By Emmanuel Asika
Over time, we have seen that growth and success in the channel ecosystem have been mainly aided by collaborations or partnerships. As businesses steer through the intricacies of today’s competitive environment, it is impossible not to appreciate the significance of the contributions of partners. This partner growth has been aided by some crucial developments, namely purpose-driven business models, enhanced insights, and the ability to scale up capabilities relevant to future competition. These developments are rewriting the undercurrents of partnerships and propelling businesses to higher levels.
Clear Purpose Collaborations: Keeping Sustainability at the Heart of Business
These days, the word ‘sustainability’ has gone beyond being a mere slogan. It is now a deliberate notion of vital importance for businesses in Nigeria. With customers becoming more aware of and basing their choices on environmental protection, collaborating with purpose-driven partners becomes vital. A couple of years ago, only 58 percent of shoppers across all groups considered sustainability over the price of items. Fast forward to the present, and over 66 percent of consumers declared that they would rather pay for environmentally friendly products.
This trend is also gradually catching on in Nigeria, where a study found that consumers’ attitudes (cognitive, affective, and conative attitudes) are positively and significantly correlated to sustainable consumption. Although the results of the interviews conducted among marketers and retailers revealed that such attitudes do not reflect in their buying behavior, judging by the sluggish sales of sustainable products when compared to unsustainable products, more and more Nigerians are taking recycling seriously.
As a result, the onus is on businesses, in their own interest, to take environmental protection seriously and take measures that will positively impact the areas in which they operate. They have to realize that the ability to pull resources together allows for more balance and effect for a better tomorrow. In addition, this helps growth, as 83 percent of business leaders are of the opinion that sustainability programs provide immediate and long-term value for their respective companies.
In Nigeria, which accounts for more than 150,000 metric tons of plastic bottles annually, half of them from the megacity of Lagos, business leaders are taking sustainability seriously and adopting sustainable practices for effective waste management, including total quality management, recycling, biotreatment, incineration, neutralization, and secure sanitary landfills.
At HP, sustainability collaborations with its channel partners, including vendors and resellers, have produced amazing results, with its Amplify Impact program enabling the promotion of positive change to create a more advanced channel environment. The first-of-its-kind partner assessment, resource, and training program, HP Amplify Impact, has allowed more than 3,500 partners to drive change and utilize sustainability as a competitive advantage. Over the last 14 months, these HP Amplify Impact cohorts have initiated over 7,000 transactions, all thanks to sustainability. This shows what purpose-driven partnerships can do.
In addition, in 2022, more than 60% of HP’s revenue will achieve its Corporate Knights standard for sustainable income. This milestone is a testimony to the significance of including sustainability as a vital business driver. We have long believed that by collaborating with organizations with similar ideas, we can produce a potent domino effect, promoting sustainable practices that align with the thoughts of consumers.
Utilizing Insights from Data for Well-Informed Decisions
Without a doubt, data is the predominant tool of the computer age, and the importance of properly utilizing it for competitive business leads cannot be underrated. And those who base their decision-making on data have seen their businesses grow twice as fast as those who don’t.
As such, data analytics collaborations are indispensable for the growth of businesses. Should you choose to go at it on your own, you may not have enough data to recognize significant and relevant developments. As observed, data partnerships are on the increase. In fact, a recent McKinsey study forecasts that by 2025, data-driven organizations will start data collaborations to produce more valuable insights for all partners.
Currently, HP’s Amplify Data Insights program provides partners access to a vast pool of more than 20 billion data points, which is updated weekly. HP has found that merging its data with that of its partners offers concrete trade opportunities. In the past three years, 98% of qualified partners have chosen to report data, and this partnership tactic enables partners to identify evolving developments, recognize consumer choices, and spot gaps in the market, thus putting them ahead in their respective sectors.
In Nigeria, we have seen Partners begin to embrace data and Amplify Insights despite initial skepticism. Today, the program validates itself with accurate predictions and niche opportunity creation within the growing Nigerian market.
Welcoming a Future-Ready Approach
Faced by economic uncertainties and ever-changing consumer habits, partners are constantly reassessing their business tactics. The shift to online and digital marketplaces has provoked a dramatic change in their tactics, forcing them to embrace a future-ready mentality. To overcome these challenges, partners are looking to inventive channel programs intended to raise alertness, interpretation, growth, and partnership. These programs serve as guides through the age of the digital revolution and fulfill the growing wishes of socially aware customers. During and post-pandemic, this helped HP transition key partners to strong online and digital spaces. In some cases, we literally built these platforms from scratch. The optimization these solutions bring to our partners is at the heart of our Future Ready proposition.
In recognition of the importance of giving its partners power and control over their own affairs, HP has announced a number of innovative partner benefits and program improvements under the auspices of the HP Amplify initiative. This places emphasis on creating competences, promoting partnerships, and improving performance. Interestingly, the HP Amplify program has participants from 99% of revenue partners worldwide.
More determined than ever before to sustain the tempo of its channel-led business model, HP continues to adjust its method on the back of consumer comments and an unwavering promise to continually drive long-term partner growth. With a future-ready mindset and the backing of ingenious partner programs, companies and businesses are ready to not only overcome present tasks but also come out tougher and more prosperous.
Emmanuel Asika is the Country Head, HP Nigeria