In brief

In brief

  • Collaboration with forward-thinking partners beyond traditional industry boundaries is key to scaling successfully.
  • Living businesses are able to participate in an ecosystem of strategic partners to ensure that customer data moves fast, seamlessly and accurately.
  • Who are the high-performers in scaling new partnerships? Transportation and consumer goods companies are the strongest.

What’s one of the best ways for a company to achieve market potential?

Consider the power of partnerships—which enables efficiencies, new thinking and ultimately—more innovation. Living businesses are especially adept at this— collaborating with strategic partners and forging alliances with forward-thinkers—often times beyond their traditional industry boundaries.

What results is a new way of scaling business—a platform to share data purposefully and efficiently with partners and the basis of a thriving business ecology that is sure to reward organizations with continuous relevance in the consumer’s mind.


of high-performers agree that scaling is highly important to business success (compared to 66% of all other respondents).


of high-performers report excelling beyond their peers when it comes to “collaborating with partners beyond traditional industry boundaries.” Only 61% of other respondents said the same.


of high-performers have engaged with a new type of alliance partner since 2017. Compare that to less-performing companies—at just 13%.

Many companies excel at scaling.

Then, there’s Nike.

Living proof

Nike leads at using leading-edge technologies to enhance customer experiences by linking their partners to their own operations. Specifically, the company is increasingly using apps such as NikePlus, Nike Run Club and Nike Training Club to extend relevant offers to users that stem not only from Nike but also from an increasing array of external Nike partners. These actions, in turn, unlock new customer data while advancing the Nike brand.

Nike has also united several previously siloed channels through which customers connect with the company. These moves have increased its ability to gather and react to customer feedback, while providing more comprehensive and streamlined customer experiences.

"We see massive potential in a future where more Nike products are connected, bringing consumers inspirational content and serving as the onramp for Nike membership. And you can envision where that future goes, where consumers seamlessly engage with us through digitally connected products that continue to inform our design, manufacturing and distribution capabilities, creating new growth opportunities."


Today, living businesses are recognizing the opportunity to collaborate with those around them to create hyper-personalized experiences for customers. In doing so, each business is rewarded with the benefits of strategic partnerships, and a degree of relevancy that keeps them front of mind for consumers.

About the Authors

John Zealley

Senior Managing Director – Customers & Channels Function, Consumer Goods & Services Industry

Glen Hartman

Senior Managing Director – Lead for Accenture Interactive North America & Global Digital Marketing

Mark Curtis

Chief Client Officer – Fjord (Accenture Interactive)

Nikki Mendonça

Global President – Accenture Interactive Operations

Joshua Bellin

Senior Principal – Accenture Research​


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