Top 8 Business Model Canvas Examples in 2024

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Business Models

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Innovation experts agree that the Business Model Canvas is the best tool for understanding the intricacies of how a business functions. That makes understanding how to use the Business Model Canvas a top priority for anyone looking to spur the growth of their current business or plan the beginning of a new one.

The Business Model Canvas (BMC) Serves as a visual and comprehensive snapshot of an organization’s entire business model, the BMC facilitates a holistic understanding of how different components interact. We provide business model strategy service as a catalyst for fostering innovation and adaptability within the Business Model Canvas.

At our organization, we recognize the pivotal role of the BMC and go beyond its representation by offering specialized business model strategy services. By integrating our business model strategy services with the BMC, we empower organizations to navigate the dynamic business landscape with resilience, ensuring their models are not only robust but also adaptable to change. As an initial step to assist businesses in selecting tailored services that align with their specific needs and objectives for innovation, we offer an Innovation Blueprint to evaluate current innovation practices.

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In this article, we discuss the various pieces of the Business Model Template and how they can be used to reflect on a company’s advantages and potential challenges. We’ve also included some sample templates completed to match the business models of some well-known, successful companies.

Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas serves as a strategic management and entrepreneurial tool, enabling the description, design, challenge, invention, and potential pivot of your business model. Derived from the bestselling management book, Business Model Generation, this methodology finds application in leading organizations and start-ups globally.

The Business Model Canvas consists of nine essential building blocks that collectively shape a comprehensive view of a business model. It starts with identifying the target “Customer Segments” and defining the unique “Value Propositions” that cater to their needs. The “distribution Channels” through which these propositions are delivered are detailed, accompanied by a description of the type of “Customer Relationships” established. “Revenue Streams” elucidate how the company generates income, while “Key Resources” and “Key Activities” outline critical assets and operations. “Key Partnerships” acknowledge external collaborations contributing to the business, and the “Cost Structure” delineates the associated expenses. This visual framework provides a holistic and structured approach for entrepreneurs and business leaders to strategize, communicate, and refine their business models efficiently.

For a comprehensive exploration of the Business Model Canvas (BMC), delve into our book,How to Create Innovation. This resource not only provides detailed insights into the intricacies of the Business Model Canvas but also offers practical guidance on leveraging this powerful tool to foster innovation within your business. Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting, our book equips you with the knowledge and strategies to effectively employ the Business Model Canvas for sustained innovation and success in today’s dynamic business landscape.

The Only Book On Innovation You’ll Ever Need

+FREE access to 50+ complimentary download packages covering the details with plenty of helpful background information

Real-Life Business Model Canvas Examples

The general public doesn’t have access to major companies’ official Business Model Canvas, of course, but it can be beneficial to consider how representatives from those companies might complete one.

You may consider completing an entire Business Model Canvas for a company of your choosing as practice for completing your own. Another exercise to consider is completing two canvases for two different companies, one that’s been successful and one that failed. Listed below are four famous companies and a discussion of how some sections of a Business Model Canvas might be completed for each.

Example (1): Apple

At the simplest level, Apple is dedicated to selling its products – computers, iPhones, etc. – and its services. Most of their revenue comes from phone sales.

But most tech-savvy people understand that Apple’s brand placement is vital to the company’s success. They’ve positioned their products as desirable, fashionable, and cutting-edge. Keeping their products connected to “cool” is important to their overall business model.

Apple Business Model Canvas Example
Apple Business Model Canvas Example

Example (2): Airbnb

Airbnb generates revenue by facilitating a service that lets people access another service. The company’s money comes a little from the host and a little more from the guest. The platform connecting the two different groups is the entire business, which means their technology infrastructure is vital to their operations.

Airbnb Business Model Canvas Example
Airbnb Business Model Canvas Example

Example (3): Uber Business Model Canvas

Like Airbnb, Uber uses the platform service model to connect customers to providers, in this case, drivers. Their technology infrastructure makes their business operations possible.

In both platform service examples, both companies can look to their technology to expand their products and services. They would both benefit from leveraging their massive rolls of service providers and customers to find new options to deliver revenue generation.

