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Teaching Materials

Blue ocean pedagogical materials, used in 1,823 universities and 103 countries around the world, go beyond the standard case-based method, with multimedia cases as historic as the Ford Model T and as recent as Skype, helping students and executives build a deep understanding of key blue ocean strategy concepts using a variety of formats and meaningful interactive exercises.


Skype in the Voice-over-IP Industry: A Commercially Viable Blue Ocean?

Author(s): KIM, W. Chan, MAUBORGNE, Renée, LING, Katrina, LEE, Jee-Eun

This case illustrates the experience of an avid Skype user who leverages Skype’s voice and video offerings interchangeably for business and personal communication. This combined voice and video offering gives Skype users much higher value at lower cost than alternatives such as long-distance calling, which is not video-enabled, room-based video conferencing, which has a high set-up cost, and business and leisure travel, which have their own associated costs and hassles.

The case illustrates the disconnect between Skype’s bifurcated pricing strategy, which is based on business versus leisure use, when those boundaries do not necessarily exist in the minds of Skype users.

This paper case and the accompanying case exercises prepare the participants for an engaging class discussion on what constitutes Skype’s unprecedented voice and video offering, addressing the issue of how one could set a strategic price even though there appears to be no seeming precedents for such an offering.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • Identify blocks to utility across the entire buyer experience cycle for customers and noncustomers; identify the overlooked opportunities to unlock exceptional utility; assess whether a company’s strategic move effectively removes these blocks to unlock compelling utility
  • De-segment buyer groups and aggregate demand building on powerful commonalities across customers and noncustomers
  • Construct a price corridor of the target mass to determine the right strategic price for a blue ocean offering even if there are no seeming precedents in the new market space

Case Study
Teaching Note
Video & Lecture Slides