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Innovation Strategies for Small Businesses

How to Compete with Big Players

Innovation Strategies for Small Businesses

GUEST POST from Art Inteligencia

Small businesses often find themselves facing tough competition from larger, more established players in the market. However, with the right innovation strategies, small businesses can not only stay afloat but also carve a niche for themselves, attracting customers and giving the big players a run for their money. In this article, we will explore two case studies showcasing how small businesses used innovation to compete with big players in their respective industries.

Case Study 1: Warby Parker

Warby Parker is a renowned eyewear company that disrupted the traditional eyewear industry by offering an innovative solution to a common problem – the high cost of eyeglasses. Before Warby Parker, purchasing prescription eyewear was a time-consuming and expensive process. Warby Parker revolutionized the industry by designing and manufacturing stylish and affordable eyeglasses, eliminating the need for costly intermediaries.

The company’s innovative “Try at Home” program allowed customers to select five frames online, try them on at home, and purchase the pair they liked the most. This unique approach gave Warby Parker an edge over traditional brick-and-mortar stores and large eyewear chains. By leveraging e-commerce and cutting out middlemen, Warby Parker offered quality eyewear at a fraction of the price, attracting customers who were tired of overpriced options.

Additionally, Warby Parker’s social mission played a significant role in its success. For every pair of glasses sold, the company donates a pair to someone in need. This socially responsible approach resonated with consumers, and the word-of-mouth marketing generated from their mission further fueled their growth.

By combining innovative business models, leveraging e-commerce, and having a socially responsible brand, Warby Parker successfully competed against large players in the eyewear industry.

Case Study 2: Square

Square, the mobile payment solutions provider, is another impressive example of a small business competing with big players. Before Square, accepting card payments was often expensive and required complex setup processes. Square disrupted the industry by introducing a small dongle that could be attached to smartphones or tablets, transforming them into mobile card readers.

This innovative solution allowed small businesses, such as food trucks and local vendors, to accept card payments without the need for expensive equipment or contracts with traditional payment processors. Square simplified the payment landscape by making it accessible to businesses of all sizes.

Furthermore, Square expanded its offerings beyond mobile card readers. They introduced additional services such as invoicing, online payments, and point-of-sale systems. By continuously innovating and adapting to market needs, Square has become a trusted brand for small businesses looking for reliable and affordable payment solutions.


In summary, both Warby Parker and Square utilized innovative approaches to compete with big players in their respective industries. By identifying gaps in the market, leveraging technology, and offering unique value propositions, these small businesses gained a competitive edge and attracted a loyal customer base. As a small business owner, by adopting similar innovation strategies and continuously adapting to market demands, you can also compete with the big players, thrive, and grow in your industry.

Bottom line: Futurists are not fortune tellers. They use a formal approach to achieve their outcomes, but a methodology and tools like those in FutureHacking™ can empower anyone to be their own futurist.

Image credit: Pixabay

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