Originally meaning ‘relationship by marriage’, affinity is defined as a sympathetic and mutually beneficial relationship based on shared characteristics.
In the case of affinity marketing, those shared characteristics are the values of the brand. Affinity marketing creates a relationship between two complementary brands for mutual benefit.
A common example is a giveaway campaign, where one brand incentivises its customers by giving away a prize, product or service provided by another brand, which has values that appeal to the same market. For little or no financial outlay, the latter benefits by accessing the former’s audience; the former benefits by accessing the latter’s appeal. Win-win.