“Give me a LEVER long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.” Archimedes

Archimedes of Syracuse (Greek: Ἀρχιμήδης; c. 287 BC – c. 212 BC) was a Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, and astronomer. Although a few details of his life are known, he is regarded as one of the leading scientists in classical antiquity. Among his advances in physics are the foundations of hydrostatics, statics and an explanation of the principle of the lever. He is credited with designing innovative machines, including siege machines and the screw pump that bears his name.

What might Archimedes and his work have to do with Blue Ocean Strategy and Blue Ocean Shift? It’s all about his lever. We’ve spent the last six posts breaking down and sharing examples of the Buyer Experience Cycle and its six stages. Click any one of the hot links below to see the post.

Purchase / Delivery / Use / Supplements / Maintenance / Disposal

Back to levers.  In blue ocean parlance, levers are utility levers. These are discussed in Blue Ocean Strategy, How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim/Renee Mauborgne.

Utility levers cost across the six stages of the buyer experience allowing a strategist, innovator, startup founder or anyone else with an interest discover additional buyer utility. Why is utility important? Customers who find products more to their liking across the matrix are the equivalent of revenue.

Take a look at the Buyer Utility Map below. Our six levers are on the vertical axis.

  • Consumer Productivity
  • Simplicity
  • Convenience
  • Risk
  • Fun and Image
  • Environmental Friendliness

Buyer Utility Map

Your work now becomes that of identifying blockages in buyer utility across all the stages with levers. Be aware that you likely are too deep into the forest to see the trees. Meaning, you have to ask your customers, staff, customers of other competitors, and non customers the right questions to truly unlock buyer utility.

The right question? It’s simply this.

In which stage are the biggest blockages to customer productivity, simplicity, convenience, risk reduction, fun and image, and environmental friendliness?

If your product or offering doesn’t pass the test along all the stages, good, you’ve identified a pathway to unlocking more buyer utility. If you go through exercise prior to a new product launch or innovation, you’ll save significant time and money and have an enhanced route to successful growth of new marketshare.

If you have questions about anything to do with the Buyer Utility Map or other aspects of Blue Ocean Strategy, I offer a free hour long zoom session. No strings attached. Let’s chat! Schedule your time here.

Also, the team here is developing a couple of free courses that will hopefully be released in late May. They will be complimentary to Blue Ocean Strategist Community Members. Join the free Founders Group here.

Sherman G. Mohr is an Insead Certified Blue Ocean Strategist residing in Nashville, TN. He’s a tech company founder working in the spirits industry, Telehealth, and pet supplements.