Uber Business Model Canvas Example
Uber Business Model Canvas Example

Example (4): Netflix Business Model Canvas

Netflix has always used a subscription-based business model, starting with physical DVDs and then transitioning to the streaming platform with which most of us are familiar. Recently, Netflix has begun to leverage its success as an entertainment distributor to try its hand at becoming an entertainment creator.

An important element of their business model is the customer experience. As such, improving and developing that experience attracts a lot of the company’s attention and resources.

Netflix Business Model Canvas Example
Netflix Business Model Canvas Example

Example (5): Amazon Business Model Canvas

By employing the Business Model Canvas, Amazon has created a dynamic and scalable business model that continuously evolves to meet changing market demands and technological advancements. This adaptability has contributed to Amazon’s success as one of the world’s leading e-commerce and technology companies.

  1. Customer Segments:
    • Amazon targets a diverse range of customer segments, including online shoppers, book lovers, tech enthusiasts, and businesses through its Amazon Business platform.
  2. Value Propositions:
    • Amazon provides a vast selection of products, competitive prices, fast and reliable delivery through Amazon Prime, and an efficient online shopping experience. Additionally, services like Amazon Web Services (AWS) offer cloud computing solutions.
  3. Channels:
    • The primary distribution channel is the online platform (website and mobile app). Amazon also utilizes physical stores, Whole Foods Market, and third-party sellers to expand its reach.
  4. Customer Relationships:
    • Amazon emphasizes customer-centricity by offering personalized recommendations, efficient customer service, and hassle-free returns. Prime membership fosters loyalty through exclusive benefits.
  5. Revenue Streams:
    • Amazon generates revenue through various streams, including e-commerce sales, subscription fees from Prime memberships, fees from third-party sellers, and AWS cloud services.
  6. Key Resources:
    • Key resources include the vast product catalogue, distribution centres, technology infrastructure, data analytics capabilities, and a global network of suppliers and sellers.
  7. Key Activities:
    • Amazon engages in a range of activities, from e-commerce operations and logistics management to cloud computing services. Continuous innovation and technology development are integral to its operations.
  8. Key Partnerships:
    • Amazon collaborates with various partners, including suppliers, third-party sellers, delivery services, and content providers. Partnerships enhance its product offerings and delivery capabilities.
  9. Cost Structure:
    • The major costs for Amazon include fulfilment and shipping, technology and content expenses, marketing, and administrative costs. Investments in technological infrastructure and innovation contribute to its cost structure.
  10. Channels:
    • The primary distribution channel is the online platform (website and mobile app). Amazon also utilizes physical stores, Whole Foods Market, and third-party sellers to expand its reach.

Example (6): Tesla Business Model Canvas

Tesla’s business model is characterized by innovation, sustainability, and a direct-to-consumer approach. The company has disrupted the automotive industry by combining electric vehicles with cutting-edge technology and autonomous driving capabilities. Its success is evident not only in vehicle sales but also in its impact on shaping the future of sustainable transportation and energy.

  1. Customer Segments:
    • Tesla targets environmentally conscious consumers, tech enthusiasts, and luxury car buyers looking for high-performance electric vehicles.
  2. Value Propositions:
    • Tesla’s value proposition includes electric vehicles with cutting-edge technology, long-range capabilities, sustainability, and performance. The Autopilot feature adds an innovative aspect.
  3. Channels:
    • Tesla primarily sells through its online platform, Tesla stores, and galleries. Additionally, it uses showrooms and service centers for customer engagement.
  4. Customer Relationships:
    • Tesla fosters direct relationships with customers through online sales, personalized customer support, and community engagement. The brand encourages customer loyalty through continuous updates and improvements.
  5. Revenue Streams:
    • The main revenue streams come from the sales of electric vehicles, energy products (solar panels and Powerwall), and Full Self-Driving (FSD) software subscriptions.
  6. Key Resources:
    • Tesla’s key resources include manufacturing facilities (Gigafactories), a network of Supercharger stations, technological expertise, and a strong brand image.
  7. Key Activities:
    • Manufacturing electric vehicles, developing software and hardware for autonomous driving, and continuous innovation in battery technology are key activities for Tesla.
  8. Key Partnerships:
    • Tesla collaborates with suppliers for components, charging network partners for Supercharger stations, and has partnerships with other automotive manufacturers for regulatory credit trading.
  9. Cost Structure:
    • The major costs include research and development for new technologies, manufacturing expenses, sales and marketing, and the maintenance of the Supercharger network.

