Don’t forget: 95 % of new products fail and navigating the road to success and scaling is anything but smooth (see point 12: promote, promote, promote). Trusted brands, data providers, and market-adjacent solutions are some of the primary targets that lead to quick access to target end users.
Early market entrants often under invest in figuring out how to effectively reach their target audience as they overly-focus on falling in love with a user problem and listening to customers to find the best solution. You could have the best tool on the market but reaching a critical mass of end users to achieve commercial scale can be even harder than building the solution itself.
At Cuesta we have analyzed countless potential partner relationships for selling to or influencing target users, and we’ve seen a few patterns in establishing a scalable strategy:
Align with a trusted brand to access end users.
Partner with a company in your space with brand recognition and access to the end user. This enables growth on the coat tails of a big brand that can increase end user trust in your new solution while expanding the offerings this brand can boast. A successful approach to these partners is not only reliant on identifying a compelling proposition, but also in understanding their motivations and what it takes to overcome any perceived risks of partnership.
Seek out a data provider partnership.
Data is increasingly a differentiator amongst tools within a similar capability set. A great data provider partnership can increase your product’s credibility and expand its data set to reach more users. It’s a win-win, as long as you can be a first mover to this partnership or offer a better way to leverage (or grow) this data.
Market-adjacent but non-direct competitors.
These solutions might solve similar but ultimately slightly different problems. Often aligning your sales and marketing efforts and coupling your products (maybe API integrations) can increase each product’s individual value propositions. Be wary though, this can lead to M&A, so consider this outcome when you pursue these avenues.
A strong partnership strategy must be tailored to a company’s individual strategy and market dynamics. These are just a few of the winning categories of partnerships we have been able to identify for our various clients. Cuesta Partners sees hundreds of new and growing technologies each year and leverages our breadth of experience to help our clients craft savvy partnership strategies as they seek stronger market presence.