Affinia Partnerships has been working exclusively in the financial services partnerships sector since 2006. Prior to that our team has many years experience in the acquisition and management of financial services partnerships.

It’s based on this financial services industry insight that we were asked by Owen James to be their partnerships expert at their popular industry think tank ‘A Meeting of Minds’ back in 2012. And, we have supported this valuable network ever since …

In partnership with Owen James, we looked back at industry debate and created a guide called ‘Partnerships Made in Heaven’, which is available on request. It covers the key stages of corporate partnerships including Strategy, Selection, Implementation and Management. You can get hold of a copy by getting in contact with us. Please email info@affiniapartners.com.

But if you can’t wait for the full document, then here’s a summary of what our Partnerships Made in Heaven guide hols for you …

What makes a good partnership?

So, the issue is not that we do not understand the mechanics of partnerships but more that we struggle to implement our ideal approach in the real world.

Why is that? If we are going to promote a third-party product to our customer / readership base then we must understand how the proposition fits with our core brand values, or risk doing long term damage to our business. It’s our view that this process is too often circumvented for short term gain.

There is no question that the real world required pragmatism, requires us to meet short term targets, to satisfy internal politics etc … However, we do feel that it’s incumbent on us where possible to ensure that the decisions we make in our business do not damage our long-term relationships with customers.

If the next Apple iPhone was rubbish but built for margin, how quickly would they lose their customer trust and loyalty? We’d guess the first one would sell by the bucket load and the second would do okay and by the third they would have lost their business. We know of the two or three business that have done just that in the financial sector over the past few years.

Bespoke design, built for unique brand qualities of the partner, that understands and meets customer expectations has the ability to be stand out in a crowded market. This model will build sustainable growing revenue and enhance your core customer relationships. We’re certainly not evangelical about this but would say that is your strategy is the highest short term commercial value you can achieve then you don’t need a complex partnerships selection process! And, we wish you all the best …

So how do we approach documenting the rules of perfect partnerships?

The first point is to say that every partnership is different and will have different commercial factors and nuances.

Because of this, one of the hardest factors is to balance the need to be high level enough that our guide offers something to all, but not so high level that it becomes irrelevant or hold not value. In our experience the approach of a product provider and a client should be very different. Each party is generally playing a different role with different needs and business requirements.
For this reason, we look at both sides of the coin separately and address some ‘rules’ to follow within our guide.

A final point

In planning out your partnership strategy using our guide and suggested rules we are sure that there will be many occasions when you think “that’s obvious why are you telling us that.?

What we want you to ask yourself again at that point is: “Do I really know the answer and is the answer the right one?”

The most obvious questions to ask your business are often the most illuminating.

If you’re interested in our ‘Partnerships Made in Heaven’ guide, rules and tools then you can get hold of a copy by getting in contact with us. Please email info@affiniapartners.com.