Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne’s Strategy Canvas is a central diagnostic tool and an action framework for building a compelling blue ocean strategy. It graphically captures, in one simple picture, the current strategic landscape and the future prospects for an organization.

blue ocean strategy canvas tool

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What is a strategy canvas?

The horizontal axis on the strategy canvas captures the range of factors that an industry competes on and invests in, while the vertical axis captures the offering level that buyers receive across all of these key competing factors. A value curve or strategic profile is the graphic depiction of a company’s relative performance across its industry’s factors of competition.

The strategy canvas allows your organization to see in one simple picture all the factors an industry competes on and invests in, what buyers receive, and what the strategic profiles of the major players are. It exposes just how similar the players’ strategies look to buyers and reveals how they drive the industry toward the red ocean. Importantly, it creates a commonly owned baseline for change.

The strategy canvas serves two purposes:

It captures the current state of play in the known market space, which allows users to clearly see the factors that an industry competes on and invests in, what buyers receive, and what the strategic profiles of the major players are.

It propels users to action by reorienting their focus from competitors to alternatives and from customers to noncustomers of the industry and allows you to visualize how a blue ocean strategic move breaks away from the existing red ocean reality.

The strategy canvas crisply communicates the four key elements of strategy: the factors of competition, the offering level buyers receive across these factors, and your own and your competitors’ strategic profiles and cost structures.

Strategy canvas examples

See examples of an as-is strategy canvas and how to draw it.


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