Whether initiated between businesses in the same industry segment or businesses in completely different industries, partnerships can also be classified according to their purpose.

Although partnerships can take on a number of objectives and levels of formality depending upon the nature of the agreement, the overall goal of strategic partnerships is to share resources in a way that promotes growth for all partners.

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To succeed in partnerships, sides need to be on a winning team. One that is composed of good players and that is managed well. And if one side is able to become the most valuable player of the team, then they will demand more share of the profits.

We’ll define a strategic partnership as a formal relationship between two or more organizations.

Development Partnership

Conducting research toward new or improved products and services requires monetary investment, time, worker capacity and, in some cases, specialized equipment.

Strategic Integration and Referral Partnerships

Strategic integration and referral partnerships generate passive channels of customer acquisition. Through such arrangements, businesses agree to refer customers to their preferred partners.


Through cobranding, two or more manufacturers or sponsors produce an original product or service that is then offered under all of the partners’ names.

Strategic Sales Partnerships

Similar to referral partnerships, strategic sales partnerships exist between manufacturers and businesses with the capacity to resell goods and services.

Supply Chain and Channel Partnerships

Supply chain partnerships, also known as channel partnerships, occur between buyers and sellers at every level of the supply chain.

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