Case Study Trailer

Compte-Nickel: Creating New Demand in the Retail Banking Sector

Author(s): KIM, W. Chan, MAUBORGNE, Renée, PIPINO, Mélanie


The case entitled “Compte-Nickel: Creating new demand in the retail banking sector” explains how Compte-Nickel founded a blue ocean in the crowded French retail banking sector by identifying noncustomers and developed a strategy to attract them. The case shows that traditional banks focused on developing financial technology to make their offerings more appealing whereas Compte-Nickel created a blue ocean by looking at the noncustomers the other banks ignored: low income earners and people facing financial exclusion. Creating substantive blue ocean businesses requires companies to look to noncustomers instead of concentrating on existing customers: this is a core foundation of value innovation. Rather than focus on customer differences businesses need to break the cost-value tradeoff by increasing buyer value while decreasing cost. This reorientation allows companies to reach beyond existing demand to unlock a new mass of customers that did not exist in the traditional market.

Pedagogical objectives:

With this case, participants will learn to use four blue ocean strategy analytic tools:

  • The Buyer Utility Map, which helps to think from a demand-side perspective,
  • The Eliminate-Reduce-Raise-Create Grid, which helps focus on which key factors of competition to eliminate, reduce, raise, and create to unlock a new blue ocean,
  • The Strategy Canvas, the central diagnostic tool that graphically captures, in one simple picture, the current strategic landscape and a new blue ocean strategy,
  • And the Blue Ocean Idea Index, a tool that analyses whether the new blue ocean strategy is commercially viable or not.
Case Study
Teaching Note
Lecture Slides

Teaching Materials

Blue ocean pedagogical materials, used in over 2,800 universities and in almost every country in the world, go beyond the standard case-based method. Our multimedia cases and interactive exercises are designed to help you build a deeper​ understanding of key blue ocean strategy concepts, developed by world-renowned professors Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne.
Materials available from Harvard Business Publishing
Blue Ocean Shift | Strategy materials available from The Case Centre
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