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There are classic business strategy success stories, which include Apple’s decision to change the name and the victory of Ryanair over more powerful competitors. We have compiled a list of 10 business growth strategies that all owners should know.

How Ryanair Overtook Larger Competitors

Example: Ryanair – the fight for the sky of Europe

The main conclusion: a limited resource company can mobilize and outrun richer competitors.

What happened: in 1986, Ryan brothers announced the creation of a new company that will not be afraid to challenge such industry giants as British Airways and Aer Lingus on the London-Dublin route. By offering tickets at record low prices, Ryanair was able to attract passengers who used to use the train or ferry.

All started with the introduction of a new business model, the basis of which was taken the concept of the American low-cost Southwest Airlines. Ryanair refused to distribute free drinks and food on board, standardized the fleet, removed 14 routes, focused on the five main ones, and set the minimum ticket price at that time – 59 pounds.

Additional success factors were short flights and the use of secondary airports on favorable terms. Ryanair flies to regional and remote airports. For the latter, this is a good chance to earn money, because the airline brings a large flow of passengers. Cities that are close to such airports also benefit. And Ryanair knows about it and tries to bargain for the best conditions for itself: they require a surcharge from its partner airports, financial support from the municipalities, and a percentage of the profits from the airport infrastructure facilities such as parking lots, hotels, etc. Many are entirely cooperative with the Ryanair.

Why Apple Changed Its Name

Example: Apple Inc.

The main conclusion is that sometimes it is impossible to defeat a competitor without changing yourself.

What happened: Apple changed the name of Apple Computers to Apple Inc. in 2007.

The Apple company, a manufacturer of Mac computers and iPods, has released its first mobile phone in 2007. The head of the company, Steve Jobs, presented the iPhone at Macworld in San Francisco, recognizing that the official name of Apple Computers is outdated.

Given the great popularity of Apple products that are not related to the company’s line of computers, the decision to change the name seems to be very justified.

This step reflected a fundamental change in priorities: from cult Mac computers to the fundamentally new types of iPod and iPhone electronics, which today bring more than half the profits to an American company. The transformation of the company occurred on time and extremely successful. Of course, the main part of Apple’s success is innovative products and their positioning was extremely successful.

How Lululemon Has Maintained A Reputation as A Cult Company

Example: management, culture, and change in Lululemon.

The main conclusion: instead of hostility to find an opportunity to unite the founders of the company.

What happened: in mid-2008, the management of the company passed from its founder Denis Wilson to the new president, Christine Day. At the same time, Wilson expressed concern about the threat to the traditions and value of the company in connection with the new leadership. Meanwhile, Day inherited a lot of problems, including poor results of coffee chain stores, an unsuccessful real estate strategy and poor communication between company departments. Using her experience and new business development strategy, she did everything to expand Starbucks’s presence worldwide. Moreover, she persuaded the company’s founders to take a management course at Harvard and Stanford to better understand the need for change. Over 4 years, the company’s value has grown from $350 million to $10.59 billion.

The main insight here is that the new CEO has significantly increased communication between the departments of the company. In the future, this allowed Lululemon to achieve a synergy effect and make the Starbucks brand global.

How Cisco Has Become Competitive Again

Example: Cisco Systems – human capital strategy development.

Main conclusion: company-grown talents can help to survive difficult times.

What happened: Cisco developed extremely rapidly during the hi-tech bubble, buying 70 startups at this time and increasing the number of corporate employees by 2 times. After the bubble burst, Cisco had to change its development strategy and, instead of rapid growth, take up the education of its own talents. For the most promising specialists, the company has created the University of Cisco. Within three years, the situation in the corporation has changed dramatically, which allowed it to once again become the market leader.

The main insight here is that the company grows specialists, revealing their potential.

How USA Today Newspaper Became Profitable Again

Example: the development of a new strategy in USA Today

The main conclusion: sometimes old leaders cannot successfully lead a company in a new environment.

What happened: when the circulation abruptly went down, USA Today President, Tom Curley decided to integrate various divisions of the company, including Internet sites, television channels, and print media, and make more efficient use of news content. However, many old leaders in his team opposed the new strategy. In the end, Curly had to replace five of the seven top managers. That is a successful business strategies examples when you should sometimes make braking point.

The main lesson is not to stay away from the development of technology. You must use all available channels to grow your business. If necessary – get rid of managers who do not want to grow.

How Dreyer Survived the Disaster

Example: Dreyer ice-cream shop network

The main conclusion: do not try to mislead employees.

What happened: numerous problems, including the high cost of raw materials, falling sales and the completion of contractual relations with Ben&Jerry’s forced the company to conduct an urgent restructuring. During the meeting, the leaders personally met with each employee and discussed the upcoming action plan, and listened carefully to their advice. The strategy of trust, openness, and faith in their own employees helped the company to become profitable again within two years.

Why Cirque Du Soleil Decided to Abandon the Usual Comfort

Example: Cirque du Soleil – new building led to a new partnership

The main conclusion is that sometimes you should abandon old partners to grow further.

What happened: Cirque du Soleil had a mutually beneficial relationship with MGM Mirage casino. The casino has made significant investments in a purpose-built building for unique circus performances. But opportunities in Asia and the Middle East have forced Cirque du Soleil president Daniel Lamer to start negotiations on new partnerships.

You should not root too much into your partners, trying to attract new ones and expand the sphere of influence.

Why Did the Airborne Express Lose the Competition?

Example: Airborne Express

The main conclusion: narrow specialization may be an advantage, but only for a short time.

What happened: Airborne Express, a small competitor to FedEx and UPS was able to achieve significant results, despite its size. The success is due to the long strike of UPS employees, which Airborne Express used skillfully to gain an advantage. The new company decided to become highly specialized, offering service at low prices only in large cities. However, this case was not one of the business strategy success stories, and the company eventually was acquired by DHL.

We must take advantage of competitors’ weaknesses, but we need to look further. When competitors begin to revive, you should already be one step ahead.

How William Avery Became a Legend

Example: Crown Cork & Seal in 1989

The main conclusion: do not be afraid to think about yourself

What happened: William Avery became president of Crown in 1989 when new competitors appeared on the market, and the metal manufacturing division became increasingly unprofitable. The first thing Avery did was to start developing a long-term development strategy for the company, which included the purchase of competitors and the development of new packaging production. Success did not take long to wait: today the company produces one of five cans/bottles for soft drinks worldwide.

How Lincoln Electric Achieves Unusual Strategy

Example: Lincoln Electric Co

The main conclusion: do everything easier

What happened: this is one of the classic examples of American business. The largest manufacturer of electric arc welding products since 1975 does not have a trade union and does not offer additional bonuses to employees. At the same time, Lincoln Electric guarantees every employee life-long employment and the opportunity to become a shareholder of the company. Lincoln Electric was a pioneer in that kind of employees’ motivation.

The size of the salary depends on the level of profit of the company. Such unusual methods still do not prevent Lincoln Electric from remaining a competitive and profitable company. Lincoln’s example is one of the business strategy success stories which convincingly confirms the importance of employee motivation.

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