally used individually in a standalone module on value innovation or as part of a sequence of three to four sessions. In both instances, the instructor can best use it to cover the following topics: (1) the value innovation logic (as compared to industry and competitive analysis); (2) the concept of value curve; and (3) the six paths analysis for creating new market space. A video called 'The Evolution of the Circus Industry' is available for free faculty download at www.blueoceanstrategy.com.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case series is designed to serve a variety of purposes in the value innovation and creating new market space teaching module of an MBA strategy course or executive education programme. The case series can be equally used individually in a standalone module on value innovation or as part of a sequence of three to four sessions. In both instances, the instructor can best use it to cover the following topics: (1) value innovation logic (as compared to industry and competitive analysis); (2) the concept of value curve; and (3) the six paths analysis for creating new market space. A teaching note is available to accompany this cases series. A video clip free for instructor download is available at www.blueoceanstrategy.com.

Keywords:
Circus and Live Entertainment Industry, Value Innovation, Strategy, Blue Ocean Strategy, Creating New Market Space, Redefining Industry Boundaries, Competition

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published: 26 Jun 2018

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Radio and Television equipment, Computers
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
This case accompanies 1) a collection of business press articles; 2) two video clips; 3) a teaching note; 4) lecture slides. While the case and articles will be assigned as pre-reading, the video clips and lecture slides will be shown in the classroom by the instructor.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case shows how a series of blue ocean strategic moves by Apple Inc. has transformed it from a computer manufacturer into a consumer electronics giant. The aim here is to illustrate how blue ocean strategy concepts, tools, and methodologies are applied in the context of managing business portfolios at the corporate level.

Keywords:
Blue Ocean Strategy, Value Innovation, Apple, Corporate Portfolio Management, Corporate Strategy, Growth, Transformation, Consumer Electronics, Corporate Governance, Value Creation, Strategy and Implementation

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Abstract:
The Blue Ocean Strategy Implementation Scenario Case offers a set of interactive group scenarios which are designed to deepen the participants' understanding of Blue Ocean Strategy implementation principles. Using the five scenarios participants work in teams as they learn to apply key concepts of tipping point leadership and fair process. The five settings (health insurance, manufacturing, government, banking and politics) show how Blue Ocean Strategy implementation principles apply at different organizational levels to overcome the four key implementation hurdles (cognitive, resource, motivational and political).

Pedagogical Objectives:
The teaching objectives are: (1) to deepen participants' understanding of Blue Ocean Strategy principles; (2) to learn how to apply key concepts of tipping point leadership and fair process; and (3) to understand how Blue Ocean Strategy implementation principles can be applied at different organizational levels, and how they can be applied to overcome the four key organizational hurdles (cognitive, resource, motivational and political). A teaching note is available to accompany this case which includes a template for running the breakout groups.

Keywords:
Tipping Point Leadership, Fair Process, Blue Ocean Strategy, Organizational Hurdle, Resource Hurdle, Motivational Hurdle, Political Hurdle, Cognitive Hurdle

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