The formation of alliances has become a key strategy for businesses wishing to grow. Yet the majority of these alliances fail. Most of the research into strategic alliances has focused on the benefits to the business itself, such as access to new markets, new technology or new knowledge. Surprisingly little research has examined the impact such alliances have on the customer, so we do not know if these alliances result in tangible benefits for customers that can be used to improve the outcomes of the alliance. The present study examined whether such an alliance added value to customers or improved their relationship with a service provider. The study found customers differentiated between "alliance products" based on their beliefs about the alliance partners' reputations rather than on the functional aspects of the product. The study suggests alliances can be of benefit, provided the products or services are marketed using the reputational, rather than the functional aspects of the product or service as differentiators. These are important results that managers need to take into account as they attempt to use strategic alliances to improve the competitiveness of their organisations, obtain access to new markets or products and, ultimately, improve the profitability of their businesses.
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2009|