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Affinity Marketing is a targeted way of marketing products and services - by linking complementary brands, it can develop them into lasting partnerships and strategic alliances.

What is Affinity Marketing

Affinity marketing traces its recent roots to the 1990s affinity boom, when credit card companies partnered with charities to provide consumers with a charity branded credit card. The charity benefits from increased brand loyalty and brand awareness and a boost to revenues; typically through a fixed commission for each new card. The credit card company meanwhile benefits from increased revenue, generated by more customer relationships.

Affinity marketing has since been evolving far beyond its original remit; most commonly in direct marketing, in what is termed as a second affinity boom through the use of data and customer contact lists. Within this context for example, a famous car repair chain recently partnered with a well-known insurance company and was able to mail the insurance company's database to offer a unique benefit, in this instance 25% off a car service. This gave the insurance company's customers access to a competitive deal unavailable to the mass market, whilst the car repair chain benefited from access to hundreds of thousands of car owners they would otherwise not have been able to mail.

Parties Within An Affinity Partnership

Affinity Partnerships consist of two parties. The first party known as the 'affinity group'; seeks to add value to its existing customers, members or donors by promoting products and services they don't currently sell, for example financial services. The second party known as the 'product supplier'; seeks to acquire new customers by using the strength of another organisation's relationship with its customers, through which to distribute its product or service. The aim of a brand wishing to add value is to generate new income and build upon existing customer relationships. Meanwhile, the aim of the product or service supplier is to build and develop new customer relationships through the existing distribution channels of a third party affinity partner.