The Application of the Blue Ocean Strategy Assessing Opportunities for Stationary Fashion Retail Companies Targeting Competitive Advantages


Bachelor Thesis, 2017
116 Pages, Grade: 1,3

Excerpt

Index of contents

Index of figures

Index of tables

Index of abbreviations

Index of formulae

1 Introduction
1.1 Problem definition
1.2 Research objectives
1.3 Methodology and process

2 Strategic management approach
2.1 General principles of strategy in a business context
2.1.1 Origination, definition and purpose
2.1.2 Attributes of strategic management
2.2 Importance of competitive advantages
2.2.1 Emergence of competition and competitive environment
2.2.2 Creation and purpose of competitive advantages

3 Theoretical principles of the Blue Ocean Strategy
3.1 Accruement
3.2 Fundamental idea of value innovation
3.3 Theoretical methodology using analytical tools and frameworks
3.3.1 Strategy canvas
3.3.2 Four actions framework and ERRC grid
3.3.3 Six paths framework
3.3.4 Interim conclusion

4 Application of the Blue Ocean Strategy on stationary fashion retail companies illustrated by a case study of H&M - Arket
4.1 Introducing information
4.1.1 General overview of trade
4.1.2 Company information about H&M
4.2 Creation of strategy canvas for the fast fashion industry
4.3 Cost advantages by the reduction and elimination of elements
4.4 Differentiation by the raise and creation of factors
4.5 Arket's value innovation

5 Critical assessment of the concept
5.1 Customer perception
5.1.1 Conception and structure of the survey
5.1.2 Conduction and results
5.2 Limitations of the Blue Ocean Strategy

6 Conclusion, critical appraisal and outlook

Appendix I

Appendix II

Appendix III

Appendix IV

Appendix V

Bibliography

Index of figures

Figure 1: Five forces of competition based on Michael E. Porter

Figure 2: Creation of competitive advantages based on Michael E. Porter

Figure 3: The concept of value innovation

Figure 4: The strategy canvas

Figure 5: The ERRC grid

Figure 6: Creation of competitive advantages as defined by Michael E. Porter

Figure 7: H&M and Zara store design

Figure 8: Strategy canvas for the fast fashion industry

Figure 9: Competitive factors with a high offering level

Figure 10: Arket store room

Figure 11: Fashion life cycle

Figure 12: Competitive factors with a low offering level

Figure 13: Arket's strategy canvas

Figure 14: Arket's value innovation

Figure 15: Survey statistics

Figure 16: General classification of participants

Figure 17: Customers' perception of raised and created elements

Figure 18: Customers' perception of Arket's concept

Figure 19: Customers' perception of Arket's concept comparison - Zara

Figure 20: Customers' perception of Arket's concept comparison - H&M

Figure 21: Limitations of the Blue Ocean Strategy

Index of tables

Table 1: The six paths framework

Table 2: H&M key performance indicators

Table 3: H&M general data

Index of abbreviations

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Index of formulae

illustration not visible in this excerpt

1 Introduction

1.1 Problem definition

‘‘To be a success in business, be daring, be first, be different.’’1 This famous quote made by the founder Anita Roddick of the natural cosmetics company The Body Shop describes a strategic approach which should benefit organisations to accomplish their targets.2 Her business concept is one of over 150 successful examples which is analysed in the international bestseller The Blue Ocean Strategy written by Chan W. Kim and Renée Mauborgne in the year 2005. The authors developed there the eponymous strategic tool intending the creation of uncontested market space by eliminating competition and simultaneously generating a competitive advantage.3 Therefore, the Blue Ocean Strategy has gained economic weight in today's internationalised world: Globalisation, digitalisation, and business rivalry are transforming many industries fundamentally. In addition, competition is growing, and supply is increasing. As a result, markets are becoming saturated, and a clear competitive advantage is hence difficult to achieve. Market growth is obtained by contesting the contender but not focusing on the customer as the centre of strategic thinking. The traditional approach of competition can, accordingly, be replaced by the Blue Ocean Strategy and interpreted in a new way which redefines strategic reasoning.4

In the global economy, the strategic alignment has become a central issue for the retail industry. This sector represents a significant function and economic influence worldwide. This evidence can be seen, for example, in the figures of the German economy where retail trade represents a major industry: With a share of over 15%, the retail industry is a key factor in the gross domestic product.5 In comparison to the other European member states, the German retail sector leads in trading volume.6 Although retail trade serves an important economic function, many companies are reaching their limits and have to cease their operations. In Germany, the number of stationary traders has decreased by 15% during the last decade and has caused the loss of more than 90,000 full-time employees.7,8,9 This downward trend primarily affects fashion retail companies. More than 16% of these closings can be associated with this industry.10,11 Primary issues for the negative development include the changing market conditions owed to oversupply, price wars, and alteration in consumer behaviour due to digitalisation which increased competition. Because of rising significance of electronic commerce (e-commerce) and growing rivalry, stationary fashion retail companies have maintained a challenging position in the marketplace.

The Swedish fashion group Hennes and Mauritz (H&M) is facing the same difficulties as other retail companies due to saturated markets. Although the company is ranked among the bestselling fast fashion retail businesses and most valuable brands in the world, sales have stagnated, and earnings have declined.12,13 In order to counteract this negative trend, the company created the unique store concept Arket to systematically connect fashion with the topic of gastronomy and healthy nutrition. The purpose is to address a new customer base by generating new demand while achieving competitive advantage through differentiation and cost advantages.14 This approach consequently illustrates the concept of the Blue Ocean Strategy. However, a multitude of unique business models fail. The underlying reasons for the failure are, inter alia, incorrect strategic decisions and failure of customers to detect the offered added value. Despite the extensive variety of fashion providers and their innovative concepts, customer demand has not been affected by this alteration of retail companies.15 Thus a distinctive alignment of strategic actions and business operations does not guarantee the success of a company. Therefore, the ability of the innovative retail concept Arket which was developed by the methodology of the Blue Ocean Strategy to generate opportunities for the achievement of competitive advantages in practical implementation remains unknown.

