Synthesizing a Blue Ocean

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
Degree programme
Degree Programme in Industrial and Strategic Design
Teollisen muotoilun koulutusohjelma
The purpose of this Master thesis was to determine how electronic musical instrument companies could utilize innovation strategies to add value to their products and create new business markets beyond their core. The theoretical framework was established by outlining competitive strategies suitable for adoption by electronic musical instrument companies. The Blue Ocean Strategy was compared to traditional competitive strategies such as Porter’s Five Forces, and subsequently chosen because of its relevance towards the electronic musical instrument industry. The Blue Ocean Strategy was also selected due to its focus on creating new uncontested markets, capturing new demand, and gaining competitive advantage by simultaneously pursuing differentiation and low cost. A selection of Blue Ocean Strategy tools and frameworks (Strategy Canvas, Four Actions Framework, Buyer Utility Map, 3 Tiers of Noncustomers) were chosen by considering Arturia’s existing product development process. Their ability to be integrated into Arturia’s new product development process and their engaging nature, which allowed them to be used by a team with a broad set of skills, were also considered as key factors. The theoretical framework was applied to the product development process of a new analogue synthesizer, the Arturia MiniBrute. By analysing quantitative sales figures in the electronic musical instrument industry, Arturia’s closest competitors in both the portable and affordable hardware synthesizer market and the portable and affordable analogue synthesizer market were identified. The Blue Ocean Strategy tools and frameworks were thereafter applied to Arturia’s closest competitors. The outcome proved that competitors were competing on many of the same factors, and predominantly offering utility through the use of the instruments. Analysis of the closest competitors provided a substantial basis for Arturia to build their strategy on. Having identified the market positioning and product strategy of the MiniBrute’s closest competitors and the potential noncustomers of both above-mentioned markets, the creation of the MiniBrute’s strategy curve was initiated. This involved scrutinizing and developing the factors that the EMI industry competed on, and analysing them in relation to the closest competitors. The result was a strategy with a strong focus and clear differentiation compared to the closest competitors, which was used to shape the development of the MiniBrute. Findings reveal that the Blue Ocean Strategy tools and frameworks can help electronic musical instrument companies add value to their products and create new business markets. Given the results, companies should determine the value that certain factors can bring to a product, not only while using it, but during the whole user experience cycle. It is recommended that companies focus more on the emotional appeal of a product, rather than technical qualities, and that companies challenge traditional mindsets by eliminating factors that have been taken for granted in the industry.
Peter McGrory, Prof.
Value Innovation, Technology, Blue Ocean Strategy, New Product Development, Electronic Musical Instruments, Synthesizers
Other note