Businesses need to adopt growth strategies to grow their customer base quickly and generate heavy revenue therefrom. We recommend that you use a combination of multiple growth strategies rather than relying on just one. For, this will help alleviate the risk associated with employing a single growth strategy.
This blog has picked out 15 effective business growth strategies from those brands that have nailed it. Before getting into those, let’s discuss the basics.
What are business growth strategies?
A business growth strategy is an action plan focused on increasing a company’s revenue and expanding its horizons. It can grow by employing a variety of techniques, based on its budget and competition. These methods can include reaching new customers, making product improvements, increasing market share, overcoming particular challenges, and more.
15 Effective Business Growth Strategies with Examples
Here are 15 business growth strategies from brands that nailed it. You can use these to promote your brand’s growth.
1. Facebook: Market Penetration
Market penetration is a growth strategy where you take steps to sell your brand’s current products markets you haven’t ventured into before. So, you identify new markets that would suit your current product line and penetrate it.
A good example of a brand that succeeded using market penetration is Facebook. When they launched, they were available only to Harvard University students. Then, they expanded their accessibility to Stanford, Yale, and Columbia. Gradually, they accommodated all Ivy League and several schools in Boston, and then all colleges in the U.S. and Canada. Later they spread to audiences beyond students.
2. Zapier: Targeted Content Marketing
Zapier, the popular SaaS integration platform, grew profoundly by employing targeted content marketing. They began in 2014 by writing content for every feature of Hangouts. They developed content for even those features that weren’t then documented by Google. They believed that if they were looking for those content, numerous others too were.
This marketing strategy generated more than 75,000 blog visits to Zapier in the first year. Today, it gets more than 1.25 million monthly visits. Statistics say that within 18 months of employing this growth tactic, its revenue multiplied by four times to reach $50 million. So, what you learn from Zapier is, before developing content, take the time to think about the potential problems your audience is facing and address those.
3. Amazon: Great Customer Experience
Amazon started gaining dominance in the retail niche in 1995. It was a period when online shopping wasn’t popular. Yet, the brand managed to earn billions of dollars every year. The growth strategy that worked for them was ensuring a great customer experience.
Amazon began by providing customers with a huge collection of books than was available in traditional bookstores. They also allowed customers to check the site and immediately know the availability of a book in stock. It is this convenience that let the brand succeed over well-established offline booksellers. Once they gained popularity, they expanded their horizons into other markets and grew their offerings.
4. Semrush: Product Diversification
Another proven business growth strategy is product diversification. It involves developing new products or adding new features to current products. This facilitates capturing new audiences who might not have been interested in your brand previously.
A solid example of a brand that excelled through this growth strategy is Semrush. When it launched itself, it offered only SEO and paid search. Gradually, over the years, it kept adding a lot of functionality. Now the platform offers a comprehensive software suite for the same target audience. This way, the brand has a current market capitalization of over $2.7 billion.
5. Slack: Market disruption
Market disruption is a growth strategy in which a brand ventures into a well-established industry and does things that are completely different from that of the prime payers there. Here are some of the brands that nailed growth with this technique.
- Slack, the e-communication platform gained immense attention by replacing the traditional email system with a more convenient one for the working community.
- When leading companies were selling software, Salesforce innovated to offer a cloud-based CRM. The innovative effort led the company to build a 21 billion dollar empire.
6. Salesforce: Adopting new channels
Another effective business growth strategy is identifying and adopting new distribution channels for your products. This can trigger your company’s growth by trying different marketing channels to enlarge your customer base and increase revenue generation without making any changes to your product.
One of the successful brands in this regard is Allbirds, a renowned e-commerce business. They were catering to their customers online alone. Then they started growing their brick-and-mortar presence. Today, they have 29 traditional stores. And this has increased their revenue by acquiring new offline customers from a lot of physical locations. You can also apply this online.
7. Dollar Shave Club: Venture into new markets
Venture into new markets is another successful business growth strategy employed by many brands that made it big. Dollar Shave Club, a male razor manufacturer, in 2012 launched itself and ventured into the retail marketing model where most of the predominant players were into a direct-to-consumer model and offered a lower-priced version to the leading brand then.
Back then Gillette was the most popular razor brand with a commanding share of about 70% of the U.S. market. Dollar Shave Club’s new growth strategy eliminated middlemen and passed on the cost-savings to consumers. This eroded Gillette’s market to about 53% in 2019. Five years later, Unilever acquired Dollar Shave Club for $1 billion.
