Cirque Du Soleil Blue Ocean Strategy

Cirque Du Planète: Blue Ocean Method

Major Drivers of Advancement and Entrepreneurial Options that Contribute to be able to the success regarding Cirque du Planète


Typically the present paper is usually devoted to a great analysis of typically the key innovation individuals that can get considered to be contributors to be able to the success regarding the Cirque man Soleil (CS). Specifically, the paper makes use of Porter’s generic aggressive strategies and several forces framework together with the resource-based view to go over CS’s strategy. Likewise, the paper can be applied the 4 Playstation of innovation along with dichotomic “incremental-radical” in addition to “system-component” classifications to spell out the innovation employed by CS. All these kinds of tools demonstrate typically the importance of advancement for the accomplishment of CS.

CS had been established in 1984 in Canada (Quebec), and it is usually now one of many country’s “most important ethnic exports” that travels all over typically the world and possess a new turnover of above $1 900 , 000, 000 (Gittleson 2013). CS is sometimes considered to be a revolutionary spectacle that changed typically the concept plus the market, creating an azure ocean for alone where no opposition was to end up being found for quite a while (The Economist Team 2014, para. 4-5). Since a result, that is an correct topic for typically the exploration of innovation in addition to its contribution to be able to success.

Key Drivers regarding Innovation


CS reinvented typically the acts that ought to be applied by a spectacle; in particular, CS would not employ pets or animals and targets older people into a greater level than patients (The Economist Team 2014, afin de. 4). These characteristics made CS a great innovative player found in the industry, also though other circuses started following that with time (The Economist Team 2014, para. 5-7). Right now, CS presents their viewers with a blend of street and spectacle entertainment and makes use of original concepts, lighting, music, and halloween costumes, (Moutinho 2016). Cirque man Soleil (n. d. ) has multiple exhibits with specific designs, all of which often are the goods of an extended creative process, which often involves visionary advice of the imaginative director, brainstorming in addition to discussion (where refuse and disagreements will be and cultivated), principle development, quality handle, and micro-management (Gittleson 2012, para. 1-5). Some of typically the company’s shows (beginning with Ka) include a clear premise (Moutinho 2016). Likewise, CS is identified for the technology employ, which helps found in show development (Gittleson 2012, para. 6).

Imagination is the key of the business, as well as its founders in addition to managers are just about all creative people, typically the majority of which accustomed to or move forward to perform inside the circus (Low & Ang 2013). The creativity in addition to uniqueness are applied with the marketing regarding the company, which often is aimed from setting apart in addition to maintaining the company despite imitators (Moutinho 2016).

CS pays special attention to their people (permanent exhibits employ over 5 various, 000 people with a time), and that has special school choices for some of those (The Economist Staff 2014). Young staff are typically preferred over older kinds (Gittleson 2012, afin de. 6), which may possibly be considered discriminatory. Also, talents regarding CS tend to be able to circulate within typically the industry and can be outsourced and attracted from multiple countries (Cirque du Soleil, n. d.; The Economist Team 2014), which increases the pool of talents available for the company. However, CS’s field of activities is dangerous: there have been several deaths among performers, including that of a co-founder’s son (Park & Allen 2016). According to the U. S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a show of CS that took place in Las Vegas in 2011 took the 79th place among the list of 52, 000 most accident-prone workplaces (Berzon & Maremont 2015, para. 9). As a result, questions have been raised about CS’s treatment of its employees, especially those who receive traumas. Berzon and Maremont (2015) report that even in 2015, CS proceeds to treat its workers like regular ones, which presupposes limited compensation. On the other hand, CS reports that “some circuses” do not even classify their performers as employees, which is why they receive no coverage at all (Berzon & Maremont 2015, para. 10). Still, the issue is apparently problematic.


Strategy Frameworks

When applied to CS (Barney & Hesterly 2012), Porter’s five forces framework suggests that at the time of the circus’ development, the industry had low attractiveness due to high bargaining power of buyers who were now interested in different, substitute forms of entertainment (Moutinho 2016). At the same time, giant and highly competitive circuses like Ringling Bros. were active (The Economist Team 2014). However, the bargaining power of suppliers (performers) and the threat of entry was lower because of the decline in the industry (Moutinho 2016).

The resource-based view (BRV) can shed some light on the way CS succeeded in entering this industry (Johnson et al. 2014): clearly, its resources were helpful in the process (Lin & Wu 2014). In particular, CS turned its unique (though imitable) image into a competitive advantage, employing, among other things, the growing concern for animal cruelty (Nijland, Aarts & Renes 2010). Apart from that, CS invested greatly in its valuable talents, therefore, employing both its key drivers (Moutinho 2016; The Economist Team 2014). Thus, if Porter’s generic strategies are applied to CS (Johnson et al. 2014), it appears that CS chose the path of differentiation through innovation.

