Nigeria is arguably among the few African countries with a vibrant economic environment for business…
“Partnering is the quickest, most effective way to re-engineer a business.” – Curtis E. Sahakian
Strategic Partnerships without any form of ambiguity is simply a means of creating meaningful and powerful alliances that can help you grow your company’s credibility, popularity, and profitability. Better still, strategic partnership is a win-win situation where two or more businesses collaborate efforts or join forces to accomplish a common goal by pooling their resources together to build upon their strengths and compensate for their weaknesses.
Speaking from experience, unlimited results are truly achievable when two or more businesses combine their efforts and work together to form a synergy that creates longer value chains for all the partners involved to be able to leverage each other’s strength to gain a larger market share. For both big and small companies in any industry, forming a strategic partnership to share resources, information, values, knowledge, time, and skill is extremely important because it presents innovative and sustainable ways for them to diversify their operations incrementally to grow their businesses successfully. And if done in the spirit of fair trade and value exchange (giving real value in return for real value), strategic partnerships widens the pool of valuable and viable commercial opportunities by helping businesses to broaden their brand portfolios, access new markets, and have an extended reach to a wider spectrum of customers – thereby fuelling exponential growth.
So it makes a whole lot of business sense to constantly and consistently be on the lookout for opportunities to strategically partner with other businesses that offer complementary products or services, knowing that this approach can either help you become more successful in your current venture, or lead you to greater success outside your chosen field. Of which in both cases, you can improve your business by adding fresh perspectives and new components to your operations. In short, if you do not make strategic partnerships a key element of your business development strategy, you will most likely be at a serious competitive disadvantage, because, Strategic Partnerships hinges on the premise that a single business entity cannot ultimately dominate any business environment all by itself except it leverages on meaning collaborations with other businesses.
And even more so, rather than engage in vicious competitions, corporate disputes, and brand wars in today’s interdependent world, our evolving business ecosystem would be so much better and productive if most businesses encourage cooperation to work together with a spirit of perfect harmony toward the achievement of their shared goals or common objectives. There is more to gain and less to lose from a strategic partnership because apart from enhancing valuable collaborations, risk reductions, and integrated solutions, it also brings about a more stable and profitable economy in the way that it helps to link businesses or business owners to one another for the mutual benefits and collective well-being of all parties involved.
Cases Studies to Consider
Spotify and Uber – Uber partners with Spotify to personalize music in rides. Now Uber users can sync their Spotify accounts when hailing an Uber, select a playlist (either their own, or Spotify will have city specifics playlists to choose from), and have music already playing when they open the car door to start their trip.
Apple and IBM – From rivals to partners, these two heavyweight brands collaborate efforts to make more inroads into the enterprise IT market. Now IBM’s MobileFirst for IOS combines Apple’s user interface with IBM’s analytics features.
Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi – This is a Franco-Japanese Strategic Partnership between these three automobile manufacturers; Renault (based in Paris, France), Nissan (based in Yokohama, Japan), and Mitsubishi (based in Tokyo, Japan) which ensures that together they sell more than 1 in every 9 vehicles worldwide. They own a stake in each other’s company and work together on product development and corporate strategy to the point where they now make up 10% of new car sales all over the world.
Alexander Wang and H&M – This Strategic Partnership between Alexander Wang and H&M is considered a major shift or change in the business of fashion because it’s a collaboration between ‘high streets’ and ‘high fashion’ to make sure that haute couture is within the reach of everyone. This collaboration provided fashion enthusiasts and lovers with a high/low limited-edition of various clothing lines that generated a lot of buzzes became bestsellers, and eventually sold-out.
Microsoft and Walmart – Both companies entered into a Strategic Partnership agreement/arrangement to further accelerate Walmart’s digital transformation. As part of this partnership, Azure will be the preferred and strategic cloud provider for Walmart. Also, Walmart will deploy Microsoft 365 for its thousands of associates around the World to improve productivity. This Strategic Partnership is a win-win for both companies. For Microsoft, Walmart will become one of its largest cloud customers. And for Walmart, Microsoft can provide all the technological power to take on Amazon.
Quote to Ponder
“Most great accomplishments that exist in the world today were achieved in the spirit of strategic alliance and team allegiance – not in defiance.”
”GOD gifted some people with ‘hopes and dreams’ and then lifted many others with ‘ways and means’ just so that there can be a cross-fertilization through which all of us will collectively achieve fruition.”
- Alliances: An Executive Guide to Designing Successful Partnerships – ARD-Pieter De Man
- The Strategic Alliance Handbook: A Practioner’s Guide to Business-to-Business Collaborations – Mike Nevin
- Strategic Alliances: Three Ways to Make Them Work – Steve Steinhilber
- Partnernomics: The Art, Science, and Process of Developing Successful Strategic Partnerships – Mark Brigman
- Collaborative Leadership: Building Relationships, Handling Conflicts and Sharing Control – David Archer and Alex Cameron
- Strategic Partnerships: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Joint Ventures and Alliances – Robert L. Wallace
- The Power of 2: How to Make The Most of Your Partnerships at Work and in Life – Rodd Wagner and Gale Muller
- Collaborative Advantage – Jeff Dyer
- Alliance Competence: Maximizing The Value of Your Partnerships – Robert Spekman
- Mastering Alliance Strategy: A Comprehensive Guide to Design, Management and Organisation – Benjamin Gomes-Casseres, James D. Bamford, and Michael Robinson