Skip to Content

Blue Ocean Strategy: Mapping the Course to Exceptional Value

When traversing the ocean and uncovering hidden value, it helps to have a map. This helps us keep sight of our destination, any pain points to avoid, and where the hidden value lies.

Mapping the Course to Exceptional Value - Blue Ocean Strategy

Hop aboard the ViaUp explorer. We’ve christened her ‘Opportunity‘. She’s fully equipped to help you navigate and explore the Blue Ocean Strategy created by Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne.

We’ve mapped a course to ensure you reach your destination. By the time we get there, you’ll understand how to uncover and create exceptional value for buyers by identifying and addressing pain points within the market.

Content Summary

Value Is in the Eye of the Beholder
Bed and Breakfast with a Difference
Setting Course on the Blue Ocean

Value Is in the Eye of the Beholder

Businesses often compete over the same factors that they think increase the perceived value of their product or service for their buyers. Usually, they either provide more features or increase functionality, or they reduce the price of the product or service.

But better or cheaper does not necessarily increase buyers’ perceptions of value…

Oftentimes, buyers actually feel they receive little to no value in contrast to the price they pay for the features and functionality they receive.

Hence, the value that each buyer receives is dependent on how useful the features and functionality of the product or service are to the buyer themselves.

A successful blue ocean idea will create exceptional value by identifying and removing the ugly pain points that buyers face.

Pain points are the specific reasons why people are unhappy when they are using the product or services.

By identifying and removing these pain points, businesses can clear the path to create exceptional value for buyers.

So how are pain points addressed within an existing industry?

In this case, we’re going back to 2008 to investigate how Airbnb addressed pain points within their industry.

Luckily, the ViaUp explorer can also traverse the oceans of space and time.

Bed and Breakfast with a Difference

It’s 2008, and two guys from San Francisco, Brian Chesky, and Joe Gebbia, have the exciting idea to link people looking for accommodation with folks wanting to rent out their personal spaces. They are pioneers in what will become known as the ‘sharing economy.

The bed and breakfast industry have a few pain points that keep people out of the market.

To book a bed and breakfast, customers currently have to search many different sources to find the perfect one. They have limited information on location and convenience and there can be concerns with quality assurance and the risks of doing business with small owners.

The current industry demonstrates pain points in the following areas:

  • Customer productivity and purchase
  • Fun/image and use
  • Risk and use

But Airbnb aims to address these pain points. When the company arrives, it provides the most extensive variety in accommodation types and locations; all from a one-stop portal that streamlines research and browsing. It also provides secure transactions and customer reviews, and it gives seasoned travelers authentic local experiences.

What if you had a map that could help you to identify these specific problems with buyer dissatisfaction? What if this map would then, in turn, guide you towards unlocking hidden value and creating new demand?

That’s where the Buyer Utility Map comes in! The Buyer Utility Map is a tool that examines the full range of utility that an offering might provide.

Think of it like a treasure map that helps you to uncover hidden value.

Using the Buyer Utility Map, you can navigate towards identifying and removing the pain points that create blocks to utility. This, in turn, helps identify opportunities that others may have missed, and creates exceptional value for buyers!

Let’s take a look at it using the pain points we identified in the Airbnb story.

Now it’s time to start identifying pain points within your industry.

But first, let’s make sure you understand how to do it.

Buyers receive value when the benefit or utility they receive from the product or service is greater than the price that they pay for it.

Pain points are the reasons why buyers do not receive utility from a product or service, and as a result, there is no value to them, regardless of the price that they pay.

The Buyer Utility Map is a tool that will help you to identify and solve specific pain points that buyers face and create exceptional value.

Setting Course on the Blue Ocean

You should now understand the difference between Red Ocean and Blue Ocean thinking. This gives you an understanding of the direction in which to point your ship. Don’t fret, though! There are important Blue Ocean tools that can help you chart your journey and stay on course!

For an intensive deep-dive into Blue Ocean concepts, methodologies, and access to Blue Ocean Studio, a creative workspace for developing game-changing ideas, head on over to Blue Ocean Academy, the official Blue Ocean learning provider!