1.2 Research objectives

This bachelor thesis provides a general overview of the theoretical principles of the Blue Ocean Strategy targeting the assessment of opportunities for stationary fashion retail companies according to competitive advantages. The intention is the development of a strategic approach for this industry to disregard direct competition with contenders and e-commerce. However, the problem arises whether the Blue Ocean Strategy can provide a significant incentive for stationary fashion retailing aiming to avoid increasing competition. The following questions are, therefore, answered: Does the Blue Ocean Strategy provide opportunities for the stationary fashion retail group H&M to create competitive advantages by using four appropriate tools? How do customers perceive the raised and created elements by Arket? Does this concept affect customers' comparison between the two largest providers and Arket in the fast fashion industry?

The purpose of this research is to gain insight into the Blue Ocean Strategy by focusing on the strategy canvas, the four actions framework, the eliminate- reduce- raise- create (ERRC) grid, and the six paths framework. The target environment consists of the business to consumer (B2C) market in the fast fashion industry. Due to the limitation of the bachelor thesis, the scope of this study does not encompass the entire field of strategic management. Therefore, introductory theories according to strategic management and competitive forces were confined to Michael E. Porter. Further strategy concepts by other founding members were not be taken into consideration. Regarding company size, an international group will be analysed. Other business sizes were not parsed in the strategy evaluation. Additionally, high-price segments, as well as luxury goods and discount items of the fashion sector, will not be part of the research. The use of e-commerce was eliminated since the goal is to strengthen stationary retailing by strategy development.

1.3 Methodology and process

The bachelor thesis is divided into six sections including the introduction and conclusion. The primary source of the following parts is the book The Blue Ocean Strategy by Chan W. Kim and Renée Mauborgne and Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors16 by Michael E. Porter.

The research began with the elaboration of the theoretical foundations. Therefore, a brief definition of the economic term strategy and a description of strategic management and its key attributes commences this part. In the next part, the importance of competitive advantages using classical theories according to Michael E. Porter is clarified. The introductory part illustrates the emergence of competition. Based on this, Porter's five forces are explained as the interaction of competitive factors within an industry. Finally, the occurrence of competitive advantages and the resulting benefits are described. These explanations constitute an adequate foundation for the following sections. The focus of the next chapter is on the theoretical approach of the Blue Ocean Strategy. This segment clarifies the origin, the definition, and the creation of uncontested market space using four appropriate strategic techniques. The chosen implements are essential for the creation of value innovation, the core of the Blue Ocean Strategy. This underlying idea theoretically results in competitive advantages. This elaboration of theories and strategic tools forms the basis for the practical approach which follows in the next section. The central focus of this part is on the application of the Blue Ocean Strategy in stationary fashion retail illustrated by the case study of Arket. The introduction to this chapter clarifies a general classification of retail. In order to gain a holistic understanding of the H&M group, a brief illustration of its key performance indicators (KPI) is explained. Subsequently, the elaboration of one Blue Ocean initiatives through the demonstration of the competition within the industry. These explanations are followed by the development of the Blue Ocean Strategy based on the previously explained four implements for Arket. The case study serves as an authentic orientation for the following conducted surveys and ensures a practical reference. The next section includes the assessment of opportunities for the creation of competitive advantages by using the Blue Ocean Strategy for stationary fashion retail companies. The analysis was conducted through quantitative questionnaires and theoretical foundations. For this purpose, data sets of more than 2500 participants were obtained and evaluated. The thesis is, therefore, based on theoretical elaboration and a subsequent empirical research. The research connects the theory using literature with a quantitative research from the customer's perspective. The intention is to ensure an unbiased perception of this analysis by combining both approaches. The purpose is to guarantee objectivity, reliability and validity. The conclusion in the last section which summarises core findings and indicates the prospect of further examinations and literature completes the bachelor thesis.

2 Strategic management approach

This chapter provides a theoretical basis for the strategic approach. General principles of strategies are included in the introduction. The origin of strategies and the development of strategic management are explained. The next section defines competitive advantages. First, the emergence of competition is described. Then, competitive forces and competitive advantages based on Michael E. Porter theories are elaborated. Finally, functions through the achievement of competitive advantages are discussed. Therefore, this chapter forms a foundation of the subsequent elaboration of the Blue Ocean Strategy approach regarding opportunities to gain competitive advantages.

2.1 General principles of strategy in a business context

2.1.1 Origination, definition and purpose

‘‘The essence of strategy is choosing to perform activities differently than rivals do.’’17 This quote made in the Harvard Business Review by Michael E. Porter explains the strategic mindset in economic context in the year 1996. However, strategies had already emerged at the beginning of human history. The term first time appeared in a military context. In this sense, strategies have been developed to carry out war manoeuvres which decide about victory or defeat in ancient times. Hence, the term has its etymological origin from the Greek language about 550 before Christ.18 The word strategy was created by the combination of the Greek word Stratos, which reflects the noun army, and the Greek word Agein translated as the verb to lead.19 This idea has since been applied in many areas of human existence including in the context of management. In the beginning of the 1940s, the development of the game theory significantly expanded this concept to apply to business. A strategy is thus defined as the interaction of successive, determined activities and operations based on a long-term goal. This approach initiated the transfer of the game theory ideas to business operations and consequently management decisions. In contrast to the game theory, the concept of business strategy is subject to the influence of the complex environment.20 Many economists began applying these strategic ideas at the end of the 1960s.21 Among the most acknowledged economists to develop theories about strategy are, inter alia, Michael E. Porter, Henry Mintzberg, Kenichi Ohmae, Alfred D. Chandler Jr., and Harry I. Ansoff. They adopted the term and elaborated strategic theories for management issues.22 Although the overall definition of the term has not changed, the economist's explanations differ in their scope. Consequently, no commonly accepted definition exists.23 Referring to Michael E. Porter, a strategy can be summarised as follows: ‘‘Strategy is the creation of a unique and valuable position, involving a different set of activities.’’24 According to Porter, the purpose of strategies is to create a consistent continuity and sustainable action to achieve long-term targets.25 Since Porter's theories constitute the foundation for the subsequent investigation, his theoretical assumptions are described in more detail. However, to avoid the skip of further assumptions the following books are referred as standard literature for this subject. These are just three selected publications from a variety of elaborations: Strategy- Seeking and Securing Competitive Advantages by Cynthia A. Montgomery and Michael E. Porter, The Strategy Concept I: Five Ps for Strategy by Henry Mintzberg, and Strategic Management by Harry I. Ansoff.

