Why and how organizations around the world adopt the Business Model Canvas

 Why and how organizations around the world adopt the Business Model Canvas

The roots of the Business Model Canvas lie in a PhD dissertation that started in 2000. Today its success goes far beyond our wildest imagination. Organizations around the world are adopting the Canvas: more than 5 million downloads of the Business Model Canvas and more than 1 million Business Model Generation books sold. Why is the Business Model Canvas so popular and how do organizations like Nestlé, SAP and MasterCard apply it? Read more about the findings and best practices of research conducted by Strategyzer in cooperation with Business Models Inc.

A Language for Strategy and Innovation

Survey respondents were asked to highlight how the Business Model Canvas creates value for them. The main contributions lie in providing a shared language, leading to better strategic conversations and better ideas on the table. Canvas users appreciate the visual, practical, and intuitive aspects of the Business Model Canvas most, leading to better group discussions. The Canvas is particularly valued in cross-functional teams and especially among users in non-business functions (IT, engineers, scientists, etc.).

Putting the Canvas to Work

Users put the Canvas to work in very different areas of their organizations. The majority of the surveyed users apply the Business Model Canvas to develop entirely new businesses, launch new products and services, or revamp their existing business model and strategy. Applications span from strategic reorientation at the corporate level, all the way to better understanding of B2B clients and on-boarding senior executives and new employees.

Reasons for using the Business Model Canvas

  • Development of an entirely new business model (36%)
  • New product/service development within existing business model (21%)
  • Strategic reorientation (19%)
  • Renovate an old business model (15%)

Disrupting the Strategic Plan

An increasing number of users apply the Business Model Canvas to describe current and future strategy. A Google Trend analysis shows how the traditional strategic plan is losing popularity, while the Canvas is gaining popularity. The latter was coined in 2009, while the former has a much longer track record.

Teaching the Canvas Globally

The Business Model Canvas is also widely used by academics. Top ranked business schools around the world like Stanford, Harvard or IESE are adopting the Business Model Canvas in their class rooms. Students are learning how to apply the Canvas in strategy and innovation in leading MBA and Executive programs, and they are bringing this cutting-edge knowledge back to their organizations.

It’s just the beginning

Strategyzer and Business Models Inc. aspire to create a whole new generation of business tools that change the way organizations do strategy and innovation. Accompany us on this exciting journey of transformation!

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 Patrick van der Pijl



Producer of the worldwide bestseller Business Model Generation. Helps organizations worldwide.