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Partnerships Key to Brand Growth, Says Adwoa Wiafe

The Chief Corporate Services and Sustainability Officer of MTN Ghana, Madam Adwoa Afriyie Wiafe, has underscored the importance of leveraging corporate partnerships for reputation building.

Stressing that successful partnerships can significantly enhance brand perception, build trust, and improve overall corporate image.

Madam Adwoa Afriyie Wiafe made this salient remark at the Women in PR Ghana Summit 2024, held virtually, as she delivered an insightful presentation on the topic: “Leveraging Corporate Partnerships for Reputation Building.”

“Corporate partnerships are no longer optional—they are a fundamental component of our strategy for reputation management. In an increasingly interconnected world, businesses must look beyond their walls to build meaningful relationships that can amplify their positive impact,” Wiafe asserted.

Stressing that effective partnerships involve more than just formal agreements; they require a deep understanding of mutual goals, continuous communication, and a commitment to shared values.

She cited several examples of MTN Ghana’s successful collaborations that have contributed to the company’s strong market position and community engagement.

Transitioning to the role of reputation in business, Madam Wiafe quoted PwC’s 2009 report, “A successful partnership opens new doors, generating higher levels of profit with less pain.”

She explained that partnerships build trust, credibility, and loyalty while exposing businesses to new markets and audiences, increasing brand awareness, aiding talent acquisition and retention, and boosting investor confidence. Additionally, partnerships drive innovation, enhance expertise, and improve systems and processes.

Madam Wiafe also highlighted the critical role of partnerships in driving economic growth and creating value. Citing a Harvard Business Review statistic, she pointed out that 94% of tech executives see innovation partnerships as essential.

She noted that partnerships significantly accelerate business deals, with Partner Hacker reporting a 53% higher deal closure rate and a 46% faster closing time when a partner is involved.

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Acknowledging the challenges, Madam Wiafe discussed the high failure rate of corporate alliances, with 60-70% failing according to Harvard Business Review.

She also likened partnerships to marriages, stressing the need for mutual understanding and realistic expectations to avoid “divorce.” She also addressed the potential reputational risks, including unethical behavior, regulatory breaches, and poor social practices, which can significantly harm a business.

However, she suggested a proactive approach to mitigate these risks, including conducting thorough due diligence and risk assessments, developing clear partnership strategies with defined objectives, maintaining open communication, and fostering continuous learning and improvement.

She also emphasized the importance of written agreements and sensitizing operational teams to the partnership’s benefits. Success, she concluded, should be measured, with strategies adjusted as necessary to ensure mutual rewards.

“While partnerships are crucial for growth, they also pose significant reputational risks. Businesses need to select partners carefully, manage risks diligently, and strive to embody the qualities they seek in their partners,” she reiterated.

Source: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo



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