Are you thinking about entering a strategic partnership? You'd need to first read this article before entering a strategic partnership. We'll walk you through the basics of strategic partnership so you can make an informed decision if it's the right move for your business.
What is a Strategic Partnership?
You may have heard the term "strategic partnership" before and think it means the same thing as "partnership." But there's a difference: strategic partnerships are formed between two or more organizations to achieve a common goal. They're not just any old business relationship between two companies that have similar interests or goals; they're made with the specific purpose of sharing resources and expertise to increase market share—or whatever other metric you might want your company's growth rate measured by.
For example, let's say you're looking for new opportunities for your business beyond what it currently does (which could mean anything from selling more products or services to improving employee morale). You know that plenty of potential customers out there would be interested in using your services if only they knew about them—the problem is getting these people interested enough for them to actually purchase something from you!
A good way around this problem is forming a strategic partnership with another company that has access to those same potential customers but lacks an effective marketing campaign. Then both companies will benefit from having each other's support when trying to reach out directly through different channels like social media advertising campaigns.
Strategic Partnership Business Model
The first thing you need to know about strategic partnerships is that they're not all the same.
- A joint venture is when two companies come together to pursue an opportunity in a particular area, while an alliance involves two businesses working together on a limited basis without sharing ownership.
- A merger is when one company acquires another company's assets in exchange for equity in their business.
If you've already got a business model and want to grow it by partnering with other businesses, what does that entail?
The first step is to make sure you're both a good fit. Look for companies that complement your offerings but don't compete with them. If you're in the same industry, think about ways to collaborate on projects without stepping on each other's toes.
For example, if you're an accountant and another business needs help with financial consulting services, offer to do so at a discounted rate or even for free in exchange for using your services as a lead generator for future clients.
Next, think about how your companies can work together. You could share resources or collaborate on projects, or one of you has a lot of experience in a particular area, and the other doesn't so that they could learn from each other or even trade services.
Finally, ensure you know what the other company wants from your partnership. Do they want to keep full ownership? Are they looking for an infusion of cash or just some extra help?
Once you have a clear idea of what both parties expect from each other, it's time to figure out how much money you'll need and where it will come from.
Types of Strategic Alliance
Strategic partnerships have three different types, and each one serves a specific purpose. Let's dive deeper into what these are:
- Joint ventures
Two or more businesses join forces in this partnership to create a new brand or product. For example, if two companies agree to launch a new website that sells their products together, they've formed a joint venture.
Businesses team up not only for business purposes but also for marketing benefits and other reasons beyond their core operations. In some cases, these alliances can result in long-term partnerships with shared resources, like facilities or administration services. Other times they might be short-term agreements on specific projects such as advertising campaigns or product launches.
These are similar to strategic alliances except that partners have equal ownership stakes in the venture and share decision-making authority over matters such as hiring decisions and price setting; they may also share profits and losses.
Strategic Partnership Examples
The best way to think of a strategic partnership is like a marriage. It would help if you found someone compatible with your business, and they have to be willing to put in the work as well.
Here are a few popular strategic partnership examples to inspire you:
Strategic partnership examples #1: Netflix and Chill
Netflix partners with TV and movie production companies to produce their own content, leading to binge-worthy shows like Stranger Things and The Crown.
Strategic partnership examples #2: Peanut Butter and Jelly
Google and Apple partner to create a seamless integration of Google Maps on Apple devices, making it easier for users to get where they need to go.
Strategic partnership examples #3: Batman and Robin
Amazon and FedEx team up to offer same-day delivery services, saving the day for last-minute shoppers everywhere.
Strategic partnership examples #4: Salt and Pepper
McDonald's partners with Coca-Cola to offer the classic combo of a Coke with your Big Mac, adding a little extra flavor to your fast food experience.
Strategic partnership examples #5: Beauty and the Beast
Estée Lauder partners with Ulta Beauty to offer a wider range of cosmetic products, giving customers more options to feel beautiful.
Strategic partnership examples #6: Bonnie and Clyde
Tesla partners with Panasonic to create cutting-edge technology for electric cars, making them more efficient and eco-friendly.
Strategic partnership examples #7: Thunder and Lightning
Nike partners with Apple to create the Nike+ Running app, tracking your fitness goals and striking inspiration into your running routine.
Strategic partnership examples #8: Yin and Yang
Starbucks partners with Spotify to offer in-store music streaming, balancing the perfect coffee and music experience.
These are all examples of companies that have formed strategic partnerships with one another. Each partnership has its unique value proposition, but the two companies should complement each other's strengths.
A strategic partnership is a business relationship between two or more organizations. It is a long-term relationship that can last for many years and involves sharing knowledge, information, and resources. A strategic partnership can be helpful for both parties involved in it.
Now you know what a strategic partnership is, but how do you make sure yours lasts? Well, there are some important things that need to happen:
- It needs to be win-win situation - meaning both parties should benefit from working together
- It needs trust - if people don't trust each other then there will never be any progress
- You should have common goal - having one goal means everyone knows what they're working towards.