2.1.2 Attributes of strategic management

The dynamic transformation from corporate planning to strategic management emerged due to the changing environmental conditions resulting from the increasing complexity of the 20th century: Growing company sizes caused internal processes to become more complex. As an aggravating determinant, the environment became more unpredictable due to globalisation, growing competition and technological advances. Additionally, market saturation occurred and induced a change from seller to buyer markets. A holistic approach with multidimensional aspects was, therefore, imperative throughout all organisational units. This issue led to the creation of the strategic management method as further development of the original strategic concept in the 19070s.26 Strategic decisions aim to align the company fundamentally. Resolutions are thus made from overlying perspectives and have the goal of creating opportunities for sustainable success. Correspondingly, the multidimensional approach of strategic management ensures a successful strategy formulation and implementation by the interrelation of internal units and the external environment.27 According to these functions and objectives, strategic management can be briefly described by the following three key attributes. First, strategic management extends to all levels within the enterprise. This approach thus appears towards a collective strategy including short-term and long-term prospects.28,29 Second, the establishment of a resource-based view promotes the evaluation of corporate options for effectiveness and efficiency. Effectiveness indicates the adaptation of actions for the organisation's needs. Efficiency describes the economic viability of activities under cost and output characteristics. Both perspectives should thus influence decisions.30,31 Third, decision-making processes should involve several stakeholders. The success or loss of the organisation has an impact on these interest groups. Accordingly, a strategy should concentrate on common interests and not on the welfare of a single stakeholder.32 Appendix I provides an overview of the organisation's key stakeholders and the nature of their interests. These three key attributes reveal strategic management as a holistic and integrated management approach. The primary focus involves the analysis of internal and external factors, the decision making-process, and the implementation within the company to achieve sustainable success.33,34

Based on this explanation, the Blue Ocean Strategy ranks among multitude methods to strategic management. These management approaches intend to surpass or avoid competition within the economy. The realisation of competitive advantages is given attention within the thematic areas of strategy formulation. In order to deliver a general overview of the main aspects of this theory, the subsequent chapter summarises Porter's key consideration. Additional assumptions and methods are not relevant for this further research and are therefore not explained.

2.2 Importance of competitive advantages

2.2.1 Emergence of competition and competitive environment

Since the beginning of humanity, the exchange of goods and services has been an essential principle of operations. Resources and services are passed from one party to another for considerations or payments. This transfer is premised on the principle of gratification: It means that an exchange between suppliers and customers results only by mutual satisfaction of the both parties.35 In the past, seller's markets dominated the economy because of a shortage in supply and the surplus of demand. In the 1960s this situation changed due to technical innovations in the industrial nations: Mass productions reduced costs for the fabrication of goods. Additionally, improved machines decreased lead times and thus advance the production processes because this time savings resulted in an output increase over the same period. Furthermore, globalisation facilitated the entrance of more suppliers to the market. These factors led to supply surpluses resulting in a buyer's market which increase competition between companies within a market. Therefore, the term competition is defined in economic context as follows: competition generally appears when two or more opponents compete for their position within the market. The growth of market share is obtained, inter alia, by increasing profits, growing sales, and squeezing out competitors.36 Companies hence attempt to defend and expand their market share by strengthening customers demand for their services and goods. As a result, one or more of the competing suppliers lose sales and reduce sales volumes. Consequently, strategic and operational measures gained significance for management decisions with the emergence of a buyer's markets.37,38

However, competitors within the industry are not the only factor affecting companies because rivalry does not exist only between competing companies. Other external factors in the complex environment influence businesses and cannot be controlled. Therefore, Porter created commonly accepted implements targeting the analysis of microeconomic factors. In order to analyse the competitive environment, he developed the theory of competitive determinants: Porter's five forces.39 According to this theory, the purpose of competitive strategies is to find a beneficial position within this microeconomic structure. Five determinants are thus essential to identify the profit potential of each company.40 These competitive forces include the bargaining power of customers and suppliers, the threat of new entrants and substitutes, and the industry rivalry. These competing factors are briefly explained as follows: The threat of new entrants is the pressure of a new competitor for an existing company in the market. The danger exists in new products and services which lead to an oversupply in the market if demand remains the same. Consequently, new market entrants threaten to erode the profitability of the established companies.41 The next competitive factor within an industry is the bargaining threat of buyers. Their force includes the downward pressure on prices, the expectancy of higher quality, and play competition against each other.42 A similar risk of the loss of profitability arises from the bargaining power of suppliers. They can raise prices or lower the quality of their delivery with a dominant position within the industry. The result is a reduction in profitability for companies within the industry.43 The next danger comes from substitute products. These are goods and services outside the industry that serve the same customer needs as the industry's offerings. The substitutes also create a price pressure and demand an improvement of the service level for existing products and companies. The last competitive force is the rivalry among existing companies within the industry. Companies try to expand their market position using competitive strategies as increased services, advertisements and lowered prices. This rivalry thus influences costumers who are more likely to switch to offerings of competitors.44 These five competitive forces impact a company's profitability, sales volume and, consequently, future development. They must be considered in the development of a competitive strategy and the generation of competitive advantages. These determinants are hence one part of the strategic management.45 To simplify the five determinants of competition within the microenvironment of a company, the following figure provides a comprehensive overview:

Figure 1: Five forces of competition based on Michael E. Porter

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: Own presentation based on Porter, M. E., Competitive strategy, 2013, p. 38.

