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Strategy Canvas

Take a snapshot of the market – then discover how to break free

The strategy canvas is the starting point for a strategy that enables you to break away from traditional competition and identify new market spaces and ways to conquer them.

Illustration Strategy Canvas

The central diagnostic and action framework used in Blue Ocean Strategy, it serves two purposes:

  • To capture the current state of play in the known market space, which allows you to clearly see the factors that your industry competes on, and where the competition currently invests
  • To propel you to action by reorienting focus from competitors to alternatives and from customers to non-customers of the industry.

The horizontal axis captures the range of factors that your industry competes on and invests in, while the vertical axis captures customers’ experience of the industry across these key competing factors. Your performance is plotted against that of the industry as a whole. A strong canvas has focus, divergence as well as a compelling tagline.

Strategy canvas is a powerful tool that can be used for several purposes:

  • Drive Innovation using two questions: which are the key market factors which can be ignored, or re-thought; and what new factors can be created to open up a new market space?
  • Set a price: a premium price can only be justified by superior performance
  • Create a Customer Value Proposition by identifying the product’s real points of difference on factors valued by the market.

Each market factor has associated costs. The aim is therefore not to achieve the highest performance across every single factor, as this is likely to impact pricing. Instead, brands must pick a number of key factors – and assert themselves on their chosen ground.

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