Famous Strategic Alliances that Paid Off and Changed the World

Strategic alliances are an increasingly common sight in the modern business landscape. A study by Booze-Allen & Hamilton showed 20,000 new alliances formed between 1987 and 1992. One reason for this is the need for brand recognition in a crowded global market and because there have been many success stories of strategic alliances that have helped companies take off. Academics talk of the effectiveness of alliances in terms of game theory, these real life examples are a testament to the success of such a bold business move.

Starbucks and Barnes & Noble

The coffee house and the bookstore. The two seem like a natural match. The patrons of both of these types of establishments have a historic relationship and an entire culture that has formed around designer caffeinated drinks and a laid-back bookworm¬†disposition. Starbucks’ partnership with Barnes & Noble, starting in 1993, has made the sight so common that university libraries will often open their own internal coffee shops. Indeed, relationships have been the key to Starbucks’ meteoric rise as the global king of coffee retail – their growth has been less about aggressive advertising and more about alliances, echoing the kind of word-of-mouth growth that helps local companies expand.

Disney and Hewlett-Packard

This partnership goes all the way back to the beginning of Hewlett-Packard (HP) itself, and back to the heyday of Walt Disney himself. Formed in a garage by the eponymous co-founders, the company’s first successful product was an audio oscillator purchased by Disney to certify the Fantasound system installed in theaters for its 1940 film Fantasia. Flash forward to the digital age. We find HP supplying a good amount of Disney’s IT infrastructure, becoming a core partner to its efforts at “imagineering.” HP helped to develop the Disney World ride Mission: Space.

Northwest Airlines and KLM

An airline is a truly daunting and dizzying logistical beast. The sheer number of personnel, schedules, routes, mechanical concerns, materials, and union rules that must be met with is staggering. It is not a surprise that many airlines collapse and merge. This is why Northwest Airlines and Dutch airline KLM began a strategic alliance in 1993 that eventually grew into an alliance with other major airlines. In the 1990s deregulation of transatlantic flights led to increased traffic but lower ticket prices, meaning a decrease in revenue for airlines. The alliance between KLM and Northwest meant a strategic sharing of routes and joint operation of flights, leading to better use of seating capacity and revenue growth.

Whatever your plans for growth and the unique value you bring to the market, 3rd Eagle can help you form alliances that will bring success to you and your partners.



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