This figure makes clear that success of a company is not only affected by rivalry among existing companies. The microeconomic perspective according to Porter's five forces provides a complex environment of competition. The interactions of these determinants thus influence the success of the company in the market space.

2.2.2 Creation and purpose of competitive advantages

Economists have developed strategic approaches to protect companies against competitive forces. The purpose of these strategies is the creation of sustainable competitive advantages to overcome external factors of rivalry. These competitive advantages create a unique market position and enable companies to operate independently of competition. This relatively autonomous position enables organisations to maximise their sales potential and profitability if customer benefits are created.

According to Porter, companies have two options to obtain competitive advantages: The creation of a low-cost position or differentiation.46 The first option ensures a streamlined cost structure, which can be transferred to customers as a price benefit compared to rival businesses. This process creates a competitive advantage since the company emerges as price leaders through cost leadership. Companies with large capacities especially can obtain the benefits of economies of scale. The high production volume leads to a reduction in total unit costs at constant fixed costs. This savings in lower costs can be passed on to customers.47 Consequently, the low-cost position leads to cost advantages as the first competitive edge. In contrast, differentiation involves distinguishing between the company's offerings and competitors'. This type of strategy creates a unique selling proposition within the industry. Companies can, therefore, demand higher prices for the offered services and products because their products are unique. Differentiation hence generates a clear distinction from competitors and competitive advantage.48 According to Porter ‘‘[t]he essence of strategy is in the activities- choosing to perform activities differ- ently or to perform different activities than rivals.’’49 Both competitive advantages allow companies to obtain a clear positioning within the market. Porter described the purpose of implementing these orientations in a company's strategy as follows: ‘‘Competitive strategy is about being different. It means deliberately choosing a different set of activities to deliver a unique mix of value.’’50 These two options of competitive advantages result with the scope of activities of a company into Porter's three generic strategies. These strategies consist of cost leadership or differentiation which target a broad market. The third option is the concentration on a narrow target market as a focus strategy. These strategic orientations ensure a consistent positioning within a competitive market without the stuck in the middle obstacle. This issue arises if a company does not achieve a clear positioning. Customers' mindset hence does not associate the company for an individual demand. Accordingly, competitive advantage is not created, and greater rivalry among companies occur.51 In order to illustrate Porter's theory, Figure 2 shows the development of competitive advantages. A detailed explanation of these strategies can be found in Michael E. Porter's book Competitive Advantage. Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance which is not further analysed in this research.

Figure 2: Creation of competitive advantages based on Michael E. Porter

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: Own presentation based on Porter, M. E., Competitive advantage, 2008, p. 11 et seq.

In conclusion, the achievement of competitive advantages constitutes an essential part in the formulation of corporate strategies. The realisation of differentiation or cost advantages can develop a lasting influence on the success of the company. Customers perceive the offerings as more valuable than competitors' products and services.52 Corporate success is hence dependent on the integration of competitive strategy into the holistic approach of strategic management.

3 Theoretical principles of the Blue Ocean Strategy

This chapter presents the fundamentals of the Blue Ocean Strategy which is extended in the following section by the practical application in stationary fashion retail companies. This theory was developed by Chan W. Kim and Renée Mauborgne. The origin of the Blue Ocean Strategy is followed by the elaboration of the core idea and the objectives. The last section of this chapter provides an overview of four technical approaches using analytical tools and frameworks. This explanation finally conducts to the formulation of an interim conclusion according to competitive advantages.

3.1 Accruement

The foundation of traditional competitive strategies is the elimination of competitive forces by outperforming opponents and overcoming predetermined market conditions. These methods hence place contenders at the centre of strategic thinking. Therefore, predefined factors of external circumstances are addressed in various conventional approaches. These strategic alignments hence focus on gaining competitive advantages by staying ahead of competition through defensive or offensive behaviour towards contenders.53,54

These traditional theories were taken by Chan W. Kim and Renée Mauborgne and are used as a central point of reference for the subsequent discussion. Chan W. Kim, born in Korea, was initially a professor at the University of Michigan Business School before joining the INSEAD Institute. There he met his future co-founder Renée Mauborgne. The American professor at that time attended his seminars on strategic issues which laid the origin of their subsequent collaboration.55 Their cooperative research began at the end of the 1980s at the INSEAD Business School. The aim of the partnership was to identify corporate patterns to develop strategic methods to counteract rising competitive forces. To accomplish this, Kim and Mauborgne analysed company success in terms of competitive strategies and business orientations in a fifteen-year study.56 For the investigation, more than 150 strategic moves within 30 industries and an underlying data set from the years 1880 to 2000 were analysed.57 The prerequisite for such an extensive study was the support of organisations and associations. Hence, Kim and Mauborgne were promoted with data series and information by the INSEAD Business School, the local professorial chair, as well as cooperating companies such as the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).58 The analysis of the provided data sets confirmed their assumption that businesses stay in a competitive environment because corporate strategies concentrate on competitors as the focus of strategic thinking. Entrepreneurial actions are thus determined by contestants and not customers demand.

Kim and Mauborgne named these competitive markets red oceans. The metaphor symbolises a bloodthirsty market that turns red due to rivalry and competitive battles within the industry. This market space is characterised by declining demand, shrinking profits, and rising costs.

