Strategic Partnerships – Part 2 of 3

Please check “Part 1 of 3” on Strategic Partnership.


A strategic partnership is a business partnership that involves the sharing of resources between two or more individuals or companies to help all involved succeed. Strategic partners are usually non-competing businesses and often share both the risks and rewards of the decisions of both companies.

Strategic Alliance Example 2:

Another common strategic partnership involves a manufacturer/supplier partnering with a distributor or wholesale consumer. The two companies form a close relationship where they mutually participate in advertising, marketing, branding, product development, and other business functions.

·        Starbucks and Barnes & Noble

Starbucks formed a successful in-store partnership with Barnes & Noble in 1993. While many larger brick-and-mortar bookstores haven’t survived the tough competition from Amazon, Barnes & Noble has seen continued success.

One reason is the co-branded Starbucks “B&N Cafes” inside most Barnes & Noble locations. A hot beverage and a good read have always paired well, which gives book enthusiasts have another reason to visit a physical Barnes & Noble store instead of buying online or from a competitor.  And at the same time, Starbucks gets to expand its audience even wider and boost sales by setting itself apart from competitors. 


                                          Reasons 3 & 4 why Strategic Partnership are Important for Business Success

3.    Strategic Partnerships Offer Your Business a Competitive Advantage

When building strategic partnerships, collaborating with a partner with a win-win approach can give your business the boost it needs to beat its competitors. “If you work totally on your own, you risk your company’s success by becoming stagnant. A poorly thought-out partnership can affect your business negatively as well. This same competitive edge can also be in the form of utilizing your partner’s network and stable distribution channels to broaden your network and product / service offerings to new markets your company may not normally be able to reach.  An example of this is the seemingly strange alliance between Starbucks and Google.  Starbucks and Barnes & Noble makes sense since coffee and books pair well; but coffee and the internet seemed to be a stretch, until it proved to be beneficial for both companies, leading to the use of the internet as a new channel for customer access, which in turn led to brand expansion. (4)

4.    Broaden Your Product and Service Offerings

“If you already have an existing customer base and you’d like to expand your product line, you benefit by aligning yourself with a firm that offers complementary products.” For example, if you offer audio visual services, you can partner with a company that provides computer services. Here each company has its own products, systems, and suppliers. But they have similar customer bases. By pooling your resources together and cross-training service and sales personnel, you can improve your product lines with minimal investment. For example, a software product company may partner up with an infrastructure hosting company to provide product and off premise SAAS online offering with a hosting cost component.

Please check our final volume on Strategic Partnerships.

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