Innovation Frameworks

Innovations are typically divided into incremental and radical ones (Norman & Verganti 2014; Ritala & Hurmelinna-Laukkanen 2012), and in the case of CS, the innovation was quite radical. The 4 Ps of innovation can demonstrate that this radical innovation can be found at least at three levels: of the product (the removal of animals), the paradigm (targeting adults instead of children), and the position (positioning oneself as a completely new, different type of circus) (Anderson 2013). Also, all these changes can be considered systemic (Mlecnik, 2013). Moreover, the processes of CS show development might also be considered innovative. For example , Gittleson (2012) insists that dissent is a relatively rare trait to cultivate in the show development process, which can be regarded as a component innovation (Joshi 2016). In general, the processes of CS are customised to its needs, which implies a certain level of component innovation.

The use of the mentioned strategy and innovation tools shows that they are interconnected and can be used together for a more detailed perspective on the events.


At the point of CS’s creation, the industry was experiencing a decline due to the development of more accessible forms of entertainment (radio, TV, later the Internet) and the growing concerns regarding animal treatment (Moutinho 2016; Zuolo 2016). Thus, the multi-level radical and incremental innovations of CS helped it to employ its resources and turn them into advantages that it needed to flourish. As a result of the impact of CS on the industry, one might consider CS in the context of the Blue Ocean theory (Agnihotri 2015).

Blue Ocean Strategy and the Success of Cirque du Soleil


CS was founded in 1984, and throughout the 1990s and 2000s, it demonstrated rapid growth (Moutinho 2016). The global recession resulted in certain issues for CS, but its managers claim that the company does not experience a crisis (The Economist Team 2014). In other words, CS has been most successful, and some researchers attribute this success to the Blue Ocean Strategy (BO) (Moutinho 2016; The Economist Team, 2016).

BO presupposes a data-based method of finding a differentiation strategy that employs a number of method-specific tools to create “uncontested market space” (Kim & Mauborgne 2016a, para. 3), which is termed as the “blue ocean” as opposed to the “red ocean. ” In other words, a blue ocean is a market space that does not require struggling with the competitors, which is supposed to maximise the opportunities of the organisation that creates the ocean (Kim & Mauborgne 2013). Since red oceans imply limited opportunities, Kim and Mauborgne (n. d) strongly advise searching for orange ones. The offer paper investigates no matter if CS can always be considered in words of BO and even suggests that typically the BO concept is merely partially applicable for the case.

Cirque du Soleil’s Competition

Some researchers and even specialists claim of which CS used BO, which allowed that to flourish a consequence of to the deficiency of contestants in typically the ocean that CS has established (Moutinho 2016; The Economist Crew, 2016). However, one particular of the pioneers of CS claims that there will be many “sharks” throughout that ocean at present. Older circuses allow us and innovated, and even young ones may well introduce something distinct, as well. For instance , an important opponent of CS is definitely the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey (RBBB) spectacle. One of typically the projects of Feld Entertainment (2016), RBBB has turned typically the phrase “The Very best Show On Earth” into their officially listed trademark. It has got been operating intended for 146 years, and its particular current style consists of “combining long-standing spectacle tradition with leading-edge technology” (Feld Leisure 2016, para. 1). It involves equally humours- and danger-related acts, and fresh shows are often compiled for each and every fresh tour, which commonly attracts over twelve million people.

Also, wildlife are an significant part of typically the brand of typically the circus ( Ringling Bros. and even Barnum & Cromwell Center for Elefant Conservation 2016). Apparently, typically the circus pays a great deal of attention to typically the quality of living of its elephants, plus it promises to be able to give up typically the acts that entail these a as the symbol of their activities (Warshaw 2016). Nevertheless , there have got been issues together with the treating other pets. For instance , PETA information the circus makes use of psychological abuse in order to ensure the compliance of its tigers while also declining to make certain appropriate dwelling conditions for your outrageous cats, for instance , inside terms of correct shading or turmoil prevention structures (Warshaw 2016). Warshaw (2016) informs that Feld Entertainment chooses in order to discredit PETA’s record and insists that will the tigers survive in appropriate circumstances. Still, it shows up logical that creature used in circuses is usually bound to increase issues and could be considered to be a new questionable practice, specifically if it is usually a trademark. RBBB is an sort of a major in addition to mature competitor regarding CS.

Relatively young traders may also be worth remembering (The Economist Staff 2014). For illustration, Cirque Alfonse (2015) is nostalgia- and the family-oriented circus that was initially established in june 2006 in Quebec. This employs acrobatic in addition to dancing acts in addition to pays particular focus to the folk traditions music employed throughout its shows, which often have been proven across America, The european countries, and Asia. Ultimately, the Economist Staff (2016) reminds that will other fields regarding entertainment should likewise be taken into consideration, especially as they will develop and deliver in some components of circus directly into unconventional arts, for instance , opera.

Tools and Frames

BO employs multiple equipment to analyse make strategies within the particular concepts of azure or red seas. Figure 1 exhibits the worthiness Innovation Construction (VI) by Ellie and Mauborgne (2016e), which is often used since a cornerstone regarding one’s BO in order to demonstrate the “simultaneous pursuit of difference and low price, creating a step in value regarding both buyers in addition to the company” (para. 1).

