Sealing dating with marriage

Whoever it was that thought that J Walter Thompson’s “Brand Dating” venture might be one of the UK’s first specialists in brokering brand alliances – “JWT sets up branding partnership company” MW March 4) is rather behind the times.

While it may be ungentlemanly to knock such fledgling competition, and while arranging to give chocolate bars away to builders is indeed newsworthy, I am nevertheless moved to question the level of long-term value delivered by such tactical deal-broking compared with adopting a more strategic perspective.

Affinity Solutions has, for over three years, been advising clients on affinity marketing strategy, facilitating the development of long-term partnerships and improving the effectiveness of existing alliances. In doing so, we consider not only brand-related issues, but also a broad range of other factors which are of critical importance in forging mutually beneficial alliances.

I often stress to clients that we are more akin to a marriage bureau for organisations rather than a dating, or heaven forbid, escort agency, where short-termism and even exploitation can sometimes be the order of the day.

What this says about “Brand Dating”, I am not sure. It does seem, however, that the choice for those requiring support remains much the same as before: retain a tactical implementation-focused advisor with significant vested interests, or select us as an objective partnership strategist and facilitator. Still a bit more PR wouldn’t hurt…

Jonathan Moakes

Associate director

Affinity Solutions

Haywards Heath

Sussex

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