Business Model Patterns: Freemium & Ingredient Branding

Posted by Michael Lindberg on Oct 5, 2017 8:03:24 AM

patterns of business model innovation

Business Model Patterns

Last month month I urged you to play cards -  not in order to be pleasure seeking or even lazy, but to do your job of developing your business. But not just any card game will do, you need to look in the direction of Oliver Gassmann, professor of Technology and Innovation Management at the University of St. Gallen, who has come up with a fantastic tool to help you to challenge your current, and develop a new, business model – using 55 cards.


The beauty of the tool is that you don’t have to hide your aces up your sleeve. Quite the contrary, you are forced to show your hand. This happens by discussing each of the 55 business model patterns – and how they can be applied in your business? Here are two examples taken directly from the tool:


The basic version of an offering is given away for free in the hope of eventually persuading the customers to pay for the premium version. The free offering is able to attract the highest volume of customers possible for the company. The generally smaller volume of paying ‘premium customers’ generate the revenue, which also cross-finances the free offering.


Think LinkedIn, Skype, Spotify and Dropbox. You can get a basic service for free, but to take full advantage you need to pay a fee. Can you do a similar thing in your company?

Ingredient Branding:

Ingredient branding describes the specific selection of an ingredient, component, and brand originating from a specific supplier, which will be included in another product. This product is then additionally branded and advertised with the ingredient product, collectively adding value for the customer. This projects the positive brand associations and properties on the product, and can increase the attractiveness of the end product.

Does Bosch, Intel, Carl Zeiss and Shimano spring to mind? They have at least partially built their business model around delivering branded components to other companies. Would that be a possibility for your company as well?


Just imagine the great discussions and brainstorming sessions you can have with your colleagues when you go through all 55 business model patterns. I can guarantee you that you will not leave such a session without having a few great ideas about how you can change your business model and become (even) more successful. It’s definitely worth a try. More to follow …


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Topics: Change