In contrast, successful companies have shifted their strategic focus to customer value and not the response to competitive actions. The strategic centre is, therefore, the creation of new market space and reinvention of existing ones. Companies hence generate new demand through the creation of value innovations which make competitive forces irrelevant. They combat competitors without directly fighting them. Kim and Mauborgne called these uncontested market spaces as blue oceans. This metaphor represents markets without bloody red rivalry but new demand and a strong profitable growth. The blue ocean represents unlimited possibilities providing opportunities to create uncontested market space. Companies only have to discover these infinite blue oceans.59 In response to this challenge, Kim and Mauborgne developed the Blue Ocean Strategy as a tool which facilitates the finding and creation of this uncontested market space. This provided guidance was written down by Kim and his co- author Mauborgne in the eponymous book The Blue Ocean Strategy and published in the year 2005. This strategic approach has been translated into 43 languages and is a worldwide business top seller with over 3.5 million copy sales. Furthermore, the two founders were awarded several honours for their accomplishment, including the Nobels Colloquia Prize for Leadership on Business and Economic Thinking 2008. Today, both authors are professors of economic sciences at INSEAD Business School and co- directors of the INSEAD Blue Ocean Strategy Institute where they continue to expand their core idea and publish their approaches in numerous journals.60

3.2 Fundamental idea of value innovation

The theoretical approach of the Blue Ocean Strategy is based on the dynamism of businesses. Industries and markets are continually evolving. Consequently, existing markets transform or disappear while new ones are created. Kim and Mauborgne hence suggested that company's actions shape industry structures and characteristics. This idea forms the foundation for the Blue Ocean Strategy. Conventional competitive strategies focus on surpassing the competition by developing a defensible or offensive position within the existing industry.61 According to Porter, advantages can be achieved by outdoing competitive forces by focusing on cost leadership or differentiation.62 In contrast to this established approach, Kim and Mauborgne's strategy avoids competition. Instead, the focus of the strategy is the development of value innovation. This strategic approach generates advantage for customers and the company while entering an uncontested market space and profitable growth markets. Thus, value innovation connects two interests: the simultaneous achievement of differentiation and cost reductions. First, companies achieve the creation of a total customer solution which differs from competitors. Therefore, the offered products and services should create a unique position on the market. Differentiation thus requires an expansion of already existing offerings. Furthermore, new products and services must be added to improve the buyer's benefit.63 These actions create a unique selling proposition which promotes customer loyalty. Differentiation is thus generated.64 If, however, value innovation was limited to differentiation only, expenses would increase because of the improved offer. The price increase would correspondingly result in a decrease in demand. Therefore, to achieve cost reductions, offered factors that do not deliver significant customer advantage are reduced or eliminated. These strategic measures allow cost containments that do not affect customer's needs fulfilment. Additional cost reductions are obtained by targeting a broad customer base instead of a narrow market. This mass of buyers enables the attainment of economies of scale which leads to further cost savings. These favourable cost structure should be passed on to customers in an advantageous price position.65 By taking the two aspects of differentiation and cost savings into account, value innovation occurs in the scope of company's activities. These characteristics are hence beneficial for the cost structure and customer's value proposition. The following figure illustrates the concept of value innovation in a simplified approach:

Figure 3: The concept of value innovation

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Defining value innovation, no date.

Kim and Mauborgne summarised the concept of value innovation as follows: ‘‘It is the simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low cost, creating a leap in value for both buyers and the company. Because value to buyers comes from the offering's utility minus its price, and because value to the company is generated from the offering's price minus its cost, value innovation is achieved only when the whole system of utility, price, and cost is aligned.’’66 Therefore ‘‘[v]alue innovation places equal emphasis on value and innovation.’’67 Although the achievement of value innovation favourably affects company profitably, the striving for it involves opportunities and threats. In order to mitigate these threats, Kim and Mauborgne developed 15 analytical tools and frameworks. These implements attenuate risks for an uncontested market space and facilitate a systematic implementation of the Blue Ocean Strategy.68 For the subsequent research, four analytical and strategic devices are appropriate. These instruments are described in the following chapter.

3.3 Theoretical methodology using analytical tools and frameworks

3.3.1 Strategy canvas

The analysis of current offers within the competitive environment provides the basis for the following considerations and strategic instruments. Kim and Mauborgne established

The Strategy Canvas. This strategic tool is a diagnostic and practical framework. It provides information about existing industry offerings and actions. These key factors are captured as competing elements to identify which issues constitute the basis for the current competition within the market. By using the strategic canvas, a chart with a horizontal and vertical axis is formed. The analysis starts with the preparation of the horizontal axis. This level comprises those factors on which competition within an industry is based. Accordingly, the horizontal pivot contains the underlying structure of existing offerings from a market perspective. The vertical axis, on the contrary, determines the offering level of the respective key factors. A high value indicates that the relevant factor offers more to the customer whereas a low value implies that the feature is rarely provided to consumers. Competitors, therefore, invest in determinants with a high value and appropriately do not invest in features with a low value. The next step connects the considered points into a value curve. This curve graphs the relative performance of a company under competitive factors. The completion of the strategic canvas, therefore, leads to a holistic graphic which represents the essential basic structure of a market.69 The strategic curve is critically examined and changed by the following tools. The aim of the Blue Ocean Strategy is to provide a countercyclical response on the industry's value curve. This contrary position is achieved by moving the strategic curve of the Blue Ocean Strategy in the opposite direction to the previously developed benchmark. An industry's high value hence indicates a small value within the Blue Ocean Strategy. Conversely, a modest value becomes a great result for the Blue Ocean Strategy. This procedure facilitates the discovery of new market space without industry competition.70 In order to visualise the strategy canvas, the following graph indicates an exemplary generalisation. However, the horizontal axis does not contain any competing factors of an industry. This figure is hence a simplification of the strategy canvas template. The red curve presents the actual offers of market perspective. This includes all products and services which are offered by the biggest competitor according to the industry's key factors. Therefore, this value curve signifies the red ocean. The blue curve, conversely, is anti-cyclical. This value curve provides a different offering level for each factor. The company thus operates in a different market space and is not affected by competitors.

Figure 4: The strategy canvas

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Strategy Canvas, no date.

The following four actions framework, the ERRC grid, and the six paths framework are used to avoid generating an arbitrary blue ocean curve. These tools prevent value-creating elements from decreasing or creating non-utilizing factors.

