What does “Affinity” mean?
Affinity, meaning “a spontaneous or natural liking or sympathy for someone or something,” is the feeling you have for the fellow fans of your favorite team.
Well, it works in business, too.
Affinity, in the world of business, refers to an organization or group of people or businesses who have a common or shared interest in something. Usually, this common interest is community improvement or business improvement.
They form a group to rally behind the interest or cause.
But, the affinity which brings people and business together varies.
For instance, environmental groups often get together to form an affinity organization. They organize events or sometimes will have booths at fairs and other public events to promote their cause. They go out and petition for things they are interested in. They have a tendency to be extremely active in a lot of different ways.
They don’t necessarily work with the community around them. They are completely independent and usually non-profit. They also aren’t backed or supported by local or federal government agencies.
Affinity groups can be social clubs, reading clubs, sports fan clubs, and many others. Examples you have heard of include M.A.D.D., the Boy/Girl Scouts, and the YMCA/YWCA.
Affinity groups have been around for a long time! The first examples we know of date all the way back to the 16th century. They were British dining clubs.
The members of the group would get together at a set time and a set location and they would talk about their shared interests. Sometimes they would just get together to socialize with other members.
Why do these organizations and groups exist? We as humans have a natural tendency to get together with other people who share the same interests. It’s an innate quality.
Sports fan clubs are the quintessential example of well-known affinity groups. Sports fans are voracious about their team. They love to band together to talk about how great their team is and celebrate when their team does well!
These groups can be extraordinarily effective in causing positive changes in the world. The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are a great example!
We all know who they are. We all have seen them at the grocery store in their cute outfits. We all LOVE their cookies! They’ve had an extremely positive effect on their communities.
These groups are everywhere and they can be good for business also!
How is this possible? By making them a partner in your business!
A lot of businesses sell or provide services affinity groups are interested in. Let’s use the example of the sports fan club. Major credit card companies form partnerships with fan clubs all the time. They put the logo of their team on the credit card and give them discounts on merchandise when they use it.
They also sometimes offer cash back on purchases when they use the card or maybe zero percent interest on certain purchases.
Another example is RedFynn’s affinity partnership with the Mesa Chamber of Commerce. By partnering, we have the opportunity to expand our consumer base and the Mesa Chamber members benefit from our excellent products and services.
Our products and services? Glad you asked.
We fine tune your business to stop money leakage and increase profitability immediately!
You can see other examples of affinity partnerships with credit cards and airlines. You’ve probably seen credit cards with a major airline logo on it. Every time the card is used for a purchase the customer gets airline miles or other incentives.
There are many different affinity groups with many different purposes. None are exactly the same. They all structure their affinity groups differently and — be aware — not all will choose to partner with businesses.
Their number one priority is the common interest or causes their members share. They rally behind it because they all share an affinity for the purpose or interest.
The members of the group, in most cases, have to apply to be accepted into the group. Some groups allow their members to sponsor friends or people they want to be a part of the group.
The size of affinity groups can be very small or very big. It all depends on the group. A lot of times they are just a group of close friends who all have the same interests.
Maybe they get together because they want to help a charity. A lot of groups are actually charity organizations.
We all share an affinity for things other people also share. A lot of people out there like to share their interests with others, which is why these groups exist.
The “affinity” meaning in the business world is almost always about improving the community or improving the affinity partners’ consumer bases. Working together with another organization offers benefits for all parties who wouldn’t otherwise be available.
It’s worth looking into! It can get your business more exposure and do some good in the community, too.