5 Blue Ocean Strategy Examples

The blue ocean strategy is a strategy of avoiding fierce competition. The work is based on more than a decade of research covering about thirty industries over the past hundred years. The authors focused their research on identifying common factors that lead to the creation of blue oceans.

The companies that became the creators of new market spaces did not follow the path of usual competition, they chose a completely different path of development for themselves. Value innovation allows you to create a new market space, generate and receive new demand, destroy the compromise between value and costs, and most importantly, grow without fear of competition.

Many startup founders find it extremely difficult to develop a blue ocean strategy. By the way, there is also a red ocean strategy. In case you apply the right strategy, you will have all the chances to become successful in a mature industry.  If you want some more information about both of the strategies, check out Eleken’s blog.
Since the publication of the first edition of the book, the number of blue oceans created in the commercial sphere, among non-profit organizations and even in the public sector, has steadily increased. Below you will find a breakdown of ten examples of successful blue ocean creation in various industries.

Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil took over the world by storm and created a blue ocean in the circus sphere. In less than twenty years since its inception, the circus has surpassed the historical champions of the circus industry in terms of income. The reason why this development can fairly be considered incredible is that the circus industry was considered almost dying before the advent of Cirque du Soleil.


The strategic moves by Canon, which once created personal desktop copiers, is a classic example of blue ocean strategy building. Before Canon, scanners relied on office purchasing managers for large, durable machines that needed minimal maintenance. Small, compact and easy-to-use, Canon printers created a new market space by focusing on the key competitive advantages that the bulk of customers needed, as well as secretaries who worked with these printers.

The Ford Model T

The 1908 Ford T was a classic example of a blue ocean strategy tool. The company questioned the long-standing tradition of the US auto industry formed during those years. Automotive manufacturers in the United States were creating custom cars at the time. Despite a large number of businesses, the industry was small and unattractive, and cars were unreliable and prohibitively expensive. The company’s success is based on a profitable business model. By creating a standard lineup with limited capabilities and interchangeable parts, Henry Ford’s revolutionary assembly line replaced skilled craftsmen with ordinary unskilled workers, each working on one small task, making production faster and more efficient.


With the launch of iTunes, Apple opened up a blue ocean of a new digital music marketplace that it has dominated for over a decade. Since the 1990s, the music industry has been actively fighting illegal music downloads. An important strategic decision – allowing people to buy individual songs – allowed iTunes to break a key customer frustration: having to buy an entire CD when they only wanted one or two songs on it.

Polo Ralph Lauren

American fashion designer Ralph Lauren created the blue ocean in the haute couture industry by understanding the factors that influence purchasing decisions, which allows him to be attractive to two strategic groups of consumers. Haute couture without fashion, elegant shops, exquisite materials, and the famous name of the fashion designer attract true connoisseurs of high fashion. At the same time, classic lines and prices are attracting buyers from stores such as Brook Brothers and Burberry. By combining the advantages of both categories and eliminating the ineffective factors, Ralph Lauren captured a share in both segments, additionally attracting a large number of other clients.


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