You surely know what the acronym ASL means. Our website has it for its name. So what is it and what is it for?
You’re right! It’s what you use in chatting if you want to ask for someone’s age, sex, and location. And yes, it can also mean American Sign Language. We were however surprised to see Acronym Finder listing dozens more. In any case, did you ever wonder what ASL really is for? Well, at least back then, it was used to start a conversation and build relationships online.
In business, the same thing happens except that relationships are, in many cases, called affinity. And affinity consulting, while nothing new, is still as relevant if not even more valuable these days.
Competition seriously hasn’t pared down. In fact, the battle is getting broader, more unconventional and highly strategic. And hence, alliances and affinities have taken a more specialized role in how you steer your business in the right direction, overcome business barriers and in some cases, to simply to keep it afloat.
But being part of an affinity network does not involve mere labels. It is much more than that! These companies and organizations synergize to work toward a common vision or goal. Just like individual people, companies represent a certain character, a culture that is distinct and yet offers similarities with like-minded organizations.
When these same-spirited entities decide to pursue their common objectives and interests, they even develop their own credo and have fellowships regularly. And we’re not talking about sister companies or subsidiaries under one umbrella company. These are, many times, companies that are not related to each other whatsoever. Additionally, it is equally prevalent among both non-profit and for-profit organizations.
We can see it quite clearly everywhere: GOs, NGOs, retail shopping centers, credit card companies, and sports team clubs. When these entities partner up and decide to pursue business interests, you can’t help but feel amazed by how well they effectively propel one another to bigger profits or contributions and/or wider customer or donor reach.
However, the process of approving some agenda your organization has to the affiliate network is more complicated than we think. Oftentimes, a proposal necessitates a unanimous vote from all members before it gets approved. It has to have the right chemistry and value proposition, so to speak. Otherwise, if done haphazardly, it would not speak well of the affinity network, would it?
So, navigating through the nitty-gritty of affinity membership is not just a walk in the park. It requires time, effort and foresight to see how it can be of value to your team and vice versa. More often than not, an affinity consultant is paramount to getting the right affinities and partnerships.
Affinity consultants differ from business consultants in the sense that the former possess specific knowledge, experience, and expertise in studying the cost-benefits of such an alliance. Sure, some of these so-called experts need to be flown in or driven by a limo to your place of business. But getting and taking care of the right kind of experts will surely save you time and effort in making a very important business decision such as this one. You simply cannot afford to make mistakes in partnering with other organizations. The cost of breaking up is even greater than the cost of teaming up.