3.3.2 Four actions framework and ERRC grid

Building on the analysis of the strategy canvas, competitive factors need to be redesigned to develop a new customer value. However, to achieve value innovation, four decisive questions must be considered. This reflection facilitates an assessment of the performance of a company. These four key issues are summarised in Kim's and Mauborgne's established Four Actions Framework which includes four questions.71 The first question examines the determinants that the industry takes for granted: ‘‘Which factors that the industry has long competed on should be eliminated?’’72 These elements are considered as given and produce, therefore, no significant customer value. However, these factors stimulate competition and represent a fundamental element of rivalry within the market. Accordingly, if they do not have an essential impact on customer value, they can be eliminated. The second question assesses whether products or services have been overdesigned in order to outperform the competition: ‘‘Which factors should be reduced well below the industry's standard?’’73 The disproportionate increase of an element does not cause substantial customer benefit. Companies, however, continue to act in a competitive environment if the offering level remains the same for these factors. These competitive factors can hence be reduced. The initial two questions have a positive impact on the cost structure of the company. They ensure cost savings by eliminations and reductions. The following two questions, on the contrary, have a beneficial effect on differentiation. The answer to the third question reveals which compromises customers have to accept within the industry and its offers: ‘‘Which factors should be raised well above the industry's standard?’’74 These factors should be increased in order to create a larger customer value. Answering the fourth question generates entirely new sources of value to benefit customers within the industry:75 ‘‘Which factors should be created that the industry has never offered?’’76 By asking the four fundamental questions, elements for crafting customer benefits can be systematically reviewed and redesigned. Therefore, existing competitive factors become irrelevant, and benefit-maximizing elements are created.

Based on these questions, the next measurement termed ERRC grid was created. This complementary tool aligns with the four actions framework. It refines key activities and incites companies to act on them. Accordingly, company activities are guided to develop a new value curve to discover an uncontested market space. The ERRC grid consists of four fields with corresponding manual instructions for the elimination, reduction, raising and the creation of the previous elaborated questions.77 According to Kim and Mauborgne, this analytic tool supports the accomplishment of value innovation. Differentiation is obtained by the creation and raising of value generating factors. Simultaneously, a low-cost position is created through the reduction and elimination of overdesigned and needless aspects. The theoretical correlation between differentiation and cost increase, therefore, does not apply with this approach and thus dissolves. The template below (Figure 5) shows the ERRC grid in its construction supplemented by the questions of the four actions framework.

Figure 5: The ERRC grid

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: Own presentation based on Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., ERRC Grid, no date.

The connection of both methods creates a holistic strategic tool and offers a convenient approach to achieve three further advantages. First, companies are encouraged to analyse all competitive factors within an industry accurately. Implicit assumptions and unconscious determinants are thereby exposed. Second, the four fields enhance the simplicity of this device and facilitate a clear presentation of this strategic tool. Third, all business units can consequently easily track and act on the ERRC grid.78 In conclusion, the mentioned tools facilitate the discovery of uncontested market space. By the successful application of these methods, a company can achieve value innovation, the core of the Blue Ocean Strategy. Thus these devices develop differentiation and cost advantages simultaneously.

3.3.3 Six paths framework

The Six Paths Framework is the last essential tool for the subsequent research on the application of the Blue Ocean Strategy for stationary fashion retail companies. This framework enables the redesign of market boundaries and the creation of a new offering. The infinite possibilities of so-called blue oceans result in the difficulty of developing uncontested market space and answering the last questions of the four actions framework and the ERRC grid. Therefore, Kim's and Mauborgne developed six search paths to provide a procedure for transforming the market borders to find a new source for value creation.79 These six paths are displayed below in Table 1 and explained afterwards.

Table 1: The six paths framework

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: Own presentation based on Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Six paths framework, no date.

As the table indicates, the first search path is called Industry. This process involves the analysis of alternatives beyond the usual areas of operation. This path is, therefore, a strategical far-sight within the environment. In order to open up an uncontested market space, alternative industries, their products, and services have to be monitored. They can present opportunities for value innovation.80 The second search path involves the consideration of strategic groups in an industry. A strategic group is defined as ‘‘a group of companies within an industry that pursue a similar strategy.’’81 These strategies can generally be distinguished in a choice of two alternatives: a low price alignment or a differentiating performance. The intention of this search path is hence to discover the entirety of strategic groups within the industry, and potential customer needs.82 The third search path provides a comparison because it involves the analysis of buyer groups. Two different buyer groups are examined: the cost-oriented purchaser and the experience- oriented user. Companies basically focus on one target group. However, in order to obtain an uncontested market space, buyers groups that have previously been neglected must be recognised.83 The fourth searching path involves the analysis of goods and services that influence the use of another offered good or service. These complementary products offer additional opportunities for a new market space. Companies can thus create new service offers through upstream and downstream product extensions. This added convenience enables customers to benefit from the advantages of value innovation.84 The penultimate path improves buying motives within the industry. Customers tend to make either functionally or emotionally oriented buying decisions. The aim of this track is to create added buyer orientation. A functional buyer should obtain additional emotional elements whereas emotional customers should gain functionality through the purchase.85 The last search path forms an anticipated challenge to developing a blue ocean. This path includes external megatrends to which a company is subordinate. However, these trends create chances for innovation and the emergence of a new market demand. These trends must, therefore, be identified at an early stage. Accordingly, companies can gain insights into future market developments by classifying these megatrends. This prediction empowers organisations to exploit a new market space and deliver a unique value for customers.86 In summary, the six search paths provide systematic guidance to create an uncontested market space by removing market boundaries. Each element can, therefore, be used as an incentive to create an extended customer value with the previous tools.

