A product-led growth strategy is where the product becomes a hero for driving leads, sales, revenue, growth, and consumer loyalty.
The sales and marketing teams do not play a minimal but not heavy role either in the company’s sales. The brand invests more in the product to enhance the consumer experience. Hence, very less effort gets done by the sales team to convert the lead into a potential consumer.
Unlike earlier days, when the sales team used to push the product towards the customer to buy it, despite the product having any unique quality. It happens when the market becomes saturated, and the demand goes down.
So, you got to keep innovating your product with the changing times and consumer tastes to stand apart from the competition. Then only people will always select you over others. Give them the product’s free trial. It helps consumers make buying decisions faster.
Here are the examples of the 20 successful product-led growth companies.
1. Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video is an OTT platform. It is an extended product of Amazon.
They offer varieties in the movie collections. You can watch drama, comedy, thriller, action, etc. Be it national or international, and the language you prefer.
Netflix is its biggest competitor. But what makes people choose Amazon Prime over Netflix at times is that Netflix is more costly than Prime Video. Also, Netflix does not offer a free trial, whereas Amazon Prime does. They offer a 30-day free trial.
They even have a kids section that has parental control. So, they target users from kids to adults.
These offerings make Amazon Prime Video a product that stands out from the competition.
Spotify is a leading music streaming platform.
They provide the service free of cost. But in the free version, they run ads. So, users get irritated because their mindset is different while enjoying their playlist.
So, Spotify launched a paid version where users can listen to music and podcasts with no ads.
How does the product pull the user to buy the paid version?
The recommendation algorithm, famous song, favorite artist, and personal playlist, creating your podcast, songs of different languages, etc., make the user experience great. You can also download the songs to listen to them offline anywhere and anytime.
Do you love reading novels but do not have time?
Audible is the solution. They convert the novels into an audio form so that you can plug in and listen to them anytime. Even while traveling, workout, gardening, or waiting for a doctor’s appointment.
To help you experience the audiobook, they offer a 30-day free trial. In this, they give two credits with which you can buy any two books. If you like it, go on and buy their membership.
Many reasons make people buy the Audible membership.
Their app will show the analytics of how much time you spent listening. They also give you badges at different levels. Audible recommends similar types of novels you’ve listened to before. And, a wide range of genres to select from.
The great driving factor for many is that it is less costly than the books you buy. Get the membership for a month and listen to as many novels as possible.
Canva is an online graphic design platform.
It gets used in designing a range of things. Be it an image, video, gifs, social media posts, banners, posters, cards, etc.
Canva is so handy that a non-graphic designer can also use it. All the basic tools are available on this platform.
Many pre-designed templates can be used or create your own from scratch. Either use the images present on the Canva or upload them from your device.
You do not need to download any software. Sign in and start using. It can run on any device, unlike other graphic designing software like Adobe Photoshop, which needs a system with a high-resolution graphic card.
Some of the features and elements are available only in the paid version. So, any user who likes the free version ends up buying the paid version.
Grammarly is an online writing assistant software.
Many people use it to do content and copywriting, email drafting, book editing, etc.
Its AI identifies grammar mistakes, sentence formation, clarity, engagement level, tone, style, etc. So, for those who do not know English better, it’s a great help to them. Even well-known Engish-speaking people also make mistakes.
Why did I choose Grammarly as a product-led growth example?
Because it is the superior experience of the software that drives people to download their extensions. Grammarly also provides the paid version where some extra features get unlocked that make your sentence error-free.
YouTube needs no introduction. It is the best video-sharing platform.
With a product-led growth model, YouTube has 33 billion+ users as of June 2022 and 10 billion+ app downloads.
It is because of the product’s excellence.
YouTube invests most of its time and money in improving the platform. Their research and development department conducts surveys to improve user experience. You might have come across a quick survey form while surfing the videos.
It has a robust recommendation algorithm that keeps the user engaged. For creators, they have a monetary policy through which people earn money from the videos. On the other side, brands get potential leads by running ads on YouTube.
They also have a paid version where you can watch videos without any ads. YouTube offers a free trial. So, people who hate ads end up buying the paid version.
Zoom is one of those apps that became popular during the Covid time. Here is the trend for the past five years from 2018-2022. You can see the trend breaking out in March 2020 because that’s when Covid hits the world.
It changed the way people communicated. Brands announced a work-from-home policy. Schools and college classes are held online. It was all possible with Zoom.
Its user base increased to 1 billion+ as of June 2022 and 500 million+ app downloads.
Zoom offers a free service with limited features. It is good for personal communication. But the companies buy the paid version. In that, you can do meetings for an unlimited duration, add a large group of people, record, screen share, etc.
So, with the easy user interface and simplicity to handle, Zoom became the most used video communication platform worldwide.
PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds) is an uber-popular online game. The actual players across the world join in a battle and fight for survival.
They made the game so exciting that there came a time when they had to display a notice in-app that you could get into the habit of playing. I have seen it. Some of my friends play for a whole day.
Some colleges conduct PUBG as an event in their fests. Also, the PUBG world championship gets held for the pro players.
Those who are crazy about this game do in-app purchases as well.
WordPress is a powerful website-building platform.
You can host your website, design, and track its analytics by linking to different platforms.
If you host your website for free, WordPress will add its name extension after your domain name. While in the paid version, you get your unique domain name.
A lot of software developers build plugins. Most of them launch it on WordPress. So, you get a range of plugins to develop and optimize your website. WordPress is also known as an effortless Content Management System.
