Growth Strategy Examples from Dropbox, Slack, and Tinder

5 min readOct 21, 2019

Finishing the second decade of the 20th century, not to start a business, but its growth and continuity have become a priority issue. In this context, growth strategies have become more important than ever and survival in the business world without growth is not sustainable in the long term. We see numerous brilliant growth strategy examples from major companies’ start-up days.

Growth is an issue that is needed to be discussed with different approaches. Considering it just as a variety of products is a big mistake. It refers to expanding the product line, services, customer base, company size and more. But the essential need to acquire growth comes from increasing the number of your customers, the rest comes packed with it.

4 Strategies of Growth

There are four classical methods called growth strategies. In addition to these four strategies, there are also different growth strategies that can be implemented according to the structures of companies by diversifying them. But basically, all growth strategies emerge and are shaped by these four classical methods. One or more of these may be used together. These are:

1 — Product Development Activities such as producing new products and increasing the existing product range with improvements and developments.

2 — Market Penetration: The main approach here is customer acquisition. It includes strategies such as product price reductions, product grouping for specific customer profiles, advertising activities.

3 — Market Development: It is carried out with approaches such as opening offices and branches in different locations, selling through different online channels and giving dealerships.

4 — Diversification: Diversification can be made by starting to operate in a completely different and a new market than your current market by introducing brand new products.

The focus and the ultimate goal of all these growth strategies are to achieve growth by gaining new customers. It is not possible to achieve long-term and stable growth without a regular and loyal customer base.

You can clearly identify how you must use a growth strategy in the light of various criteria such as market, customer profile, your field of activity and your product. In this context, the growth strategies used by some brands can be read as successful growth strategy examples.

3 Growth Strategy Examples

Here are 3 growth strategy examples from the major players of the market:


Cloud storage, which is used widely today, was a very new technology when Dropbox was introduced in 2008. The way of growth was to persuade people to use such a system instead of the physical storage devices used until then. The growth strategy that the company used for this purpose was market expansion. This method, which is performed through a viral loop, is based on users recommending the system to others.

Normally offering 2 GB of free storage, Dropbox offered 500 MB of extra additional storage for each user registered with your referral link. In doing so, users who wanted to have up to 16 GB of free storage space recommended Dropbox to their friends and colleagues.

By all means, this kind of viral method was not effective in the first months of the company. It started providing positive results in the following months and the company reached its one-millionth customer at the end of its first year. The number of customers increased to three million in the next two months. Today, the company serves more than 500 million users.


Created in 2013 by Stewart Butterfield, Slack is a messaging and collaboration tool for enterprises. It allows company teams to chat and share in real-time. Today, Slack has over 12 million daily active users with more than 100 thousand paid customers. When designing Slack, however, Butterfield had no intention of being a big hit.

Slack was created for covering the communication needs of Butterfield’s team during the design process of Glitch, a games app that can now be considered a fail. From this fail, however, came great success as the team saw how valuable Slack was to them. The market needed such a product where internal team members could communicate easily and exchange project materials quickly, and Butterfield already had one.

Since Slack was created for users in the first place with no intention of profit and turned out to be a great product, further development continued accordingly. Slack team always took customer feedback as guidance, replying to every email they received and examining every ticket carefully. This initiation pushed Slack to be a great example of product-led growth.

Read all about Product-led Growth here!

By maintaining and improving its product, Slack grew larger and larger each day. Most of these new customers were people who heard about the tool from their friends and colleagues. This word-of-mouth strategy for growth would eventually make Slack end up being indispensable for every company.


When Tinder, a sort of dating game, first launched, the first problem it faced was the lack of people playing the game. For this purpose, Tinder has started a campaign in the dormitories in universities and getting one-on-one member registration. This way, the number of members increased from 5,000 to 10,000.

These new members also started to make their friends members. Those who saw that their close friends are members of the app could overcome their concerns about being included in the system more easily. As the number of female members increased, more men began to use the application.

Today, Tinder has become a worldwide dating app with millions of users.

Originally published at on October 21, 2019.