Alliances for Competitive Advantage

Posted: 9/14/2014 by Norma Watenpaugh

Creating Business Value for Customers

Creating a competitive edge is crucial for all businesses and can be achieved through alliances. Alliances can also be a defensive measure in countering a competitive shortfall such as a gap in a company’s product line. In our research we found that creating competitive advantage was a major reason for partnering.


Creating Business Value for Customers is the leading strategic objective in creating corporate value; 84% of survey respondents selected this. This is consistent with other research we have conducted in creating alliance value propositions. Successful alliances are designed around the customer; it is the raison d’etre. Without compelling customer value, there is no purpose to the collaboration.

Competitive Differentiation follows at 76% and is not unrelated to creating business value that delivers a unique advantage in attracting new customers. Achieving competitive differentiation is also a driver behind alliance innovation strategies.

Accelerating Market Development relates to gaining new customers and market share at a rate faster than would be achievable alone. Partnering with a organization that already has a foothold in a market or one that brings crucial services to drive adoption are two ways to accelerate market development. 

 Countering a Competitive Threat refers to actions that may mean partnering to plug a vulnerability in your products and services when your competitior has a distinct competitive advantage. This can be particularly expedient when time is of the essence. 

Accelerating Product Development creates a time to market advantage when alliance partners combine forces, expertise, and resources to gain first mover advantage or a fast follower position. 


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