3.3.4 Intermin conclusion

In the preceding chapters of this thesis, a theoretical analysis was conducted to determine competitive factors and determinants of competitive advantages according to Michael E. Porter. Porter's strategy for outperforming rivals in the market relies on realisation of cost benefits or differentiation advantages. The focus of the strategy is competitor performance. The contestant's product portfolio or pricing act as a reference point for an entrepreneurial strategy development. The purpose of this strategy is, therefore, to outperform competitors to achieve a clear position and to obtain competitive advantages. In contrast, Kim and Mauborgne developed a strategic approach to avoid direct competition by putting customer demand in the centre of strategic thinking. Their theory assumes that companies can achieve value innovation to create an uncontested market space and perform without competition. This logic forms the basis of their Blue Ocean Strategy which promotes the generation of value for customers and innovation through cost reduction. The Blue Ocean Strategy thus enables companies to achieve differentiation and cost advantages. Consequently, competitive advantages as defined by Porter are simultaneously accomplished. Figure 6 illustrates the development process of competitive advantages using the Blue Ocean Strategy:

Figure 6: Creation of competitive advantages as defined by Michael E. Porter

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: Own presentation based on Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Value innovation, 1997, p. 106.

In order to develop the core concept of value innovation, Kim and Mauborgne elaborated 15 tools and frameworks. These tools and frameworks form a holistic concept for restructuring an organisation according to the strategic management theory.87 This chapter has described four appropriate constructions for the generation of competitive advantages and, consequently, the development of a blue ocean. By the application of these four methods, companies can create a unique and uncompetitive market. These analytical tools are hence closely linked and complementary. However, human resources, organisational reconstructions and time for the company to adjust to the different process are necessary to locate the company in a new market successfully.88 Due to their irrelevance for the subsequent research, they won’t further be discussed in this chapter. A detailed description of these models can be found in chapter 7 and 8 of the book The Blue Ocean Strategy, as well as in the Harvard Business Review titled Blue Ocean Leadership89 .

4 Application of the Blue Ocean Strategy on stationary fashion retail companies

illustrated by a case study of H&M - Arket

This chapter describes the practical application of the Blue Ocean Strategy for stationary fashion retail companies to conclusively answer the research question: does the Blue Ocean Strategy provide opportunities for the stationary fashion retail group H&M to create competitive advantages by using four appropriate tools? First, characteristics and tasks of retail are introduced. This explanation is beneficial for the subsequent development of the Blue Ocean Strategy in order to identify the competing factors. The following chapter concentrates hence on the case study of Arket using the four Blue Ocean Strategy tools. Therefore, key performance indicators are provided for a holistic overview of the H&M group. This draft will conclusively lead to the elaboration of the uncontested market space and the new concept. Arket, as an application of the Blue Ocean Strategy, provides a benchmark for the assessment of opportunities to create competitive advantages. Therefore, this concept serves as a reference for the conducted surveys discussed in the next chapter.

4.1 Introducing information

4.1.1 General overview of trade

Trade of goods has already occupied an important position in the human history. This trade developed to the existing retail trade. Today, retail is described as market members who acquire goods from other participants to sell these products to end consumers. Due to the process between businesses and final users, retail trade is classified as the B2C market segment.90

In addition to this description, however, basic trading functions must be supplemented. By linking these two dimensions, retail trade can be identified in its whole. The Austrian economist Karl Oberparleiter identified six trade functions to describe the advantage offered by retail companies for consumers. The first function is a spatial benefit. Retailers provide products locally and hence limit the geographical distance between customers and producers. Therefore, buyers do not have to be in the place of the manufacturer to purchase goods. A second trading function is time-based. Retail trade functions as interim storage, due to the anticyclonic production and actual sale season. Manufacturers fabricate goods usually at least one season in advance. Consequently, retailers store these products up to the selling season to provide customers with a demand-oriented product range. The next function provides buyers bridging operations. The supplied quantity produced accordingly differs from the sales amount households request. Retail trade, therefore, provides a quantitative solution by dividing goods. These quantities meet the demanded volume of end users. The fourth function offers customers a qualitatively even assortment. Retailers assemble a product-oriented merchandise range including a constant quality level for customers. Buyers can thus expect a constant quality and matched assortment. The next function serves a credit function for customers, wholesalers or producers. Financing is transferred to the retailer and upstream industries. This shift compensates potential problems referring the asset ownership between manufacturer and customer. The last function, promotion, offers manufacturers and customers an advantage. Retailers attract customers through advertising and an attractive merchandise presentation. This function thus provides a direct connection between customers and the manufacturer's products.91 Due to these trade functions, the retail sector offers a comprehensive appeal for the interest of customers and manufacturers.

Although retailers accomplish a common purpose, the individual traders differ concerning their distribution centre. Due to this division, differences between stationary retail and online trade are apparent. Stationary retail occurs at a fixed location. Customers who want to purchase goods have to visit distribution stores. These stores are usually accessible at certain day times and weekdays.92 In contrast to the stationary retailers, e- commerce occurs through online platforms via the Internet. Accordingly, customers do not have to visit the distribution centres physically. They can purchase goods from electronic devices at any time and in any place. The ordered products are delivered to shipping addresses.93 Since the subsequent investigation is limited to stationary retail, the terms retail and trade refer to stationary retail trade.

[...]


1 Drexler, K. M., The Body Shop, 2007, p. 308.

2 cf. Drexler, K. M., The Body Shop, 2007, p. 309.

3 cf. Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. XVII.

4 cf. Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. XII et seq.

5 cf. Handelsverband Deutschland, Retail, 2017, p. 3.

6 cf. Eurostat, Trade statistics, 2017.

7 cf. Statistisches Bundesamt, Retail companies, 2010, p. 30.

8 cf. Statistisches Bundesamt, Retail companies, 2017, p. 21.

9 cf. Statista, Employment, 2016.

10 cf. Statistisches Bundesamt, Retail companies, 2010, p. 31.

11 cf. Statistisches Bundesamt, Retail companies, 2017, p. 22.

12 cf. Kantar Millward Brown, H&M, 2017, p. 155.

13 cf. H&M, Annual report, 2017, p. 52 et seq.

14 cf. Nowicki, J., Arket gastronomy, 2017, p. 2.

15 cf. Hecking, M., Shrinking retail market, 2016 p. 1 et seq.

16 note: the German translation was used for the preparation of this thesis which can be found under the following name in the bibliography: Porter, Michael E. (Competitive strategy, 2013).

