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Published by:
INSEAD (2002)
Revision date:
8 pages
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Generalised experience
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Cirque du Soleil


This is part of a case series. Cirque du Soleil very successfully entered a structurally unattractive circus industry. It was able to reinvent the industry and created a new market space by challenging the conventional assumptions about how to compete. It value innovated by shifting the buyer group from children (end-users of the traditional circus) to adults (purchasers of the traditional circus), drawing upon the distinctive strengths of other alternative industries, such as the theatre, Broadway shows and the opera, to offer a totally new set of utilities to more mature and higher spending customers. The case series is designed to serve a variety of purposes in the value innovation and creating new market space teaching module of an MBA strategy course or executive education programme. The case series can be equally used individually in a standalone module on value innovation or as part of a sequence of three to four sessions. In both instances, the instructor can best use it to cover the following topics: (1) the value innovation logic (as compared to industry and competitive analysis); (2) the concept of value curve; and (3) the six paths analysis for creating new market space. A video called 'The Evolution of the Circus Industry' is available for free faculty download (link in 'Extra information' section).

Teaching and learning

This item is suitable for postgraduate and executive education courses.


Circus and live entertainment industry; Value innovation; Strategy; Blue Ocean Strategy; Creating new market space; Redefining industry boundaries; Competition


The events covered by this item took place in 2001.

Geographical setting


Featured company

Company name:
Cirque du Soleil
Entertainment, circus

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