Affinity programs are partnerships. Partnerships you build between your company and a non-profit group or organization.
You provide discounts, special rates or other perks and benefits to your partners. In exchange, they use your company’s product or service.
Together, the members of this partnership make up an affinity group.
What kind of non-profit group are we talking about? And why would a company want to form a partnership with one?
They can be any group of people who have one common interest or purpose. A sports team fan club, a sorority or fraternity, a reading club, an environmental awareness group and many others are examples of affinity groups.
The group gets together on a regular basis to organize events, discuss goals, or just socialize.
Companies decide to form partnerships with these organizations because it increases their business. Some groups of people are harder for companies to reach without these programs.
There are a lot of affinity groups who have connections to a lot of people. So it can be profitable for the company to do business with them.
There are a few things to think about if you are considering a partnership with a group. Not every partnership is right for your business.
The first thing to think about is, what affinity group best matches what you are offering?
You want to choose a program which benefits both your company and the group. If the group isn’t interested in your product, why should they form a partnership with your company?
Let’s say you own a big hardware store. We’ll just call it ‘Home Depot’ for this example. You have a lot of retirees who shop at your store. Consider an AARP affinity program who provides them a discount on your hardware when they show their card.
It’s a win-win situation for both! You get more business and they get more shovels and shingles at a discounted rate. And they will more than likely tell their friends too!
By the way, Home Depot did this.
Credit card programs are always popular! Credit card companies love to join with large affinity groups so they will use their card more. The members get reduced interest, discounts, or cash back on purchases in return.
Other popular affinity programs offer discounted cell phone services. Maybe you own an office supply store. Consider a small business association group as a partner and offer them discounts on office supplies.
Restaurant owners often offer discounts to certain organizations and groups.
If you own a car rental business you could offer a group discounted rates for renting from you. Hotels can offer perks for traveling members too.
Maybe you own a gym or workout facility. Seek out an organization or group who promotes a healthy lifestyle and offer them discounts to join your gym.
Affinity programs can definitely help your business. But just be aware it takes some time and effort for it to show.
You and the organization you choose to target will have to work together and fix anything that isn’t working. Keeping track of your program and its progress will help both sides know what is going well and what needs to change.
Be prepared to sell yourself and your company to the group. A lot of groups and organizations take a company’s reputation in mind when deciding on a partnership.
Have offers and incentives you know the group’s members will benefit from. If the group isn’t interested in the product or the incentives they won’t participate in the program.
Be able to answer the “So what?” question.
What is the “So what?” question? Imagine you’re part of an animal rights group and you have a pet supply company who wants to form a partnership with your group. It’s going to take some time and effort for your group to make it happen, right? As a member, you’re more than likely thinking, “So what? If we put time and effort into this partnership, what do we get from it?”
You have to make your offer attractive to them! Make it worth their time and effort. You want them to view you as an asset, not as “extra work.”
The best thing you can do is research. Research each group and what their purpose is. Decide from there if forming a partnership with them makes sense for both your company and the group.
If you have any questions about affinity programs, give us a call here at RedFynn Technologies. We’re happy to help and share our experiences with you! (888) 510-9871