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ON OUR BOOKSHELF: Blue Ocean Strategy


"Blue Ocean Strategy" by Renée Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim is a captivating and innovative business strategy book that challenges conventional thinking and provides a roadmap for businesses to chart their course to unparalleled growth and success. The book's powerful insights and real-life examples demonstrate how companies can thrive by creating new market spaces and differentiating themselves in a fiercely competitive landscape.

Our review: In a world where companies often find themselves caught in the red ocean of cutthroat competition, "Blue Ocean Strategy" offers a new perspective. The authors encouraged us as readers to move away from the traditional mindset of trying to outperform competitors in the existing market space. Instead, they propose the concept of "blue oceans" - untapped market areas with no of direct competition.

Drawing from a wealth of case studies, the book illustrates how various successful companies, including Cirque de Soleil, Nespresso, Body Shop, Nintendo, and Netflix, have embraced the blue ocean approach to break free from industry norms and carve out unique market spaces. For instance, Cirque de Soleil revolutionized the circus industry by eliminating animal acts and offering captivating human performances, resulting in a new, appreciative audience while generating soaring profits for their shareholders.

Four Actions Framework
Illustrated in the book Blue Ocean Strategy by R.Mauborgne and W.C. Kim

Learning Concept 1: Four Actions Framework

The Four Actions Framework lies at the heart of this strategy, guiding businesses to question industry norms and reconstruct their value proposition. By raising, eliminating, reducing, and creating factors, companies can differentiate themselves, create new demand, and attract a larger customer base. This framework resonates profoundly with the Asian business landscape, which is teeming with emerging markets, a growing middle class, and a burgeoning pool of young, tech-savvy consumers.

The Four Actions Framework challenges businesses to rethink their value proposition by asking four crucial questions:

  • Raise: What factors can you raise well above the industry standard to add value to your customers and differentiate your business?

  • Eliminate: Which factors that the industry takes for granted can you eliminate to reduce costs and focus on what truly matters to your customers?

  • Reduce: What factors can you reduce well below the industry standard to eliminate unnecessary complexities and costs?

  • Create: Which factors can you create that the industry has never offered before to unlock new demand and create innovative value?

MDT Training's founder, Mike Hebert suggests that leaders should "Reflect on their current business model and identify areas where they can apply the Four Actions Framework to set their business apart from competitors and create new value for their customers".

Example of the Value Canvas
An example used to illustrate Cirque du Soleil's Blue Ocean Strategy Value Curve

Learning Concept 2: Craft Your Value Curve: The Value Curve is a visual representation that compares your business's value proposition with that of your competitors. To create your Value Curve, follow these steps:

  • Identify the key factors of competition in your industry (e.g., price, product features, customer service, etc.).

  • Plot your business's performance on each factor compared to the industry standard on a chart.

  • Identify areas where your business deviates significantly from the industry standard and where it excels compared to competitors.

  • Visualize your unique value proposition and areas where you can create blue ocean opportunities.

The Value Curve helps you understand your competitive positioning and highlights opportunities for value innovation.

One of the book's greatest strengths is its relevance to businesses in Asia. With a reputation for manufacturing expertise and a lower labor cost advantage, companies in Vietnam can leverage the Blue Ocean Strategy to develop affordable innovations tailored to the specific needs and preferences of their target markets. Furthermore, the rising trend in innovation within Vietnam aligns perfectly with the book's emphasis on creating tech-driven solutions and fostering eco-friendly initiatives.

For Vietnamese companies looking to expand beyond their borders, the book presents valuable insights into navigating international markets with low competition and high growth potential. The authors emphasize the importance of localized offerings, encouraging businesses to understand cultural nuances and adapt their products and services accordingly to gain a competitive edge in foreign markets.

"Blue Ocean Strategy" is a must-read for business professionals in Vietnam. Its practical frameworks and real-world case studies provide a clear path to success in a highly competitive market landscape.

Don't Wait! The Blue Ocean Awaits:

The time to act is now! Embrace the "Blue Ocean Strategy" and dive into a world of new possibilities. Contact MDT Training today and embark on a transformative journey toward a future of unrivaled success and market leadership.

Take the first step towards creating your blue ocean - reach out to MDT Training now!

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