Innovation strategy is a context specific set of choices towards a goal that is underpinned by strategic logic. We link three archetypal innovation strategies via an analytical framework covering four dimensions- ‘objectives’, ‘scope’, ‘advantages’, and ‘flaws’. We argue that such a framework is currently non-existent and enables innovation strategy comparisons on a common basis. Patterns in the ‘disruptive’, ‘modular’, and ‘enabling’ innovation archetypes, help draw out simple rules for proactive innovation strategy. Thus, the theoretical contributions of this paper are two-fold- (a) the introduction of a novel analytical framework to characterize innovation strategies, and facilitate their comparison on common basis; and (b) the pattern-driven discovery of simple rules for three innovation types, thereby contributing to the emerging theory of strategic heuristics.