Getting Channels as Partners to Create Business Synergy
Man is a social animal. He cannot live for long and lead a fulfilled life in isolation. The principles of sharing and acting on common beliefs is one of the bedrock of human society. It might be sharing of resources like food, wealth, etc., or it might be sharing of loads, responsibilities and burdens for mutual benefit. It is not only a construct of the human society, but exists in nature as well. The entire ecosystem is built on such relationships where parties get involve in exchanging and sharing according to their own strengths, so that everybody gets benefited.
Coming back to human society, business has been and will be an integral aspect. Without business or exchange, societies would collapse and we will soon return to primitive ages. Therefore, it is imperative for the betterment of the human society that businesses thrive and innovate. Businesses generate wealth — something without which we cannot survive and even if we can, we will not be able to distinguish ourselves from other animals on this planet.
For businesses to grow sustainable, they need to come to terms with the fact that they need to collaborate and form partnerships for covering each other’s back, for each of them has their own strengths and weaknesses and to avert being gulped by competitors, they need to work together. This is more true in today’s hyper-competitive environment and fast technological growth, when a startup company formed by a couple of college grads at their garage or dorm room can throw billion dollar companies out of business within a decade, or even half of it!
Now, regarding businesses forming alliances, one thing is common for all — they must keep serving their customers to the best of their abilities, irrespective of their partnership complications with other companies. If customers leave them, then no amount of tactical move or shrewd business strategy or a strong alliance can help them. Having said that, partnering with other, especially smaller businesses definitely helps bigger and matured businesses in achieving very specific things without much overhead.
This aspect of teaming up, especially in context of marketing, with several small business having unique strengths to complement a big business, is not a new thing but has changed quite a lot in the last two decades, particularly after the popularity of the internet. Channel partner, as each of these small businesses are referred to, are like the escort boats or smaller ships for a large aircraft carrier deployed by the military. They help the giant carrier to navigate through the waters, especially the uncharted ones, while surviving independently and off course with support from the mother ship.
Channel partners often possess deep knowledge about a variety of aspects that a large business may care about. Some of the most popular factors are region and demography specific knowledge, like the cultural sentiments, the popular local choices, the history and heritage that influences the decision making of people belonging to the target segment of the large company. Large business aiming to leverage these type of expertise in regions, industries and product lines that are not native to them can gain tremendously by partnering with channels.