Affinity marketing involves a partnership between two or more businesses to sell more products. Note that this is a mutually beneficial arrangement where one brand can extend its reach and enhance its credibility in association with the other.
Understanding affinity marketing
This form of marketing involves a brand collaborating with a related (but non-competing) brand to offer products, services, or benefits that are suitable for each brand’s respective target audience. Marketing efforts carry the branding of both businesses, with each able to access a new market of prospective buyers.
Affinity marketing best practices
To ensure the partnership is beneficial for both parties, it can be helpful to consider these best practices:
- Choose the right partner – an obvious point, but one that is worth explaining further. Companies should always vet potential partners according to whether they share similar values, customers, or possess products that could be considered complementary.
- Ensure the partnership is mutually beneficial – for the partnership to work, both companies must contribute in unison to deliver mutually beneficial outcomes. In a situation where the partnership is lop-sided or worse still, one-sided, it will be impossible to keep the disadvantaged company interested.
- Define roles – like any partnership, it is also important to define roles and responsibilities from the outset to avoid confusion and potential conflict later. Two companies that want to create a product, for example, must discuss who is responsible for manufacturing and who will market and sell the product.
- Focus on communication – in the context of affinity marketing, effective communication means collaborative decision-making in real-time. In many cases, the two brands will require shared access to files and other important assets throughout the campaign. Partner relationship management (PRM) software can be used to onboard partners, protect stored assets, and track sales, among other things.
Affinity marketing examples
In this section, let’s take a look at some affinity marketing examples:
- Disney and Lyft – to help families move around the Walt Disney World resort, Disney partnered with Lyft to create the Disney Minnie Van™ Service. Families can book a ride on the service by using the Lyft app while within the bounds of the resort itself.
- Chase and British Airways – American credit card company Chase partnered with British Airways to launch a branded British Airways Visa card to its customers. Individuals can use the card to collect the Avios reward currency which can then be redeemed for flights, hotel stays, and car rental.
- Red Bull and GoPro – with both brands geared toward adventure and extreme sports, affinity marketing was also used to great effect by Red Bull and GoPro. Red Bull once sponsored an attempt to skydive from a balloon, with the diver wearing a GoPro camera to record the action. The two brands continue to enjoy an enduring partnership where GoPro cameras are used in Red Bull sports events such as the Red Bull Rampage mountain bike competition.
- Affinity marketing involves a partnership between two or more businesses to sell more products. This is a mutually beneficial arrangement where one brand can extend its reach and enhance its credibility in association with the other.
- Affinity marketing best practices include choosing the right partner, focusing on communication, defining roles and responsibilities, and ensuring the partnership is mutually beneficial at all times.
- Affinity marketing has been used in partnerships between Disney and Lyft, Chase and British Airways, and an enduring arrangement between Red Bull and GoPro.
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