The Marvel Way Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

The Marvel Way Case Study Solution

In Cost/value trade-off a company believes it has two options. First one being as developing higher values for customer at higher cost. While second one being as creating reasonably normal value at a reduced cost.Marvel’s Cost/value trade-off ended up breaking with blue ocean strategy, since in that a choice doesn’t need to be made between low cost and high value as both can be achieved.

They utilized all that they had, and took advantage from it by developing themselves as the next best thing.  The breaking of value/cost trade-off helped them in expanding and diving into the various side of the market which they never discovered earlier.

An example of this can be taken from the several scenes that Marvel shooted with less expensive equipment and resources while maintaining the quality value scenes in customer’s eye. They also opened a studio for direction of Marvel and maintained their focus on how they can utilize the current resources to improve their quality and conquer larger level of market.

Value extraction is a red ocean strategy where a company tends obtain unfair advantages in market. It excessively works on grabbing a large portion of economic cake for themselves. It feeds on its competitors’ losses, leaving them exposed to risk.

While the process of Value innovation is used mainly in the part blue ocean strategy. IT can be described as completely opposite to value creation. It works on elaborating the existing products and creates newer markets for the products. This results in keeping the costs lower while expanding the customer base and value.

Value innovation ends up having a long term financial impact on company. This is in form of increased profits. This is mainly because value innovation illuminates’ competition by linking its relevancy in the market while cutting the costs alongside, hence higher profits will be generated by the company.On the contrary,Value extraction could restrict company’s profit if its strategy doesn’t works out in their favor. They may expect to suffer losses.

Marvel was targeting all the non customers who weren’t interested in their products. They basically were the most unexpected group to be targeted form the population. This for example included the college students, who would never be expected to grab a comic book to read, or probably the sports people or even philosophy majors. In short all of their non customer base was targeted by Marvel. They planned on capturing the largest possible customer base instead of just focusing on their current customers.

Marvel also focused on discovering the new customer base which wasn’t explored earlier and targeted the refusing customers as well, who even though were aware of the product, but choose to be reluctant.


The case concludes that how a Blue Ocean Strategy can be used to switch from red to blue. It taught the importance of directing people, profits and value while explain the difference of value innovation and value extraction.

Exhibit: Marvel Business Model


  1. There have been several attempts to explain Marvel’s success via competitive strategy but they fall flat: competitive strategy, with this specific case, neither predicts nor explains the outcome. Why?
  2. If Marvel had spent more to hire top-tier movie stars, well-known directors, and moved forward the Hollywood Way, would the movies have performed better?
  3. Why do or don’t you think Marvel broke the value/cost trade-off?
  4. Explain the difference between value extraction and value innovation as well as the long- term financial impact of each.
  5. Who were the non customers Marvel targeted......


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