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Selected Case

published: 20 Dec 2013

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Medical supplies industry
  • Region: Europe

The case “Rehability (B)” illustrates how one firm created a blue ocean of new market space in the highly regulated and competitive German medical supplies industry in the early 1990s. By asking a different set of strategic questions, Rehability, a German medical supplies company, shifted the focus of the industry and reconstructed market boundaries by looking across the chain of buyers, across the emotional-functional orientation of the industry, and across complementary product and service offerings. In so doing, Rehability was able to uncover and address a whole set of pain points of wheelchair users, create an unprecedented offering for them and at the same time set itself on a growth trajectory even while other medical supply stores and medical supply manufacturers struggled to survive against rapidly deteriorating industry conditions. This two-part case is accompanied by a two-part theory-based movie, which reviews industry conditions and the traditional approach of the medical supplies industry and demonstrates Rehability’s strategic move to shift the orientation of the industry and create a blue ocean. Together the theory-based movie and the case are excellent for teaching both MBAs and executives how to reconstruct an industry through the six paths framework.

Pedagogical Objectives:
• To demonstrates how a company can reconstruct market boundaries and create a blue ocean in a highly regulated industry, where organizations often feel their opportunities for innovation are limited. • To illustrate several key frameworks and tools of blue ocean strategy such as the Six Paths Framework, the Buyer Experience Cycle/Buyer Utility Map, and the Four Actions Framework.

Blue Ocean Strategy, Rehability, Wheelchairs, Medical Supplies Industry, Michael Heil, Germany, European Competitiveness Initiative, European Competitiveness, Europe