The title formulates a revolutionary statement that describes a global transition. The world is changing and is entering a new phase, abundance. As a result, the way we do business is changing. We are leaving the age of competition to enter the age of partnerships. It is a revolution, literally.
An abundance of demands, products, services, and resources
Today everyone can use a computer with internet access and create a business at a meager cost. Within weeks you can launch a product and reach out to many potential customers. As a result, we see a profusion of new products and services coming to the market daily.
On the other hand, the world population is growing while access to essential resources is spreading. So new needs appear when we don't have to think about survival. It's like Maslow's pyramid of needs on a global scale. This creates more demand and increases the need for sophistication, opening many new niche markets.
To say it differently, today, in most first-world countries, we can choose between at least a dozen dairy or non-dairy options when we want milk. Our parents or grandparents had a milkman delivering milk at their door once a day.
The rules are changing, and business is changing. As a result, new opportunities and new challenges arise. It is the nature of a transition from one era to another.
The challenges of abundance
One of the biggest challenges for businesses is growth. And, in such a vast ocean of offerings, acquiring new customers with too many choices becomes increasingly challenging.
How can a business retain new potential customers' attention and gain their trust rapidly when so many offers are on the market and players are all trying to do the same? There is an overwhelming quantity of information, and you won't make an impression unless you have an unlimited budget. And even if you manage to make an impression, can you convey in a short time the necessary trust for new customers to join you? Clearly, the traditional ways to advertise are saturated.
Think about it for yourself, do you pay attention to that Facebook ad or Instagram story in your feed? Do you remember the video that started to play on YouTube for 5 seconds before you watched the clip you wanted to?
The challenges of abundance are also present for consumers. It isn't easy to choose the right product for our needs. Have you ever spent more time choosing a movie on Netflix than the time it took to watch the film you ended up choosing? What about picking a new restaurant to dine in on the weekend?
It is a bit of a paradox, but too many options create the opposite reaction. So we freeze, not knowing what to do or who to trust.
Trust is a business accelerator
Behind every business transaction, there is trust. Without trust, there is no business. And trust is also the key to solving the challenges we discussed above.
When as a consumer, you're looking for a movie, if your friend whom you know has similar tastes recommends a movie, he spares you the search time.
As a business provider, therefore, you want to find a shortcut to gain trust. You are looking for one of your community members to be that friend who recommends your services to theirs.
There is a simple way to achieve just that, and it's called partnership.
Partnerships leverage existing trust
When you create the right partnership, you talk directly to a very well-targeted audience and leverage the trust of your partner's community and vice versa. Working in collaboration is working precisely and efficiently.
You're not a drop in the ocean trying to be seen anymore; you are two streams of water merging to strengthen the river flow, a confluence! It is the most organic way to acquire new clients and one of the best growth strategies.
The ideal partnership creates a win-win situation all around. You and your partner gain new customers without losing existing ones; the customers have a new option they can trust.
Creating a successful partnership is an art, yet there's a science to it. But instead of discussing abstract concepts, let's review a case study and make it an applied science!
This week, two iconic brands, luxury jewelry brand Tiffany & Co. and sportswear brand Nike have announced a collaboration with the debut of an Air Force 1 sneaker. It created a buzz, whether they think it's a good idea or not; the press is talking about it massively.
The principles of a successful collaboration are there. We're talking about two brands at the same level of recognition; they both have a large community of customers that trust them, each catering to a different niche market, luxurious accessories, and sportswear. The potential for growth for both companies is definitely present. They create the possibility of a true win-win, leveraging each other's communities.
In the words of Gary Vaynerchuk, the iconic marketing guru:
"… merchandise as marketing is a massive opportunity, and collab merchandise is a monster. Two small brands coming together and making a hat or a hoodie or a T-shirt or a whistle or a toothbrush or some pancake batter; it's just a good idea. It's conversational. It's cross-promoting communities. It's relevant, the press likes talking about it, and whether you're iconic Fortune 500 brands or small businesses and creators, the collab, especially when merch-merch as marketing, is a massive theme for the next decade, and way more people need to get on that train…."
The central aspect here is cross-promoting communities. It's one of the fastest and most cost-efficient ways to acquire new customers; one of the most reliable growth engines. It provides significant exposure and rapid trust to a well-targeted audience.
From a customer perspective, being presented with new creations that come from collaboration is welcomed. Customers trust their brands to introduce them to new concepts and help them navigate the too many choices out there.
In conclusion, good partnerships create a win-win situation for businesses and make customers happy. As we step further in the era of abundance, win-win situations are genuinely possible. The revolution is en route. Will you join or stay attached to the old ways?
Food for thought
Partnerships are the key to growth and are deeply rooted in human nature's fabric.
Humans are social creatures, and many have said it. The formation of language and communication is why the human race has survived. Thanks to our ability to form groups and collaborate, we have developed structures to keep us safe. Everything humans create is the result of collaboration between individuals and groups.
Let's go even deeper and have a look at the human brain. Modern neuroscience shows that intelligence and high cognitive function come from the number of connections between neurons and clusters of neurons. In other words, neurons represent a potential for a neural pathway to form. Isolated groups of neurons have almost no influence on cognitive functions.
Back to the world economy, for individual groups around the globe to make an impact, they need to create meaningful connections. Partnerships are robust connectors. They help materialize the true economic potential of the world. A global economy that realizes its full potential helps humanity move to its next evolutionary stage.
It may sound cliché, but only together can we create a better world; it is rooted in the fabric of humanity.