Creating your strategy canvas

The Strategy Canvas is a critical diagnostic and action tool utilized in the Blue Ocean Strategy process. It allows an organization to visualize the competitive factors and the current state of play of those factors within an industry and then compares the organization’s offering with those of the industry in general. When combined with other tools, the strategy canvas helps you create your new blue ocean strategy.

We have already discussed Value Innovation as being key to Blue Ocean Strategy (see April 1, 2009 blog post). The strategy canvas helps you to create value innovation. As you read this, refer to the strategy canvas example below of the electronic games industry.

The strategy canvas has three components. First are the competitive factors. Competitive factors are the six to twelve features or benefits considered key or essential to the promotion of a product or service to its intended market. It is a value element used to attract buyers. These are listed across bottom horizontal axis of the canvas.

The second component is the Offering level up the vertical axis. The level of a competitive factor that the buyer receives and a company invests. I.e. at what level do you provide education? A high score means a company offers buyers more, and therefore invests more in that factor. In the case of price, a higher score means a higher price.

Understand that since you are going to be listing only your top 6 – 12 factors, the level of the offering is going to be high for each factor and each competitor in the industry.

The third component is the Value Curve created when you plot the competitive factor against the offering level and connect the dots. This key component of the strategy canvas is created when the offering level of an industry’s or organization’s competitive factors are plotted on the strategy canvas and the dots connected.

Think of this as a visual representation of the industry’s value proposition. A value proposition is what the customer gets for their money.

Because competitors benchmark each other, the competitors in each industry will follow the same general curve shape. Thus you can average the results and combine to create the industry canvas representing all competitors.

To receive a copy of the strategy canvas worksheet so you can create your own strategy canvas, email me ( with your request, name, company and contact information.

Share This
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someone

Posted by Dr. Sarah Layton in Blue Ocean Strategy on May 11, 2009.

1 Responses to Creating your strategy canvas

  1. Sonica: February 9, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Nice guide! thank you!/I love it ! Very creative ! That’s actually really cool Thanks.

    canvas Print

Leave a Reply