So, no sales team comes into the role when people try to host their website on this platform. It is the platform service that leads to the conversion of WordPress. Hence, it is a great example of a product-led growth company.
10. Survey Monkey
Survey Money is an online survey tool. It gets used to conduct marketing surveys.
Brands like Adobe and Sephora trusted Survey Money. It has over 19 million+ active users worldwide. I am one of them.
You can sign up and use the platform for free. They provide various templates. You only need to select and edit it with your questions. It is so easy to create an event that school students use for their assignments.
They offer three pricing plans along with which they unlock features on every plan. The higher the plan, the more the features. The only stage when the sales team comes into contact is when you want Survey Money for your enterprise.
The enterprises do research at a higher level for which they need some extra tools. Hence, they end up buying after knowing everything they will get offered if they buy the paid version.
Our next product-led growth company is MailChimp.
With the name itself, you must have estimated its service. Yes, it is an email marketing platform.
You can design email, plan the funnel, and run an email campaign.
In the free trial, you get a limited number of emails to send. But once you use the tool, you get an idea of what benefits you will get.
You can also design landing pages, digital ads, and social media posts.
SemRush is an online marketing tool.
The marketers use it for keyword research, SEO, competitor analysis, and making paid ad strategies. Also, you can plan the content for different platforms. Be it a blog, social media, or copywriting.
Brands like Amazon, Decathlon, P&G, and Walmart trusted SemRush.
Take its free trial and see what you can get out of it. Many brands use it for their website planning and growth.
Asana, a SaaS company also sets an example for a product-led growth model.
It is a work management software used to organize tasks and teams, and track their work.
You can sign in and use their free trial to know about the software. The sales team comes into the role when you buy for an enterprise.
Manage the marketing, operations, and campaigns. Asana also integrates with other software to make the workflow easy. Hence, the superiority of the product says all about why you should use Asana for your business growth.
14. DaVinci Resolve
DaVinci Resolve is a video editing software.
You can edit, and play around with color effects, video effects, and audio posts.
They offer two versions of the software. One is free and the other is paid. To help you experience the software’s functionality, they give you access to a free version.
When you find the software is helping you, go on buying their software to unlock extra effects and features.
Procreate is graphic design software for iOS.
Using Apple Pencil, you can create 2D or 3D graphics, storyboards, gifs, animations, etc.
They do not have a free trial. But there are many tutorials from their team and the buyers on YouTube that give you an idea of how the software works, and what things you can create.
So, those who find this app superior in comparison to others, buy it from the Apple App Store. Also, they have a support system in case you face any issues with the app or while using it.
Since people choose Procreate because of its features and benefits, so, it comes under the product-led growth companies list.
Skillshare is an e-learning platform based in the United States.
You can sign in and explore categories like graphics, business, writing, and many more. Try it for free and then go for the paid classes only if you find the value.
Hence, Skillshare also runs its business on the product-led growth model.
No pitching gets done from the salespeople. The marketing team runs the campaign for brand awareness and lead generation.
Upwork is a platform for freelancers.
All those who want to take up freelancing projects register on Upwork. It is free of cost. There are some services for which Upwork charges some amount. But if you want, you can continue free forever.
Many brands place their requirements, and freelancers bid on that project based on their skills. The one who bids high and carries the required skills and experience wins the auction and gets the offer.
Upwork also follows a product-led growth strategy. They have made their platform so strong and trusted that freelancers work on projects without the fear of getting cheated. The legal team of the platform is always active to solve any dispute between the brand and the freelancer.
The marketing team only needs to run the campaign to spread brand awareness. Rest actions get taken by the prospects themselves. No sales team gets involved to make the freelancer get registered. There is a community where you can ask questions and the Upwork team answers them to solve your issue.
LinkedIn, as we all know, is a professional platform. People from different professions connect and share their experiences, opinions, and views on various topics, generally related to business.
Why do people choose LinkedIn? Because of its service and benefits.
They get to build networks across the industry. Some get the job from LinkedIn by looking at their post-type, content engagement, designations, experience, etc.
You also get business updates when you follow any newsletter of any brand. Also, many industry leaders conduct seminars and workshops where you get useful insights into the upcoming trends.
With so many benefits, people sign in to LinkedIn. And some professionals also buy their subscriptions for some extra benefits.
Cloudflare is another SaaS company that follows a product-led growth strategy. They provide web security, website, and app performance improvement, increasing website speed, storing data, etc.
They also provide some basic plans free of cost. If you run a website at a small scale like a blog, then you can opt for the free version.
You get all the basic security features that a website should have to protect itself from getting attacked.
But if you run a website like e-commerce, then paid is the best choice. You get advanced security and large data storage space.
Statista is a market research and analysis company. They collect market and consumer data and prepare a report.
These reports get used by researchers to make marketing strategies and research papers.
Statista collects data from across 170 industries and 150+ countries. Some of the reports are free to access, but for some, you need to pay the platform to unlock the data.
Leading brands like Forbes, The New York Times, and Financial Times trust Statista and rely on their data.
You can contact their sales team for further details on paid access. But their free service itself is a driving force for the prospect of taking action.
Companies following a product-led growth strategy, want you to experience their product yourself. Rather than them pushing it on you to buy it.
So, when you find out how the product is, you take the initiative to buy it. No salespeople come into the role play to convince you.
They are there only to answer your extra questions about the product. Simple to say, to clarify your doubts. Apart from that, you are already in the stage of making a transaction.
Mostly, SaaS companies use this strategy to build trust among their consumers. Once they achieve that, they get word-of-mouth promotion through their loyal consumers.