What Is Affinity Marketing? Affinity Marketing In A Nutshell

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

Affinity marketing is a mutually beneficial partnership between two brands. For this reason, it is sometimes called co-marketing or partnership 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Key takeaways:

  • 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.

Connected Business Concepts

Content marketing is one of the most powerful commercial activities which focuses on leveraging content production (text, audio, video, or other formats) to attract a targeted audience. Content marketing focuses on building a strong brand, but also to convert part of that targeted audience into potential customers.
Integrated marketing describes the process of delivering consistent and relevant content to a target audience across all marketing channels. It is a cohesive, unified, and immersive marketing strategy that is cost-effective and relies on brand identity and storytelling to amplify the brand to a wider and wider audience.
Grassroots marketing involves a brand creating highly targeted content for a particular niche or audience. When an organization engages in grassroots marketing, it focuses on a small group of people with the hope that its marketing message is shared with a progressively larger audience.
Writing a copy is the art of crafting catchy texts to persuade a particular demographic. “A copy” is the written content aimed at converting impressions to clicks and converting clicks to high sales. Any form of writing that persuasively requests an action from your audience is called copywriting.
Buzz marketing leverages the power of word-of-mouth advertising to create products or services with enough novelty that they go viral. In many cases, buzz marketing leverages on versatile content that can easily scale and be readapted to various contexts and fear of missing out (FOMO) to amplify the effect of word-of-mouth campaigns.
Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy designed to attract customers to a brand with content and experiences that they derive value from. Inbound marketing utilizes blogs, events, SEO, and social media to create brand awareness and attract targeted consumers. By attracting or “drawing in” a targeted audience, inbound marketing differs from outbound marketing which actively pushes a brand onto consumers who may have no interest in what is being offered.

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