Blue Ocean

Resources, Examples, and Other Tools

In 2005, two professors from the INSEAD business school in France, W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne, compiled a study of strategic moves, spanning more than thirty industries over a period of a century. Their findings were published in their book, Blue Ocean Strategy.

In the last decade, “blue ocean” has become the signature of successful brands. Below are resources and tools you can use on your path to becoming a blue ocean company.

The below resources were compiled by Five Round Rocks based off of the specifications outlined by Kim and Mauborgne.

Blue Ocean Shift Tools

Pioneer-Migrator-Settler Map

Complete the Pioneer-Migrator-Settler Map by identifying the “key businesses or product/service offerings in your portfolio,” followed by “identifying which offerings are pioneers, migrators, and settlers.” Once you have done this, you will be ready to plot your portfolio. – From Blue Ocean Shift, page 91-93.

Download the PDF to complete the Pioneer-Migrator-Settler Map for your business.

Strategy Canvas

The Blue Ocean process for this is to begin by naming the industry you are in. Next, identify the key factors your industry competes on. Decide which key player(s) to compare yourself with. And finally, rate your offering and the best-in-class player’s or players’ along the key competing factors.

Download the Excel spreadsheet to begin creating your own strategy canvas.

Buyer Utility Map

The buyer utility map helps you map where your industry concentrates, as well as how to diverge.

This includes the six stages all buyers will go through in making a purchase, as well as the utility levers you can pull to change how your buyer experiences each stage.

Download the Excel spreadsheet to begin creating your buyer utility map.

New Value-Cost Frontier

The Six Paths to a New Value-Cost Frontier is a practical exercise to finding an undiscovered blue ocean.

“The key to a blue ocean shift is to understand what factors determine buyers’ decision to trade up or down from one strategic group to another.”

Download the PDF worksheet.

3 Tiers of Noncustomers

The heart of blue ocean thinking is about moving out of your current circles. Because your current circles are where the red ocean lives.

This worksheet will help you and your team find your three tiers of noncustomers.

Download the worksheet.

Download Blue Ocean Shift Examples

Further Reading


Here are articles we’ve written that are about (or that coincide with) a blue ocean strategy.