Affinity Partners can help your business make more money and spread awareness about your brand, products, and services.
Likewise, you help your partners do the same. The relationship is a two-way street, mutually beneficial to each party.
Let me explain…
When you form an affinity partnership with another business or organization, you have basically formed an Affinity Group.
These groups’ main purpose is to promote each others products or services by use of their name, logo, or through their mailing list. And they receive royalties from any sales they generate from it.
There can be other benefits, too, besides just money and discounts.
These groups are formed with one particular focus or cause in mind in which their members all share a common interest. Improving the community is one such common interest many organizations form Affinity Partnerships for.
Examples of Affinity Groups are fan clubs, sororities, environmental causes, social clubs, reading clubs, etc.
Another example: RedFynn and the Mesa Chamber of Commerce are affinity partners. We get our name out to countless businesses who benefit from our services, and we help the Chamber to strengthen the business community.
Affinity Groups do not have the protection or backing of the federal government, and they can be commercial or non-commercial organizations.
Where can I find examples of these Affinity Partners?
These partnerships exist everywhere.
For example, football team fan clubs and major label credit card companies often form partnerships. Those partnerships benefit both parties…
The credit card company offers incentives to fans who use a card with their team’s logo displayed on it. The credit card company benefits by expanding their customer base… and their profits, when raging football fans use their card to buy more jerseys and foam fingers.
What are the benefits or drawbacks of forming an Affinity Partnership?
There are a lot of things to think about when it comes to forming an Affinity Partnership. Not all groups are the same and not all are set up in a way which will guarantee your company will benefit from a partnership with them.
One of the first things to ask yourself is, does the group have the same or similar core values as your company?
Your company’s integrity is very important to you, so forming a partnership with any group should support this and represent your company name well.
Another question to ask yourself is, is this a group you are trying to reach?
If possible, find a group who represents the type of customer you are trying to reach. This will help greatly because they will already have an interest in your product or services. A win-win for everyone!
If you happen to choose a group who has little or no interest in the product or service you are trying to promote, you will be defeating your own purpose.
One of the biggest pitfalls in choosing an Affinity Partner is not having a clear understanding of the group and its members. If the members don’t “get it,” you’ll be dead in the water and all the time and energy will have been wasted.
Another way to ask the question is does it make sense to you?
Or even better will it make sense to them?
You’ll thank yourself in the end for taking the extra time to get to know the group better.
Do they need special training from me?
The best groups are typically the most well-established ones. You want a group who can function independently without needing ongoing training from you.
You’re a busy man/woman and need to focus on your business. Do you have extra time to train them?
My guess is no; you have more important business matters to tend to.
What do I have to offer them?
In order for your partnership to be successful, you want to make sure it is beneficial for both your company and the members of the Affinity Group.
So ask yourself does my company bring value to the group?
Chances are if the groups’ members don’t see any benefit to forming a partnership with your company, they won’t.
And why should they? If there’s nothing in it for them, then why would they want to partner with your company?
You want to present a pretty package to them to entice them to join with you. Decide which incentives or discounts you can offer and present it in an attractive way to the group.
Give them a ‘Godfather’ offer they “can’t refuse” and you and your Affinity Partners will be like a match made in heaven.