≡ Menu

Blue Ocean Strategy

The Customer Value Attribute Map is an essential tool to help you focus on establishing and maintaining a competitive advantage based on differentiation (i.e being different in ways which matter to the targeted customers.)

It goes by different names:

  • W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne call it the Strategy Canvas in Blue Ocean Strategy, (This is probably the most famous of the names due to the popularity of the book.)
  • Cliff Bowman calls it the Customer Matrix in Competitive and Corporate Strategy,
  • I call a Customer Value Attribute Map (because I feel that’s the most descriptive) and
  • others call it a Customer Value Matrix.

It doesn’t really matter what you call it as long as you use the basic concept to get crystal clear about what particular customer segments or niches want and what you and your closest competitors offer. This way you can see areas where you are better than them, where they are better than you and where one of you offers a unique attribute.

Just don’t confuse it with the Customer Value Map which shows the fair value line of value for money between low price, low value brands and high price, high value brands and where your business lies in relation to that fair value line. [continue reading…]

in 3 – Your Strategic Positioning

The full title of this book by W Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne is

Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing – Proven Steps to Inspire Confidence and Seize New Growth“.

In my review at Amazon.co.uk, I rated the book at the FIVE Stars level, which means that I consider it to be excellent.

Here is what I posted.

A detailed how to guide for developing blue ocean strategies

I’ve been very impressed with the authors’ blue ocean thinking, ever since I read the early articles in the Harvard Business Review. I gave the Blue Ocean Strategy book a five star review.

When the revised Blue Ocean Strategy book was published several years ago, I appreciated the extended text and give it five stars again but I was a little disappointed as well.

I felt the authors would have learnt a great deal about how to find and implement blue ocean strategies and this was missing from that revised book. Finally, the information I wanted is here, in Blue Ocean Shift.

This is a step by step guide on how to look at your existing market position and see the lack of differentiation offered by you and your competitors. The idea is to shock the organisation into recognising the difficulties of red ocean competition. It then takes you through the process of investigating the customer (and non-customer) frustrations that limit or stop buying decisions. Then looking in detail at the different opportunities available before selecting the particular proposition to develop.

While the book is written mainly for large companies, the basic process of how to look at the market and find new opportunities can be adapted to smaller businesses and entrepreneurial start-ups.

The book can be read as a stand-alone guide as it covers the tools in the first book. However, if you want to move in this direction, I think the extra examples provided by the first book will increase your understanding.

It is a very easy decision to give this five stars and I thought it would replace Blue Ocean Strategy in my selection of the 12 best business books for business owners and entrepreneurs. In the end I decided they were part 1 and part 2 of the same book and included both as a combined entity.

It is available to buy from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.

There are many thousand of business books, you can see the full list of my reviews at Business Books Reviews by Paul Simister (Please click). I've also narrowed these down to a list of the 12 Best Business Books For Business Owners & Entrepreneurs (Please click).

Get To Know Me

Paul Simister is a business coach who helps business owners who are stuck or struggling with disappointing marketing, to get unstuck. You can then start attracting, converting and keeping more customers. If your business is based in the UK, you can have a free 60 minutes Business SOS consultation (please click) with me to get you unstuck.

Don't forget to download and read my FREE Report - The SIX Steps PROFIT Formula: The Simple Rules That Every Small Business Owner Needs To Know available to download at Six Steps Report (Please click).

 

in 3 – Your Strategic Positioning, Best Business Books

I have identified a tightly defined business library of 12 great books suitable for entrepreneurs and business owners.

The list will keep developing as I find new books to include but I don’t want the list to exceed twelve books. I’ve read and reviewed hundreds of business books and you can discover the full list at Business Book Reviews including my ratings from 1 to 5 Stars.

Why 12? It’s a book a month and then, in the second year, I recommend you read them again.

If you need helping applying the ideas and your business is based in the UK, it may be time for a complimentary Business SOS.

The Twelve Best Business Books For Business Owners & Entrepreneurs

These are the twelve books I currently recommend most strongly. Below the list, I explain why the books are included. The links take you to reviews on this website and not to Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

  1. The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber – *****
  2. Getting Everything You Can Out Of All You’ve Got by Jay Abraham – *****
  3. The Genghis Khan Guide to Business by Brian Charles John Warnes – *****
  4. The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes – *****
  5. Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch – *****
  6. The Brain Audit By Sean D’Souza – *****
  7. Blue Ocean Strategy by W Chan Kim and Renee A Mauborgne and Blue Ocean Shift by the same authors. – *****
  8. The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard & Spencer Johnson – *****
  9. Profits Aren’t Everything They’re the Only Thing by George Cloutier – *****
  10. Forget the Urgent!: Rather Focus On The Important by Matias Birrell and Javier Arevalo – *****
  11. My provisional choice on the Inner Game (what the business owner thinks and feels) is Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. It’s been a hugely influential book and many entrepreneurs love it although it feels a bit old fashioned to me.
  12. A book about clearer thinking and better decision making. My provisional choice is Thinking Smarter by Michael Kallett.

You can get these from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

[continue reading…]

in Best Business Books

I gave the original version of Blue Ocean Strategy a five star review.

Blue Ocean Strategy Expanded Edition by W Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne

I’m happy to again give Five Stars to this updated version in my review posted on Amazon.co.uk. This means I think it is Excellent and Very Highly Recommended.

Yet I was left feeling disappointed. Read my review to find out why.

Even better and more comprehensive. A great guide to differentiation and finding new markets

I’ve been following the Blue Ocean approach since the authors started publishing articles in the Harvard Business Review in the late 1990s. Even though I had been introduced to some of the techniques before (and seen other versions of the strategy canvas elsewhere in the customer value literature), I loved the original book.

For me, the big question is whether this new version is worth buying if you already have the original? [continue reading…]

in 3 – Your Strategic Positioning, Best Business Books

I’ve been fascinated by the topic of differentiating a business or product/service for more than 20 years and I even have a separate blog called Differentiate Your Business.

Who Should Read This Book ?

  • Business owners and entrepreneurs.
  • Senior executives in big businesses.
  • Product managers and marketing managers in big businesses.
  • Business consultants, coaches and advisors.

Review Of Blue Ocean Strategy by W Chan Kim and Renee A Mauborgne

[continue reading…]

in 3 – Your Strategic Positioning, Best Business Books