Example (7): Google Business Model Canvas

Google’s business model stands out for delivering complimentary, user-focused services while utilizing targeted advertising as its central monetization approach. With its dominance in the online search sector, a varied product portfolio, and well-planned acquisitions, Google solidifies its position as a leading technology behemoth with a worldwide impact.

  1. Customer Segments:
    • Google caters to a diverse set of customer segments, encompassing everyday internet users seeking information, businesses in search of advertising solutions, and developers leveraging Google’s APIs and platforms.
  2. Value Propositions:
    • Google’s value propositions revolve around delivering an intuitive search engine, a suite of productivity tools (G Suite), advertising platforms (Google Ads), and a wide array of internet-related services.
  3. Channels:
    • The primary channel is the Google search engine, complemented by platforms like YouTube, Android, and its expansive advertising network, collectively ensuring broad user outreach.
  4. Customer Relationships:
    • Google cultivates customer relationships by offering widely-used and free products such as Search, Gmail, and Maps. For businesses, it extends customer support for advertising solutions and cloud services.
  5. Revenue Streams:
    • The primary revenue source for Google is advertising, encompassing pay-per-click ads on its search engine, display advertising across platforms, and subscription-based services like G Suite and YouTube Premium.
  6. Key Resources:
    • Essential resources include sophisticated search algorithms, extensive data centres, a robust technology infrastructure, software development expertise, and a substantial team of skilled professionals.
  7. Key Activities:
    • Google’s key activities involve continuous refinement of its search algorithms, technological innovation (e.g., artificial intelligence), provision of cloud services, and expansion of its advertising ecosystem.
  8. Key Partnerships:
    • Google collaborates with businesses and websites through its advertising network, forms partnerships with device manufacturers for Android, and engages in strategic alliances, particularly in the realm of cloud computing.
  9. Cost Structure:
    • Major costs for Google encompass research and development, the maintenance of data centres, marketing efforts, and investments in acquiring traffic through partnerships. The company consistently allocates significant resources to innovation and technology advancement.

Example (8): Zara Business Model Canvas

Zara’s business model is defined by its capacity to swiftly transform runway trends into affordable, ready-to-wear fashion. The brand’s vertically integrated supply chain, efficient production practices, and commitment to in-store experiences contribute significantly to its triumph in the competitive fashion landscape.

  1. Customer Segments:
    • Zara predominantly caters to fashion-savvy consumers seeking stylish and budget-friendly clothing, spanning across men, women, and children.
  2. Value Propositions:
    • Zara’s value proposition centres on fast fashion, delivering the latest trends at affordable prices. The brand distinguishes itself by swiftly bringing new designs from concept to store shelves.
  3. Channels:
    • Zara’s distribution channels encompass an extensive network of physical stores globally, complemented by an online platform for e-commerce, providing customers with both offline and online shopping options.
  4. Customer Relationships:
    • Zara nurtures customer relationships through immersive in-store experiences, personalized shopping interactions, and responsive customer service. The brand encourages repeat visits by frequently refreshing its inventory.
  5. Revenue Streams:
    • Zara derives its primary revenue from the sale of fashionable products. Its fast fashion model encourages regular consumer purchases by rapidly introducing and cycling through new styles.
  6. Key Resources:
    • Key resources for Zara include its creative design team, efficient production facilities, a well-structured supply chain, and an expansive network of retail stores.
  7. Key Activities:
    • Zara’s pivotal activities encompass the design, manufacturing, and distribution of fashion products. The brand’s emphasis on a nimble and responsive production cycle ensures it stays agile in the ever-evolving world of fashion trends.
  8. Key Partnerships:
    • Zara collaborates closely with suppliers, manufacturers, and logistics partners to optimize its supply chain. Additionally, the brand engages in strategic partnerships for exclusive collections or joint ventures.
  9. Cost Structure:
    • Major costs for Zara include raw materials, manufacturing processes, distribution logistics, and marketing endeavors. The brand strategically invests in maintaining an agile and responsive supply chain.