VI is strongly connected to the particular Four Actions Construction (FA), as described by Kim in addition to Mauborgne (2016b) since the latter extends VI, which is often noticed in Figure 2 . not

The data presented above as well as in the previous portion of the activity suggests that the particular BO of festival industry requires the particular elimination of the particular use of pets in acts like well as the particular elimination of threat for the staff (Moutinho 2016). Sadly, the latter may possibly be difficult or even even impossible (Park & Allen 2016), which is exactly why it can end up being suggested that when the problem is usually not eliminated, this needs to get decreased. It would end up being expected that collectively with the questions of safety, danger and excitement will be decreased. Finally, the problems in employee therapy also need in order to be eliminated or even reduced (Berzon & Maremont 2015, afin de. 9). Concerning pathways for improvement, they will are multiple. Worker safety could be described again; as well as that, the particular creativity of CS presupposes the introduction of brand new unique themes. Connaissance can be considered to be a safe substitute of danger in addition to thrills, which suggests that it might be brought up to complement the particular reducing danger. Technologies and talents need ongoing search in addition to improvement. Apart coming from that, new abilities can be developed, and the continuous improvements and brand new products could be deemed as a portion of FA that will is associated together with the “create” motion. Figure 2 summarises the application regarding FA to CS. Time for VI, a single can observe that simply by eliminating and cutting down the issues although raising and generating the advantages, CS can reach the particular Value Innovation diamonds that is female deep blue found in Figure 1.

FA might also be combined with the Method Canvas Tool (ST), which represents benefit curves for the particular case study as well as its competitors (Kim & Mauborgne 2016d). Certainly, the actions coming from FA can end up being embedded in STREET, as Figure three or more demonstrates. As well as that, this illustrates right after involving CS and its particular opponents in the stated activities. Employee basic safety is reduced to a single activity in Number 3 (the the one which needs to turn out to be raised); also, typically the talents are located between raising and even creation since CS may both look for for produce skillsets (The Economist Crew 2014).

Figure 3 programs that CS features succeeded in reducing animal shows, which in turn distinguishes it by RBBB, but Cirque Alfonse (2016) has also been able to accomplish that final result. In their take care of the workforce, technological innovation, and talents, three circuses are identical, though Cirque Alfonse (2016) may well be using significantly less technology. Also, Cirque Alfonse (2016) is less dependent on danger and even thrill, which is definitely an achievement, throughout which is beats CS and RBBB, but this spectacle has hardly any goods (only three indicates for the moment being), even nevertheless this aspect is definitely likely to difference in the future. As a result, ST allows summarising VI and FA, which enables one particular to consider CS from the level of view of the BO concept.

Figure 4 demonstrates the differences between red and blue oceans (ROBO) as defined by Kim and Mauborgne (2016c). The tools that have been used above can be employed to characterise CS’s strategy with the help of this figure.

The question of whether CS has managed to create an uncontested market space is unlikely to be answered positively. Nowadays, the growing competition from imitators, red ocean giants (like RBBB) and original newcomers (like Cirque Alfonse) make this suggestion impossible (The Economist Team 2014). As for the market niche that CS developed in the 1990s, it may be regarded as unique, but it can hardly be considered uncontested. Figure 3 demonstrates that at least some elements of CS’s strategy have been contested by RBBB since the beginning. Apart from that, while CS avoids RBBB’s issues with animals, RBBB does not appear as often in employee issues scandals.

Possibly, animal RBBB issues are more visible due to PETA activities, but the fact that a CS’s show features as one of the most dangerous workplaces implies that CS has a weakness and performs worse than RBBB in this respect (Berzon & Maremont 2015, para. 9). As a result, it is questionable that CS has ever existed in a perfectly uncontested environment, and the competition is unlikely to have ever been completely irrelevant for it (The Economist Team 2014). At the same time, the circus must have managed to capture a new demand (for an original circus that does not employ animals), and CS’s activities seem to be aimed at differentiation (Moutinho 2016). Still, no evidence was found during this research to the idea that CS specifically works to reduce costs, and the analysis of VI and FA suggests that it still needs to work to break the value-cost trade-off. To sum up, the application of ROBO to CS implies that its strategy is not a BO one.


The application of the tools and frameworks of BO demonstrates that they can be used in tandem to produce a comprehensive overview of a company’s strategy. They may complement or expand each other, which results in more detailed descriptions and a deeper understanding of a company’s ocean.

It is noteworthy that BO has been criticised for multiple aspects, including the difficulty of the theoretical elimination of competition and the inevitability of BO turning red (Burke, Stel & Thurik 2016; Wee 2016). It should be pointed out hat BO remains a highly influential and useful framework (Randall 2015), but it may be suggested that it should be complemented with other ones to achieve a better understanding of a market or strategy (Wee 2016). As for CS, the concept of BO is only partially applicable to it.

CS entered a declining industry and introduced a series of innovations that have contributed to the company’s success by differentiating it from the rest. However , it is questionable that the innovations allowed for the creation of a new, competition-free blue ocean. It is noteworthy that classic BO is considered to be opposed to the classic differentiation strategy in searching to break the cost-value trade-off (Randall 2015). In the end, it may be suggested that BO is only partially applicable to CS.

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