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Consider These Business Model Add-Ons to Jumpstart Revenue

This is a guest post by KEO Marketing

Developing an innovative business model, according to a new paper published by the University of St. Gallen, is more important than coming out with new products and services. Researchers studied the most innovative business models in use and found 55 patterns, or add-ons, that are the building blocks of today’s most innovative models.

More often than not, as the study finds, innovation stems from tweaking or refining old ways of doing business, rather than from generating something entirely new. Here’s a look at how companies used the following patterns to create something fresh and exciting.


Amazon is a ubiquitous innovator whose focus lies in supporting sellers on their site. Their business model sells and delivers products on behalf of others (affiliates) and helps them to scale their product line exponentially.

This type of business model aims to create the most successful transaction for both company and affiliates to benefit. For example, Amazon offers access to a more diverse potential customer base without forcing affiliates to market or sell more. Amazon profits a percentage from the wide assortment of products their affiliates offer.

Cross selling

IKEA and Aldi are prime examples of cross selling. In this model, a company adds products or services from another industry not formerly connected with them. They leverage their existing skills and resources to offer these added products or services. With relatively few changes to their existing infrastructure, they can generate additional revenue by meeting more potential customers’ needs.


Consider how Netflix took its original offerings (movies through the mail) and now offer digital streaming. Not only does streaming offer easier and faster distribution of their product, but Netflix did it without reducing the value proposition they offer their customers.

Nowadays, you are hard-pressed to find someone who does not use Netflix and it is impossible to find a Blockbuster Video movie rental location. Where one company used digitization to streamline and innovate their business model, the other ended up out of business.

Experience selling

Starbucks ranks near the top of the list of companies prioritizing customer experience above products or services. The value of a simple cup of coffee increases relative to the quality of the customer experience that goes along with it. When you sell an experience, you open the door to higher demand that comes with charging increased prices.

The most important thing is getting the customer experience right. If you understand your target niche well, you can charge higher prices without affecting demand.

Hidden revenue

This is how Google and Facebook generate income. These tech giants do not rely on their users for income. Third parties, instead, offer the main source of revenue through the purchase of paid advertisements. Consider how online advertisements, alone, generate billions of dollars in income for both companies.

The focus behind hidden revenue is on the “separation between revenue and customer.” Where most companies rely on users or customers for income, those using the hidden revenue business model abandon that way of thinking altogether in favor of third parties who cross-finance their services.


Companies using the peer-to-peer business model offer a meeting point between two individuals or companies. They act as a mediator or go-between to bring two members of a homogenous group together for business reasons.

Perfect examples of a peer-to-peer model are Craigslist, Airbnb, and Dropbox. They each offer a service that connects individuals sharing information (Dropbox) or sharing experiences (Airbnb).

You can adapt any of these innovative business models to your organization to jumpstart revenue in 2018. Go out there and challenge the conventional wisdom of what makes businesses successful. Take a page from this playbook and create something fresh and new for your company this year.

Questions? Contact me for help with your business strategy: [email protected]

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