Horizontal vs. Vertical Growth Strategy: Which is Best?

The most successful businesses and startups commit to ongoing growth.

However, this is easier said than done. There are significant roadblocks that prevent even the most ambitious organizations from achieving their goals.

So, what does this all mean for your business or startup?

In recent years, horizontal and vertical growth have become go-to growth marketing strategies for many of the world's leading brands. In most instances, these growth strategies have produced amazing results.

New call-to-action

So, what's the benefit of a horizontal vs. vertical growth strategy, and which approach is right for your unique business or startup?

As an industry-leading growth team, we've helped deserving brands level up. We'll explain the pros and cons of horizontal vs. vertical growth so you can select the right growth strategy for your business.


Horizontal vs. Vertical Growth: Which is Right for Your Brand?


A recent study found that people tasked with remembering one digit made much better decisions than people charged with remembering seven digits. The takeaway here is that rapid business growth can actually be a bad thing.

You need to know that long-term business growth relies on slow, steady, and calculated decision-making. Before you commit to one growth strategy over the other, it's going to take time to start seeing results.

Here are the major differences between horizontal vs. vertical growth.

New call-to-action


Horizontal Growth Strategy

Horizontal growth means expanding products/services to new markets. This can be done by developing a new market or penetrating an existing market. Additionally, you might try to apply existing assets to a new business domain, such as transitioning from a product to a SaaS model.

Highly lucrative
Better long-term ROI

Challenges unique to new markets
Increased competition

Example: Uber launched in San Francisco, but later rolled out to thousands of locations across the globe. Additionally, the company launched UberEats.

New call-to-action


Vertical Growth Strategy

A vertical growth strategy means scaling products/services inside an existing market. Typically, businesses add additional features or capabilities to existing products/services. You might also add products/services to complement existing products/services.

Allows you to go deeper into existing markets
Most popular growth strategy

Typically requires more money
Workforce capacity problems

Examples: Instagram is much more than just a photo-sharing app. This tool enables users to share videos. In recent years, they even rolled out a live video recorder.


Horizontal vs. Vertical Growth Strategy: Forge Your Path Towards Business Growth

Your growth strategy is only as strong as the dedicated team used to implement it.

For that reason, many industry-leading businesses and startups go out of the way to find a results-driven growth partner.

Over the years, we've had the opportunity to partner with a ton of deserving brands. From industry-leading tech accelerators to fiber internet providers, we've worked alongside some of the world's leading innovators. Is your business next?

To accelerate growth and dominate your market, your brand must become the leader in perceived value to your market. That cannot be achieved overnight. We take our clients through a three-phased approach to deserving growth: plan, build, & grow.