Affinity partnerships two or more organizations or groups working together around a common interest or cause for mutual benefit.
Often, this mutual benefit extends beyond the partnership itself and helps the community as well.
If you’re thinking about whether or not to join or start a partnership, there are a few things to consider.
There are many existing groups and organizations to choose from and you’ll want to know exactly what each one represents and how a partnership with them will affect your business.
Will it help or will it hinder it? Is there truly an affinity, or a mutual interest or cause between you and them?
The best thing you can do is do your research! Every group is different.
We’ve come up with a few basic questions for you to consider while you are researching different potential Affinity Partners.
What or who are they?
Affinity Partnerships are formed between a company (your company) and another organization or group, whether for-profit or non-profit, whose members have come together with one common interest, cause, or objective in mind.
Groups like sports team fan clubs, fraternities, environmental groups, social activist groups, etc., can all be affinity organizations.
Any group who forms under one common goal can be an affinity group. These groups are not associated with or backed by the government and are mostly non-profit groups.
How do I form a partnership with them?
If you find a group who meets the requirements, the first thing to do is reach out to its organizers or leaders. Every group has its own structure. Some make decisions using the input of every member and some have a “hierarchy” with decisions being made by a small group of representatives.
Whichever it is, the first step is to reach out to them. Set up a meeting with them to discuss the possibility of forming a partnership.
What do I need to bring/present?
Affinity Partnerships are a relationship. A relationship between you and your company and the group. In order for the relationship to be successful, it needs to represent benefits for both parties involved.
If your intention is to reach the groups’ members to help expand your business with them and their consumer base, theirs might be to receive a discount on your services or a cut of the profits you make from the partnership, or both.
Have a list of benefits ready and present it to the group in an attractive way so they would have a hard time refusing your offer.
Well, then it’s up to you and the organization to build the relationship and make it stronger over time.
This happens by meeting with the group leaders or members on a regular basis to discuss how things are going and decide what is working so far or what isn’t. You could explore what you could both do differently to make the relationship better for both your company and the organization’s members.
Only time will tell how it is coming along. Once you have 6 months to a year of data to review together, you will both have a better understanding of what is working and what isn’t for both parties.
Is forming an Affinity Partnership beneficial for my company?
The answer to the question is, it depends.
If you’ve chosen the right Affinity group and the partnership is growing and becoming stronger by the benefits you are both receiving from it, then yes! If the members love it and they are using your product or service and getting a discount or other incentives from it, this usually means your company is also benefiting from having more business.
On the other hand, if the members are “not into it” or they become uninterested in it, then you both have problems. Making sure you have something the group will be interested in first is very important!
Managing product and updating incentives and offers is one way to make sure they stay interested.
So keep in touch with the group! How will you know what they are thinking or feeling if you don’t find out?
What else do I need to know?
Do your research before you decide on a group. And then, once you’ve formed a partnership with the group you must maintain it.
Just remember any partnership should be treated the same as a relationship. The best way to know your relationship is going well is to “check in,” right? Make sure they are happy, because if they are happy, chances are you will be happy, too!