IBM Business Partner Marketing Programs

Recognize your top business partners with special rewards.



The Problem/Opportunity: For IBM in the late 1980’s, it became more and more important to recognize the “best” business partners because the number of its resellers was increasing significantly. The better business partners who had invested in providing superior products and services with better customer service needed to leverage these significant investments. A method of distinction from the manufacturer was required.

The Challenge:   The challenge was significant because there were no similar recognition programs at the time. Using the common practice of having revenue define the “best” was inadequate. Some of the largest resellers were achieving their high sales rates by violating or stretching the terms of their reseller agreements to the detriment of other resellers. The new criteria for the “best” had to be:

  • measurable
  • simple to understand and administer,
  • valuable enough that customers would seek out the “better” partners
  • valuable enough so business partners would strive to achieve the distinction

The Solution:  The criteria to be the “best” was based on revenue and customer satisfaction. The word “premier” was added to reflect this elite status. For the first time in the industry Premier Business Partners were given access to selected financial benefits including discounts negotiated by the manufacturer for rental car companies, express mail services and health insurance.  Partners had to qualify each year.
The Results:   Business partner satisfaction increased significantly in the three years following the introduction of this program. The strength of initial program design is reflected in the current program which has been expanded to more business partner types with additional levels of recognition and rewards. The program logo has expanded as well.

Get Started with Ewing Consulting to strengthen relationships with your business partners.