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Punching above your weight - partnerships and alliances

Why Partnerships and Alliances? - Many start up companies and evolving businesses are faced with the dilemma of not being taken seriously by others – customers, suppliers etc. One effective route to punching above your weight is through forming partnerships and alliances with significantly larger organisations or well known people e.g. through the

appointment of a non executive director.

Partnerships and alliances are also effective routes to extending your offer to capture a broader market. Partnerships and alliances can be with people and with companies!

Here are several pointers:

  1. Punch above your weight (profile and brand) e.g. gain market gravitas by linking up with larger players

  2. Extend your offer to customers by creating partnerships e.g Petrol stations that have taken on food franchises e.g. Subway

  3. They help you get closer to your customer e.g some garden centres are now making more money from their food franchises than selling flowers

  4. Here are some types of alliances:

  • Strategic partnerships - mergers, acquisitions, technology transfer

  • Strategic marketing partnerships - driven to achieving customer access (formal agreements e.g. distribution agreement, franchise)

  • Tactical marketing partnerships - informal agreements that help acquire more customers

Alliances/partnerships with “PEOPLE” can be extremely powerful:

  • Linda Barker - Furniture and household goods

  • Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsey - Food producers

  • Less well known individuals - Could involve partnerships such as NED / Chairman

  • Ex Metropolitan Police Commissioner - Chairman of security software company

People partnerships can be extremely powerful. A non executive director for a growing business can work wonders and open doors!!

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