17 Porter, M. E., Strategy, 1996, p. 64.

18 cf. Kreikebaum, H., Gilbert, D. U., Behnam, M, Strategic management, 2011, p. 23.

19 cf. Aartsengel, A., Kurtoglu, S., Management, 2013, p. 51.

20 cf. Raps, A., Game theory, 2017, p. 14.

21 cf. Raps, A., Game theory, 2017, p. 11.

22 cf. Ungericht, B., Defining strategy, 2012, p. 31.

23 cf. Welge, M. K., Al- Laham, A., Eulerich, M., Management, 2017, p. 18.

24 Porter, M. E., Strategy, 1996, p. 68.

25 cf. Porter, M. E., Strategy, 1996, p. 68 et seq.

26 cf. Ungericht, B., Defining strategy, 2012, p. 26 et seq.

27 cf. Ansoff, H. I., Strategic management, 1979, p. 6 et seq.

28 cf. Hungenberg, H., Strategic management, 2014, p. 47.

29 cf. Dess, G. G., McNamara, G., Eisner, A. B., Competitive advantages, 2016, p. 24 et seq.

30 cf. Dess, G. G., McNamara, G., Eisner, A. B., Competitive advantages, 2016, p. 10.

31 cf. Kreikebaum, H., Gilbert, D. U., Behnam, M., Strategic management, 2011, p. 32.

32 cf. Dess, G. G., McNamara, G., Eisner, A. B., Competitive advantages, 2016, p. 9.

33 cf. Dess, G. G., McNamara, G., Eisner, A. B., Competitive advantages, 2016, p. 9.

34 cf. Kreikebaum, H., Gilbert, D. U., Behnam, M., Strategic management, 2011, p. 33.

35 cf. Meffert, H., Burmann, C., Kirchgeorg, M., Marketing, 2012, p. 3 et seq.

36 cf. Duden, Competition, no date.

37 cf. Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. 18.

38 cf. Porter, M. E., Montgomery, C. A., Strategy, 2003, p. 3 et seq.

39 cf. Kreikebaum, H., Gilbert, D. U., Behnam, M., Strategic management, 2011, p. 103.

40 cf. Child, J., Tse, K. T., Rodrigues, S. B., Strategy development, 2013, p. 272.

41 cf. Porter, M. E., Competitive strategy, 2013, p. 41.

42 cf. Porter, M. E., 5 Forces, 1979, p. 140.

43 cf. Porter, M. E., Competitive strategy, 2013, p. 64 et seq.

44 cf. Porter, M. E., 5 Forces, 1979, p. 142 et seq.

45 cf. Porter, M. E., Competitive strategy, 2013, p. 30 et seq.

46 cf. Porter, M. E., Competitive advantage, 2008, p. 11 et seq.

47 cf. Porter, M. E., Competitive strategy, 2013, p. 74.

48 cf. Porter, M. E., Competitive strategy, 2013, p. 76 et seq.

49 Porter, M. E., Strategy, 1996, p. 64.

50 Porter, M. E., Strategy, 1996, p. 64.

51 cf. Porter, M. E., Competitive strategy, 2013, p. 73 et seq.

52 cf. Barney, J. B., Hesterly, W. S., Strategic management, 2015, p. 177.

53 cf. Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. XII et seq.

54 cf. Porter, M. E., Montgomery, C. A., Strategy, 2003, p. 38 et seq.

55 cf. Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. 285 et seq.

56 cf. Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. XII.

57 cf. Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. 11.

58 cf. Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. XXV.

59 cf. Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. XII et seq.

60 cf. Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. 285 et seq.

61 cf. Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. 12.

62 cf. Porter, M. E., Competitive strategy, 2013, p. 74 et seq.

63 cf. Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. 12 et seq.

64 cf. Porter, M. E., Competitive strategy, 2013, p. 44.

65 cf. Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Value innovation, 1997, p. 106.

66 Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Defining value innovation, no date.

67 Crainer, S., The Blue Ocean Strategy, 2002, p. 5.

68 cf. Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. 17 et seq.

69 cf. Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. 27 et seq.

70 cf. Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. 30.

71 cf. Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. 31.

72 Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. 31.

73 Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. 31.

74 Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. 32.

75 cf. Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. 32 et seq.

76 Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. 32.

77 cf. Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. 37.

78 cf. Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. 38.

79 cf. Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. 49.

80 cf. Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. 52.

81 Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. 58.

82 cf. Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. 58.

83 cf. Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. 63.

84 cf. Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. 67 et seq.

85 cf. Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. 71 et seq.

86 cf. Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. 78.

87 cf. Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. 20 et seq.

88 cf. Kim, C. W., Mauborgne, R., Blue Ocean Strategy, 2015, p. 147 et seq.

89 noted resource: Kim, Chan W., Mauborgne, Ren é e: Blue Ocean Leadership, in: Harvard Business Review, 92 (2014) Nr. 5, p. 60- 72.

90 cf. Katalog E, Retail definition, 2006, p. 18.

91 cf. Oberparleiter, K., Trade functions, 1955, p. 6 et seq.

92 cf. Duden, Stationary retail, no date.

93 cf. Handelsverband Deutschland, E-commerce, no date.

Excerpt out of 116 pages

Details

Title
The Application of the Blue Ocean Strategy Assessing Opportunities for Stationary Fashion Retail Companies Targeting Competitive Advantages
College
University of applied sciences, Nürnberg
Grade
1,3
Author
Year
2017
Pages
116
Catalog Number
V379535
ISBN (eBook)
9783668569126
File size
6341 KB
Language
English
Series
Aus der Reihe: e-fellows.net stipendiaten-wissen
Tags
Blue Ocean Strategy, retail, fashion, arket, h&m, strategic management, strategy, stationary retail trade
Quote paper
Cindy Helinski (Author), 2017, The Application of the Blue Ocean Strategy Assessing Opportunities for Stationary Fashion Retail Companies Targeting Competitive Advantages, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/379535

Comments

  • No comments yet.
Read the ebook
Title: The Application of the Blue Ocean Strategy Assessing Opportunities for Stationary Fashion Retail Companies Targeting Competitive Advantages


Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free