There are many alliances we no longer see as special, but accept as completely normal. Alliances are of great importance for the airline industry. These alliances are already so embedded in the operations of airlines, that as passengers we do not even realize anymore it is an alliance. We choose for an airline and experience it as completely normal that we can fly with Delta from the US to Europe and that the connecting flight within Europe is with KLM – all on the same ticket and the trip continues seamlessly. These alliances are for us as a customer completely embedded in our daily life.
Another example of alliances we no longer see as special, but accept as completely normal are alliances in channel situations. As examples we can think of IT VAR channels and (European) car dealerships. These alliance-kind of collaborations are so normal, that we as a consumer may not necessarily realize that they are in fact all alliances. On the side of the companies involved, they do see them as separate entities from the direct sales channels. In the airline industry they often call these alliances joint ventures and a dedicated alliance office is managing them. The car dealers are managed by dealer organizations at the distributor and in IT they often speak about business partner organizations. All are organized to make the alliance run smoothly and enable the consumer to benefit from the value proposition, without necessarily realizing that it is the result of an alliance.
I believe that in many cases an alliance will have reached the right level of maturity when consumers do experience the benefit, but do not have to realize that it is the result of an alliance. What do you think, is it important for the consumer to be aware of the alliance or should they just be aware of the value proposition?