A strategic partnership is a relationship between two or more organizations that is characterized by mutual cooperation and the sharing of resources in order to achieve common goals and objectives. Strategic partnerships are often formed in order to achieve competitive advantage, gain access to new markets or technologies, or share risk and cost.
There are several key factors that are important to consider when establishing a strategic partnership. These include:
- Alignment of goals and values: It is important that the goals and values of the partnering organizations are aligned in order to ensure that the partnership is successful. This may involve identifying shared goals and objectives, as well as identifying areas of potential collaboration and cooperation.
- Synergies: Strategic partnerships can be successful when the partnering organizations have complementary strengths and resources that can be leveraged to create value. For example, if one organization has strong marketing capabilities and another has a strong product development team, the two organizations may be able to work together to create innovative new products and bring them to market more effectively.
- Communication and transparency: Effective communication and transparency are critical to the success of a strategic partnership. It is important for the partnering organizations to be open and transparent with each other and to establish clear lines of communication in order to ensure that the partnership is effective.
- Governance: It is important to establish clear governance structures and processes in order to ensure that the strategic partnership is effective. This may involve establishing committees or other decision-making bodies, as well as defining roles and responsibilities within the partnership.
Overall, strategic partnerships can be an effective way for organizations to achieve common goals and objectives and create value. By considering these key factors and establishing strong governance structures and processes, organizations can ensure that their strategic partnerships are successful. The following are common types of strategic partnership.
Research & Development
Join programs of innovation and product development. For example, solar companies that invest in a development project for more durable solar cells that can be used as roads.
Design partnerships such as a small design firm that partners with a large established manufacturer on a line of shoe designs. This gives the small firm access to efficient manufacturing and extensive marketing capabilities. The large firm benefits from fresh designs from a growing firm that has demonstrated its ability to design for certain target markets.
Suppliers such as a strategic supply of a material that is in high demand such that shortages are likely.
Outsourcing non-core business activities in order to focus on areas of competitive advantage. For example, a real estate company that outsources its information technology functions.
Supply chain partners such as a web based company that develops partners with supermarkets and convenience stores to act as pickup points for packages.
Distribution agreements such as a retailer that agrees to sell your products in its stores.
Value Added Resellers
A partner that adds services or additional product features to your offerings before reselling them. For example, a partner that sells your software product as a service.
Promotional partners such as a beverage company that partners with a summer music festival to promote its brand.
Brand partnerships such as a cobranded product.
Funding a shared program or project. For example, a partnership of IT firms that funds a new internet backbone that benefits both companies.
A commercial entity that partners with a non-profit to improve communities or the environment. For example, a fast food restaurant that funds an ocean plastic clean up initiative.