Blue Ocean Strategy Q & A

Kim & Mauborgne Answer Your Questions Here

Here W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, the authors of Blue Ocean Strategy, answer some of the most common questions they receive on Blue Ocean Strategy from around the world. We hope these will be of interest to you too!
  • What motivated you to write an expanded edition of Blue Ocean Strategy?

    Kim & Mauborgne: Through both our discussions and research studies with executives and managers who have implemented Blue Ocean Strategy over the years, we noticed that some of the same [...]

    What is new about the new edition of Blue Ocean Strategy?

    Kim & Mauborgne: The original Blue Ocean Strategy stimulated organizations around the world to pursue “blue oceans” of uncontested market space. The expanded edition of Blue Ocean Strategy brings all [...]
  • What is blue ocean strategy?

    Kim & Mauborgne: Blue ocean strategy is the simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low cost to open up a new market space and create new demand. It empowers organizations by [...]

    What are red and blue oceans, and why do you use the colors red and blue?

    Kim & Mauborgne: We use the terms red and blue oceans to describe the market universe. Red oceans are all the industries in existence today—the known market space. In the [...]
  • How does blue ocean strategy fundamentally differ from red ocean strategy?

    Kim & Mauborgne: To sustain themselves in the marketplace, red ocean strategists focus on building advantages over the competition, usually by assessing what competitors do and striving to do it [...]

    Why are so many CEOs focused on the red ocean, while as you’re claiming, the money is increasingly in the blue ocean?

    Kim & Mauborgne: Blue and red oceans have always coexisted and always will. Practical reality, therefore, demands that companies understand the strategic logic of both types of oceans. At present, [...]
  • What makes blue ocean strategy imperative in today’s business climate?

    Kim & Mauborgne: Prospects in most established market spaces—red oceans—are shrinking steadily. Technological advances have substantially improved industrial productivity, permitting suppliers to produce an unprecedented array of products and services. [...]

    Are you saying red ocean strategy is no longer useful?

    Kim & Mauborgne: Absolutely not. It will always be important to swim successfully in the red ocean by out-competing rivals. Red oceans will always matter and will always be a [...]
  • In your research, why did you choose “strategic move” as your unit of analysis instead of the popularly used company or industry? And how do you define strategic move?

    Kim & Mauborgne: When we first asked ourselves if there is a systematic approach to create blue oceans, we began by looking at the basic unit of analysis used in [...]

    Is blue ocean strategy applicable to all types of industries including businesses that are several steps upstream from consumers?

    Kim & Mauborgne: Yes, blue ocean strategy applies across all types of industries from the typical suspects of consumer product goods to B2B, industrial, pharmaceutical, financial services, entertainment, IT, and [...]
  • Is blue ocean strategy only intended for start-ups?

    Kim & Mauborgne: Whereas blue ocean strategies create new market space and change industry dynamics, they are not necessarily initiated by new entrants to an industry. In our work, we [...]