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5 Growth Strategy Examples from Real Life

5 Growth Strategy Examples from Real Life

Get Growing with Examples from TikTok, Amazon & Tesla

Growth strategy examples serve to educate and inspire companies to strive for excellence in their industries. While there are many approaches to growth strategy, we’re focusing on these five:

  1. Customer-Focused
  2. Strength-Based
  3. Niche-Centered
  4. Team-Driven
  5. Expert-Led

As a bonus, we’ve also included links to 14 additional brands as growth strategy examples, including McDonald’s, YETI, Barilla and Snoo.

1. Customer-Focused Growth Strategy Examples

Launched globally in 2018, TikTok is set to become the third-largest social network, behind Facebook and Instagram.

“Insider Intelligence — the firm previously known as eMarketer — predicts that TikTok will reach 755.0 million monthly users in 2022, after seeing 59.8% growth in 2020, followed by 40.8% growth in 2021.”

TikTok is focused on one kind of content that users can’t resist: short, snappy videos. While other social platforms allow videos, and nothing stops users from posting or consuming short films, the user experience of TikTok is nearly addictive. On average, a user will spend 52 minutes per day on TikTok, and 90% open the app more than once per day. The platform skews younger, with 43% of global users between 18-24 years old.

Other customer-focused growth strategy examples include our YETI brand strategy case study. The company grew from offering a high-quality cooler into a lifestyle brand through the promise of adventure. And customer segmentation examples from The North Face and Netflix demonstrate how superior UX support customer-led growth in diverse industries.

2. Strength-Based Growth Strategy Examples

Capitalizing on its already formidable strength in logistics, Amazon acquired Whole Foods in 2017, giving the company a real-estate foothold of about 400 grocery stores—and ability to grow Amazon Fresh into a same-day grocery delivery powerhouse.  

Next came two-hour delivery available on thousands of products. This marvel of logistics is made possible by Amazon Logistics and intense, data-driven inventory management. And the focus on its strengths has paid off: for the first time ever, Amazon recently displaced Walmart as the world’s largest retailer outside of China.

“Amazon sold more than $610 billion worth of goods over the 12 months ending in June, compared with Walmart’s sales of $566 billion for the past 12 months.”

Here’s a chart showing Amazon’s growth since 2014:

Another growth strategy example is McDonald’s, which enjoyed renewed growth when the brand re-focused on its strengths: the core menu and drive thru. This brand strategy framework update details McDonald’s “Commit to the Core” growth strategy, which included focus on these five menu items:

  1. World Famous Fries
  2. Big Mac
  3. Happy Meal
  4. Egg McMuffin
  5. Chicken McNuggets
  6. Quarter Pounder with Cheese (QPC) 

3. Niche-Centered Growth Strategy Examples

Ranked the fastest-growing brand in 2021, Tesla became the most valuable automaker in the world through its laser-focus on electric cars. Unlike other automakers, this success comes from just four car models:

  • Model S
  • Model 3
  • Model X
  • Model Y

Planned for 2022 is the Cybertruck. Customers in the electric car niche are extremely loyal to the brand as seen in these Reddit reviews:

Six or so months and 11,000 miles later, the car has more or less ruined me on driving any other vehicle. The Model 3 does things that feel groundbreaking and paradigm shifting, and, even more amazingly, in a, ‘Why hasn’t it always been this way,’ sort of way.”

Wow I get the hype now.This is something straight out of a sci-fi movie. The minimalist interior has garnered many criticisms from a practicality standpoint, but it definitely has the visual impact they were going for.”

After completing a cross-country road trip in my two-year old Tesla Model 3, I fell in love with it all over again and knew I had to write a post about it. In my opinion, Tesla hasn’t just revolutionized the electrical vehicle (EV) industry, it has reinvented the car, as I will show you in this (highly biased) post.”

There are many growth strategy examples that center on pursuing a niche. Snoo and Owlet grew their reputations in the $19.5 billion baby monitoring market that promotes safer sleep. These six brand positioning strategy examples from Zillow, Peloton, Asana, Old Navy, Yelp and Instagram show how these brands aspire to build their niche to inspire growth.

4. Team-Driven Growth Strategy Examples

With an A+ Comparably rating and 43 awards for culture, Adobe also enjoyed 37% growth in 2021. This software brand is valued at $24M in the marketplace and is one of the top-growing brands in the US. Representative reviews on Indeed  that show an employee emphasis on growth include:

“Adobe culture truly reflects its core values. Genuine – Exceptional – Innovative – Involved. Adobe employees exhibit these values. Leadership expects the same of themselves. Terrific place for personal & professional growth with terrific benefits.”

“There’s a time when you realize that going to work is a joy and you’ve lost track of the time again building something that you can be pretty proud. As a bonus you’ve helped plenty of friends and customers and other folks do something creative and meaningful. I got the chance to enable books to be published, art to be appreciated, and deadlines to be met when people took advantage of my skills and knowledge that I freely gave because I could. All that and a bag of chips happened at Adobe.”

Not all large tech companies will have an easy time pursuing growth through the strength of their teams: in 2022, Meta, Apple and Amazon were noticeably absent both from Comparably’s top 50 list and Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work list.

We suggest a seven-step growth strategy framework to empower your leadership team to be more than the sum of their cross-functional parts.

5 Growth Strategy Examples from Real Life

5. Expert-Led Growth Strategy Examples

Often, an expert growth strategy consulting perspective is the most effective way to develop and deploy a growth strategy. When Insight to Action engaged with Silk, the brand was one of the first national brands on the scene for plant-based foods and beverages. We assisted with a customer segmentation update, which allowed the brand to accelerate its growth just as the popularity of plant-based offerings exploded with US consumers.

In the B2B space, a food ingredient client challenged Insight to Action to create a category analysis of the global reduced sodium market. At the time, sodium reduction was often a “stealth effort” among global food and restaurant brands. Our Internet research assessed 86 markets and helped the company grow in the most promising areas of bread, bakery, snacks and cheese. Geographically, we identified the UK as the world leader in sodium reduction.

In an initiative that included brand strategy workshops, we developed a blueprint for innovation for global pasta brand Barilla. We built a brand equity pyramid fueled by rich quantitative insights. Barilla was able to focus growth into new categories that would be well-received from consumers, like microwaveable pasta pouches. Just as importantly, the brand was able to avoid extension “danger zones” like wine or snack bars. For more growth strategy examples, visit our Growth Strategy Resources page. Or, meet our experts during one of our Open Office Hours events