These days, every company has to pose the question as to whether its own business model will continue to support it in the future. In addition: Which business models will continue to be relevant for the company? Finally, the topics of digitization and data accessibility as well as innovative technologies - e.g. blockchains or artificial intelligence - open up new possibilities (and give rise to new framework conditions) for business model innovation and the generation of competitive advantages.


How can a company know what will really grab its customers’ interest? How can it find out which business models will make sense in the future, can be realistically implemented and are scalable? There is no way of predicting these things, because there are too many factors that cannot be reliably assessed at the beginning of a business model development phase.

However, adopting a systematic and iterative approach solves this dilemma. It ensures that answers can be found to individual aspects and their interactions one step at a time.

Key Strategies for the Development of New Business Models

  • Consistent consideration of customer perspectives
  • Integration of overarching trends and developments as well as new technological options
  • Analysis of business models from other industries or companies
  • Rapid validation and further development of idea(s) - so that others do not get there first
  • Systematic and holistic thinking

Especially with respect to the last point: The more holistically one looks at a business idea, the more likely it is to be successful. Even if your idea seems to serve what appears to be a niche in the market, you should question why the niche is there. What mistakes have others made who have already tried to exploit it in the past, for example? What ultimately prevented them from achieving added value?


Together with our clients, we design the entire business model creation process - from idea generation (ideation) to a viable model. We do this by supplementing our clients' knowledge base with methodological know-how and systematic process design and support.

In addition to this, we deploy our cross-industry experience and - if required - specialist expertise from our extensive network of experts. This means that our clients benefit from our specialist and practical knowledge of topics such as blockchains, artificial intelligence and digitization as well as of platform and ecosystem business models.


The customer (or several customer segments) should be at the centre of idea development:

  • What does the customer want or need to do?
  • What are the customer’s ‘pain points’? In other words: If there is an unsatisfactory brand contact point, what pain points should be taken into account?
  • What does the customer want? Which customer requirements remain to be fulfilled?
  • What could good solutions for ‘pain points’ and for fulfilling customer requirements look like (e.g. in the form of products or services)?

Depending on the initial situation, we use various methods to promote the development of ideas. This includes making underlying principles visible and developing ideas and hypotheses, testing them with real customers as quickly as possible and then further developing the concepts according to the results of the tests, e.g. in the form of initial prototypes.


Innovative Ideas Never Operate on Autopilot

It's important to remember: Ideas that have reached an initial level of maturity and are positively accepted by customers do not automatically lead to viable business models. Amongst other things, it is necessary to clarify how the customer relationship should be structured, which sales channels should be used and what the associated revenue model should look like. On the other hand, the necessary resources, key activities and potential partners are essential factors for achieving a holistically sound business model. Not to mention a thought-through cost structure. The Business Model Canvas is an example of a very good method for putting answers to these questions into a coherent context and then presenting them.

Experience shows: Ideas that do not lead to the desired result should be allowed to fail as early as possible in order to give room to new ideas. Maintaining a given course just to avoid having to admit failure only makes the failure more serious. For us, though, failures are simply learning opportunities – whereby the insights gained are only of value if they are systematically included in the next iteration.

We provide support to our clients from the idea development phase to the finished prototype and initial implementation of the business case. We find it important that the relevant know-how and useful procedures are firmly embedded in the company, e.g. by establishing innovation programmes. This approach makes for a sustainable increase in companies’ innovative capacities.

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Recognizing patterns, integrating perspectives and setting specific impulses - these are the strengths of Julia Zirn.

Julia Zirn