From here, we drew some general rules of engagement to help you get the best out of your strategic alliance:

  • If you’re just stepping into the world of strategic partnerships, it makes sense to use a measured approach and start on a smaller scale first.
  • Establish a strong foundation based on trust, transparency, and recognition of each partner’s value. This should begin from the very beginning of engagement, even before formalizing the agreement.
  • Establish shared metrics that will ensure both partners stay accountable. Also, establish the “who-will-do-whats” to ensure a strong governance structure at the helm.
  • Engage regularly to keep the channels of communication open, and deal with challenges when they arise from a win-win perspective.
  • The nature of the relationship can change over a period of time. It is good practice to plan for this and decide how you will handle the evolution. In fact, partners should meet regularly to decide if changes need to be made and how these will be managed.

Examples of strategic alliances

As we’ve seen, strategic alliances are formed to drive growth and profit for both companies. But the way these results are achieved depend on what each strategic partner brings to the table. Let’s take a look at some high-level examples:

Example 1: Company A, a health and wellness business, enters into a strategic alliance with company B, a research laboratory to create a new commercially viable product. Through this partnership, Company A gains access to innovation, while Company B gains access to funding and a new market.

Example 2: Company X, a bookseller, enters into a strategic alliance with company Y, a musical records company. Both alliance partners gain access to each other’s markets and are able to increase their product offerings in the process.

Example 3: Company K, a local coffee shop brand partners with Company L, a global shopping mall brand. The shopping mall brand is able to provide a high-quality unique coffee drinking experience to its customers while the coffee brand has access to a much larger consumer base.

Read our other article covering some of the best real-life strategic alliance examples.

Wrapping it up

Strategic alliances are a great way for a business to spur growth and increase profit in a sustainable manner. While the mutual benefits are huge, it’s critical to do the groundwork first.

Spend time finding the right partner, setting clear expectations for both parties, and having a solid goal and management plan in place. And finally, find the best system to measure progress and keep everyone on track.

With the right foundation and unwavering commitment from both sides, there is no reason why a strategic alliance won’t bring phenomenal success for both partners.