How to Reach New Customers With Strategic Partnerships
You know the old saying: "It's not who you know. It's who knows you." Well, that may be true for your social life, but when it comes to your business (and maybe even your love life), it's all about who knows what.
In other words, partnerships are a crucial part of any successful strategy. If you want to grow your business or reach new customers, strategic partnerships can help you do that by leveraging the power and resources of another company or group.
But before diving into any partnership arrangements, it pays off to consider some factors first. Let's explore how partnerships work and how they can benefit small businesses—along with some best practices for making them work well.
1. Determine your goal
Before you start reaching out to potential partners, it's crucial to determine your goals.
- Why are you partnering?
- What is the goal of your partnership?
- What are the benefits of a strategic partnership?
- What are the risks associated with a strategic partnership?
The answers to these questions will help you determine the type of partnership that is right for your business.
Strategic partners should have a similar vision, values, and goals to yours. They should also have complementary strengths that can help you achieve your goals. An ideal strategic partnership will provide you with opportunities for growth and allow both parties to benefit from the relationship.
2. Understand your product
Here are a few questions that you need to ask yourself:
- What do you sell?
- How does it work?
- What are the benefits of using it?
- What problems does it solve, and what pain points does it alleviate?
- Are there any other products that compete with yours, or could be perceived as competing with yours by a potential customer or investor?
- Is there a market for this product at all, and if so, who else is already selling to that market?
If you have an intimate understanding of your product, you can tailor your language and leverage your product's strength and value proposition.
3. Know your audience
When you're in a startup and trying to get a foothold in your industry, it's tempting to focus on scale and growth instead of the details. But if you don't have an intimate understanding of who your customers are and what they need from you, then there's no way for your company to succeed.
Here are five questions that will help guide your strategic partnerships:
- Who are your customers?
- What do they care about?
- How can partners help fill those needs for them?
- Are you building for the long term?
- What does success look like for your customers, partners, and company?
4. Research potential partners
The first step in the process is to research potential partners. Make sure they can help you reach your target audience and that they have a history of working with other businesses like yours.
Look at the company's website, social media accounts, and press releases to learn more about its mission and expertise. It would be best if you also speak with current customers—they can tell you whether or not working with this particular partner would be beneficial for your business goals.
Once you've narrowed down your list of potential partners, it's time to reach out. You can do this via email or a phone call—both are equally effective and efficient. Make sure you're clear on what the other person wants from this conversation and what they're offering in return.
Ask questions about their business and how they can help you. If the conversation goes well, ask if they'd be interested in working together—and what that would look like.
5. Draft a contract and establish terms of engagement
Once you've decided on a partner and are ready to collaborate, it's essential to draft a contract. A contract is your way of laying out each party's responsibilities and ensuring those expectations are met.
Contracts should include:
- A description of the product or service being provided by each party
- The value proposition for customers (what they get in exchange for their money)
- How success will be measured and paid out between partners
- An agreement on how to address potential issues and changes in scope during the course of the project
- A timeline for the project and when payments will be made by each party (including how long after delivery of a product or service you can expect to receive your payment)
- A statement of how disputes will be resolved
- How you'll handle data ownership and whether either party will have access to the other's proprietary information (for example, your company's customer lists)
- A list of your mutual obligations to one another and how they will be fulfilled (for example, if your partner agrees to provide a certain amount of labor at no cost but also asks for marketing support in exchange, make sure that's clearly defined)
- A description of what happens if one party breaches the contract.
You'll also want to include an "integration clause" that specifies how the contract will be integrated into your business operations. This is especially important if your organization has multiple departments or divisions.
Strikingly: Supporting Your Strategic Partnership Venture
Here are a few ways that you can use the Strikingly website builder to support your strategic partnership venture:
- Create a landing page.
Use Strikingly to create a landing page highlighting your strategic partnership venture's key features and benefits. You can use this page to direct potential partners when they consider working with you.
- Build a website for your partnership.
Use Strikingly to create a website for your strategic partnership venture. This is different than your landing page because this site will showcase your partnership (after you successfully concluded one), provide information about your partners, and share resources that will help your partners succeed.
- Create a blog or news section.
Use Strikingly's blog feature to keep your partners and the public informed about the latest developments in your strategic partnership. You can also use this feature to share success stories, case studies, and other information that interests your partners.
- Create forms and surveys.
Strikingly offers a form builder tool where you can create forms to collect information from your partners, such as their contact details, business information, and feedback on the partnership. Surveys can be a great way to gather data and insights that will help you to improve your collaboration over time.
- Create an online store.
Use Strikingly's e-commerce features to create an online store that allows your stakeholders to purchase products or services from your venture. This can be a great way to increase revenue and generate new business opportunities for your partners.
Overall, Strikingly can be a great tool to help you create a professional and effective online presence for your strategic partnership venture and keep your partners and potential partners informed and engaged.
In conclusion, we hope that you've learned how strategic partnerships can help you grow your business and reach new customers. However, we do not advocate that this is the only way to achieve success. We believe there are many paths to the top of Mount Everest—and if one doesn't work for you, it may be time to look at another one!