Today’s business landscape is dynamic. Consumer expectations are high, and their needs are increasingly complex. The Amazon effect re-shaped commerce through instant gratification, service, and convenience. Its impact is translated across industries, changing the way consumers interact with virtually every brand or business.
This change has created a fundamental challenge for businesses, particularly mid-market players. A lack of resources and funds results in difficulty keeping up. This is where strategic partnerships come in, offering a way to satisfy customer needs without incurring additional costs or competencies.
Mid-market players have constraints as they aim to build new capabilities and invest in R&D. The biggest players in any industry often rely heavily on capital investment to reach their strategic objectives – which is challenging for mid-market organizations. Strategic partnerships offer a way for mid-market players to conserve resources and capital to deploy in their core business.
For mid-market players, partnerships can lead to several benefits including but not limited to:
- Brand Awareness: Mid-market brands can partner with each other or larger organizations to reach new audiences. For example, Boston Beer partners with a series of small craft brewers across the US. For a limited investment, Boston Beer gains national reach and local credibility through a network of smaller players. The craft brewers gain access to Boston Beer’s brand equity and audience as a result.
- Speed to Market: Mid-market brands can partner with larger corporate entities to help them bring their products to market faster. For example, Inspectorio uses mobile and cloud-based technology to improve supply chain transparency and quality control in the fashion industry. As they brought their solution to market, they joined the Target Retail Accelerator Program providing access to Target’s expertise in retail, mentorship, office space, and funding. In exchange, the partnership with Inspectorio and other organizations helps Target stay competitive in a dynamic market.
- Product Innovation: Mid-market CPG brands can leverage each other’s products to drive relevancy with the latest food trends – such as naturally healthy products. For example, Manitoba Harvest and Enjoy Life Foods partnered to create a line of protein-packed, allergen-free energy bites, featuring Manitoba Harvest’s hemp protein.
- Integrated Solutions: Mid-market players can lean on strengths of other organizations to provide integrated solutions to customers. For example, Monday.com, an online project management tool, partners with other organizations to improve efficiencies. Jira, a tool specifically for software developers, integrates with Monday.com to provide a more comprehensive tool akin to developer’s unique needs.
Partnerships offer a cost-effective, risk-mitigated approach for mid-market organizations to stay competitive and satisfy customer needs. By collaborating with other businesses, mid-market organizations can stay agile and adapt to changing market conditions while protecting their competitive advantage.
Is your organization looking for new opportunities for growth, considering new innovations, seeking new audiences, or testing new ideas? We’d love to chat with you about the role of strategic partnerships. Contact Laura Richard, Sean Pavlidis, or Kenton Vermeer.