Partnerships and marriages… some people say they are very similar, and some think they are very different. What we know for sure is two common ingredients play into success in both cases.

“Commitment and Loyalty,” one of the six ACTIVE factors, plays a foundational role in Partner LifeTime Value®. Commitment and Loyalty, which are proven factors in psychology for personal relationships, were tested in the scheme of business partnerships. We found that the psychological literature on loyalty such as trust, integrity, and commitment prove to also be true in business partnerships. Partnerships share similar ingredients to personal relationships: “We value trust and integrity,” and, “we will have an active partner strategy in the next three to five years.” What the research determined is that applying both industry wisdom and psychological principles of strong relationships apply in business partnerships as well.

One of the most interesting survey highlights was the open-ended question: “What is the most important quality in a partner?” When asked what they believed to be the most important quality, the most common response to this open-ended question among respondents was “loyalty.” Interestingly, “Commitment and Loyalty” was one of the least influential of the six Partner LifeTime Value® factors which means there are very different principles which also apply in business partnerships that must be combined with this factor for success.

Commitment and Loyalty are complex factors, but partners who demonstrate strength in this area:

  • See trust and integrity as important elements of their partnerships meaning they value the long- term relationship and key elements of trust.
  • Have a strong commitment to our partners – meaning they demonstrate verbal commitments, performance, and then results over a sustained period.
  • Have an active partner strategy for the next 3-5 years – meaning they articulate clearly their commitment to partnering and the experience is consistent over a 3-year period for example.
  • Believe in partner recognition and support – meaning that the companies clearly recognize inside the company and with other partners and the industry the best practices.

Of these, “trust and integrity,” and “strong partner commitment,” are necessary for collaboration to take place. Having “an active partner strategy for the next 3-5 years” is correlated with overall growth and encapsulates several of the “Investment and Incentives” criteria.

This shows that, although “Commitment and Loyalty,” was one of the least significant of the six Partner LifeTime Value® factors, it is a foundational element.

Since we have completed this research, we have had countless conversations with clients and partners; the research proving to be a true comprehensive representation of the success ingredients for long-term partnerships. We have also now built additional business and partnering models for companies to leverage to evaluate their maturity and success in these areas. Each of the six elements of Partner LifeTime Value® play a role in partnership success. Integrating these findings and good partnership practice into your company’s policies and mission is essential to maximize partnership potential. Remember, our research showed that Partner LifeTime Value® has been correlated with profit and growth.


Are ready to dive deeper into our study and learn how to improve your partnerships? Please click here to download our free Partner LifeTime Value® eBook.