Steps to Draft Your Own Business Model Canvas

“A love for bad drafts” is one of Digital Leadership’s most important principles. Most people find it easy to criticize a draft, but they often struggle to come up with a draft in the first place and are afraid to share it until they think it is really “finished.”  Our “love for bad drafts,” therefore, has the goal of getting to a first version very quickly, which then allows iteration. Depending on the complexity of the task, we typically allow between 20 minutes and 2 hours to come up with an initial version. Then, improving the “bad draft” is easy, and a cycle of iteration begins.

Step One: Define the Business’s Purpose

Begin with your overall business purpose (Reason) for existing. Don’t worry about reaching people yet, and don’t worry about making money. Think big and broad. What will you champion?

Related: Identifying your Business Purpose | Why are you even here?

Step Two: Define Customers and the Value Proposition

List your ideal customers: who are they and what do they need? In your Value Proposition Canvas, sketch out how your business’s services and products will impact your customers’ lives. How are you going to make something easier or meet their needs in a new way?

Step Three: Define the Experience You Provide

Consider how your customers will perceive interacting with your company. List where and how customers will find you and use what you’re offering. What overall feeling are you hoping your customers get by experiencing your products and services?

Step Four: Define Key Resources and Partners

Move into drafting a list of the materials and vendors you’ll rely upon for your operations. You probably will already be recognizing which resources you need for your core operations. What can be trimmed away? What is too important to leave to someone else?

Related Articles:

  1. Key Resources Building Block in Business Model Canvas
  2. Key Partners Building Block of the Business Model Canvas

Step Five: Track the Money Coming in and Going Out

Before completing any leftover sections of your canvas, consider where you’ll generate revenue and where you’ll incur costs. Don’t forget: not all revenue streams are money (and neither are all costs!). How is your revenue collected? What are the plans for developing repeating income?

Overview of Business Model Canvas Building Blocks

Business Model Canvas
The UNITE Business Model Canvas
Designed by: Digital Leadership AG – Building on the Work of Alexander Osterwalder

The Business Model Canvas is a complex diagram of all the different pieces of your company, but that complexity is deliberate. It pushes you to consider elements and areas of your business that often go unnoticed until it’s too late.

Below are the building blocks you’ll find in the Business Model Canvas, along with the sub-sections within each one.

(1) Operating Model

The concept of an Operating Model Canvas was originally developed by Andrew Campbell and his colleagues. We have developed an iteration of it that will consider additional aspects and that is more geared towards innovation. If you want to learn more on the topic, please consider their book entitled Operating Model Canvas.

Operating Model Canvas
The UNITE Operating Model Canvas
Designed by: Digital Leadership AG – Building on the Work of Andrew Campbell at al

Your Operating Model is how you put your Business Model into action.

  1. Value Chain: This section describes your key value-creating activities. There may, in fact, be several key value chains that keep your business moving. Here, you consider what needs to be done in order to maintain operations, who’s responsible for those activities, and the roles customers do or could play in them.
  2. Key Resources: Here you list the assets and business capabilities you need in order to create your value proposition. You should understand which of these resources is part of your core business, which truly supports differentiation, and which should be insourced. Other resources that aren’t as central or as necessary may be found less expensive elsewhere.
  3. Key Partners: This section of your Operating Model Canvas considers the other people and businesses that keep your operation running. You will list what you get from these key partners, how necessary of a role they play, and where your supply chain might need diversification.

(2) Value Model

At the centre of the Business Model Template, you find the Value Model. The Value Model is first of all defined by the Value Proposition(s) you offer. The Value Model also covers the supporting Product System, i.e., the complementary products and services which you offer in support of your core product. Think about accessories, related services and guarantees, and whatever allows you to up and cross-sell.

Value Proposition Canvas
The UNITE Value Proposition Canvas
Designed by: Digital Leadership AG – Based on the work of Peter Thomson which is based on the work of Steve Blank, Clayton Christensen, Seith Godin, Yves Pigneur and Alex Osterwalder and the original Value Proposition Canvas
  1. Value Proposition: Here you list the value you bring to your customers, partners, and stakeholders. Consider individual customer segments and the products or services you offer to each of them.
  2. Product System: This section asks you to think about possible complementary products and services that you could offer that would enhance the value you provide. Think of the possibility of building an entire ecosystem that connects your company more deeply to customers while fending off competitors.

