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Mixing Up Your Model

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1) The London Evening Standard is a daily newspaper (over 180 years old!) which used to be sold to commuters for 50p. It could be purchased around the capital’s tube, train and bus terminals, and had a readership of approximately 250,000. However, in 2009, the Evening Standard decided to change its business model entirely, and give away the newspaper for free. By doing so, they increased their readership levels to 600,000, which had a domino effect on their advertising revenue, as advertisers were then prepared to pay more for advertising in a newspaper with a higher number of readers.

2) Finally, if you cast your musical minds back to October 2007, you may recall Radiohead releasing the “In Rainbows” album online for a ‘pay-what-you-want’ rate. According to NME (, whilst many of Radiohead’s fans paid nothing to download the album, “In Rainbows” still managed to generate more money before it was physically released in December 2007 than Radiohead’s previous album “Hail to the Thief”. Sales for the physical version of the “In Rainbows” album were also high – as the band included additional tracks which were not on the original online version. So, all in all, the innovative business model they experimented with exceeded their expectations and previous sales records.

Whilst it may not make business sense to offer your products and services for free, it is likely that there will be some elements of your business model which you could muddle up, without getting your business in a muddle. So don’t be afraid to mix up your model, and see where your innovations take you!"

Clare Griffiths is a Director of Think Innovate Change, a company which enables individuals and organisations to become more innovative by designing and delivering practical innovation management courses, tools and solutions.

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Published on: 26th September 2012

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