8. Google: Product development
Developing products that compliment your existing product line can greatly boost growth. One brand that made it big in this regard is the world-renowned search engine giant Google. When it began, it was just a business-to-consumer (B2C) firm offering only a search engine. To get a revenue source, it developed a new product, AdWords, for B2B audiences who had to pay to advertise.
Google nailed it by ensuring that AdWords seamlessly fit into the experience of its B2C product. It maintained its search engine’s speed by offering text ads that loaded quickly and resembled other search engine results. This way, its consumer experience wasn’t deteriorated by advertising and so its consumers are continuing its search engine usage- a digital marketing trend to learn from Google.
9. Lyft and Taco Bell: Strategic partnerships
One of the business growth strategies that aren’t commonly employed by brands is strategic partnerships. However, if done properly, partnering with other brands can bring immense growth. While choosing a company to partner with, go for one whose offerings complement yours. This way, both of your audiences will instantly double. That is, you get their audiences and they get yours.
Two companies that did it well are Lyft, a transportation service provider, and Taco Bell, a chain of fast foods. Lyft and Taco Bell partnered such that Lyft passengers could ask for a mid-trip stop at a local Taco Bell with the click of a button within the Lyft app. This partnership brought increased sales for Taco Bell and created a lot of publicity for both firms.
10. Dropbox: Referral Program
Running a referral program is another sure-fire way to promote business growth. This is because people trust in recommendations from friends, relatives, and even strangers more than they trust brand advertisements. So, have a referral program that incentivizes the referrer and the referred. This way, your customer base, and sales would soon increase.
One of the firms that have excelled in referral marketing is Dropbox. The file-hosting service provider had only 100K registered users in 2008. The very next year, this number rose to 4 million. The company’s revenue in 2021 was $530.6 million. The ultimate reason behind their massive growth is their referral program that gamified the process.
11. Walmart: Establishing a value proposition
Any business that seeks to establish itself and find success, in the long run, should understand what sets it apart from its counterparts. It should identify why customers choose it over its competitors. So, study what differentiates you, makes you credible and relevant. Now, write down your findings to these questions. This is your value proposition. Use it on your marketing materials.
One brand that found amazing success this way is Walmart. It figured out that its pricing is more competitive than that of the whole foods market. It adhered to this value proposition and used it to attract a lot of customers. No wonder Walmart’s current revenue is 523.964 billion USD.
12. Postmates: Product innovation
Product innovation is another eminent business growth strategy. You should innovate in that area that would simplify things and make it convenient for users. Consider the example of Postmates, a US-based food-delivery service that had catered to 35,000 cities across the city and was the go-to service provider for 70% of the US citizens until it was acquired by Uber in 2020.
Postmates succeeded by introducing an app for Shopify merchants where they can have anything delivered to them within 2 hours. This enabled many small businesses to get back to a new normal business life post the crisis.
13. Innocent: Employ social media marketing
Social media marketing is indispensable for all kinds of businesses these days. This is because the majority of internet users today are active on social media. They express their happiness, concerns, experiences, and ask for recommendations over these networks. Brands should start conversations, respond to their queries, and post shareable content over social media to engage their audience there.
One notable brand that made it big with social media marketing is Innocent, the renowned smoothie-making brand. They excelled in it by joining the conversations that were already occurring there and by conversing like humans using buzzwords and jargon to sell their products. They do it in a fun-filled manner without being overly promotional.
14. Buzzfeed: Content creation for human readers and not bots
One of the best practices in content marketing is content creation for human readers rather than for bots. This is because it is ultimately humans that you’re targeting. However, today marketers have overly given into the practice of developing content for search engines, which has ended up degrading its quality.
One of the brands that have nailed it is Buzzfeed, an American news and entertainment firm. With this approach, they’ve gained more than 3 billion monthly content views and a global audience of more than 520 million. They write for content shares and not for Google search.
15. Coco-Cola: Marketing consistency
Establishing consistency in your marketing materials is a key to stamping your brand in the memory of consumers. All your marketing materials like website, packaging, catalogs, brochures, letter pads, social media, print ads, TV commercials, etc. should be consistent. Use the same fonts, colors, tone, graphics, logo, and images in all of those.
Think of Coco-Cola. You won’t have any difficulty finding it in a big departmental store. The reason is its bold comic font and its bright red-colored can are always representative of the brand.
As you’ve observed from our blog, there are many business growth strategies out there. You need to identify and employ those that would best suit your business, its current needs, and the extent you want it to grow in the future.
You may employ several strategies simultaneously or do them one at a time. After that, identify which of those work the best for you and then adhere to those.