(3) Experience Model

The Experience Model defines the ways in which your customers experience your Value and Service Models. It is wise not to leave this to chance; experience often generates the bulk of the value, whether due to convenience (Netflix) or luxury (Rolex). The Experience Model covers your brand, customer relationships, customer engagement, and marketing.

  1. Brand: In this section, you describe your brand architecture and how a customer would experience your brand across everything you offer. Think about how you see yourself along with how others see you.
  2. Customer Relationships and Engagement: Describe the relationship you have with your customers and how they interact with your company. Think about options such as self-service, personal assistance, communities, or Single Points of Contact.
  3. Distribution Channels: List the ways you are currently reaching customers, along with the ways you wish you were reaching customers. Think about how much each channel costs, and where you can get the most return on your investments.

(4) Service Model

A Service Model defines the differentiating, core, and supporting services delivered by an organization. When working on your Service Model, think about your service strategy and your core competitive and differentiating services. Also consider Service-Level Agreements, service channels, and possible self-service.

(5) Cost Model

Your operations drive your efforts and thus costs. Once you understand your Value Chains, Key Resources, and Key Partners, it should be relatively easy to identify the key cost drivers and potential Opportunity Spaces for innovation. For any Business Model, managing costs is critical, but some Business Models are designed entirely around low-cost structures.

Cost Structure Building Block in Business Model Canvas
Cost Structure Building Block in Business Model Canvas

Related Articles:

(6) Revenue Model

Revenue Streams outline how you earn money. In this section, consider the price you think customers are willing to pay for your products or services. Pricing can often be a source of differentiation! Pricing mechanisms can include auctioning, bargaining, fixed-list prices, market- or volume-dependent prices, or yield management.

A Business Model can also involve transactional revenues resulting from one-time customer payments (e.g., a sale) or recurring payments (e.g., a subscription). In the context of the Revenue Model, think also about any other benefits you may be getting. Not all value is monetary!

Related: Revenue Streams in Business Model Canvas

Conclusion

We find that the power of a Business Model Canvas lies in its ability to force us to re-vision how our business will work. Because a business has so many moving parts, it can be difficult to isolate and analyze each one. As a result, opportunities for development and innovation are easily overlooked. The Business Model Canvas ensures that you’re taking proper advantage of all your opportunities.

Related: Identifying Hidden Market Opportunities for Innovation through JTBD

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Business Model Canvas and why it is important?

The Business Model Canvas helps you describe, challenge and innovate the Business Model of an organization, and it does this quite well, at least on a high level. When you design a Business Model, it is useful to lay out the assumptions or hypotheses that animate your business in a structured way. A Business Model Canvas helps you to do just that. The canvas helps you to easily understand your current Business Model, design a new one, see if you have missed anything important, and compare your model to others.

What is the purpose of a business model?

A Business Model clearly describes how a company will make money by bringing value to its customers. Typical Business Models include target markets, market needs, and how a company will meet those needs. Its purpose is to serve as a tool for quickly explaining how a business’s many pieces will successfully serve its customers’ needs.

How do you analyze a business model?

When you analyze a business model, you should evaluate a number of things:
How will the business generate income?
How will the business solve a customer’s needs?
Can solutions be delivered at acceptable costs?
What resources are necessary for the business’s core activities?
What happens to the business if circumstances change?
A Business Model Canvas can help you analyze a business model because it clearly visualizes the answers to these important questions.

The UNITE Business Model Framework: A Framework for Innovation Success

How to Create Innovation includes a number of canvases that focus on value creation and finding the right business model to meet your customer segment and customer needs. The framework is built to inspire drastic changes that help you find a competitive advantage. Our hope is that your company grows through business model innovation, and so we again encourage you to look deeper into our website and the book.

Here is a summary of the key ingredients of the Business Model Framework:

Business Model framework
The UNITE Business Model Framework
Designed By: Digital Leadership AG

Business Models

The centerpiece is the Business Model Canvas, which covers the six main areas of a Business Model (the Operating, Value, Service, Experience, Cost, and Revenue Models).

The eXtended Business Model Canvas adds the immediate business context, including Business Drivers, customers, and the team, as well as the Unfair Advantage.

Detailed Models

A Business Model can be broken out into numerous aspects. Depending on what challenges you face, you can zoom in on your area of interest using an appropriate tool or canvas: