Aligning Relationships for Results
In retail financial services, partnership program success depends upon careful collaboration: on one side, there are credit card issuers and financial service providers eager to expand their business; on the other, membership groups and organizations are equally eager to capitalize on their relationships and enhance their value propositions.
The Kessler Group’s Partnership Solutions practice works with both parties, identifying opportunities and developing collaborative structures that enhance value. We help program participants form collective goals, organize operations and optimize productive relationships that achieve the goals of all parties.
After more than 25 years and with over 6,000 partnership programs, we know how to build lasting partnerships that create meaningful value.
Pulling the Parts Together
Business development begins with the right fit of partners, as defined by goals, targets, brands and ambitions. Partnership Solutions works with the parties every step of the way – facilitating the development of business and marketing plans, the finalization of contracts, and the formulation of strategies and operational models to ensure that the partnership is mutually beneficial.
Adding More Value
As relationships mature, new needs and opportunities arise. Partnership Solutions can introduce new financial services products to expand current relationships and increase the value of collaboration. And through our risk syndication service, we can turn declined applications into new revenue streams that reclaim real returns from initial marketing investments.
The Kessler Group serves as a third partner in the programs we assist in assembling, giving us a vested interest in the outcome of the partnership that is aligned with the interests of the collaborative parties; we share their risk, and we succeed when they succeed.
We Find Partners for Select Organizations Seeking:
- Affinity Card Programs
- Endorsed Debit Cards
- Endorsed Student Loans
- Insurance Products (Property & Casualty, Home, Auto)
- Enhancement Services
- ID Theft Protection
- Travel Protection
- Credit Card Fraud Protection
We Create Partnership Programs With:
- Financial Institutions (Local and Regional)
- Credit Unions
- Colleges & Universities (Alumni Organizations)
- Professional Organizations
- Sports Teams
- Charities & Causes
- Military Organizations
- Special Interest Groups
- Retailers & Service Providers
- Travel & Entertainment Organizations
- Brokerage & Investment Firms
- Membership Organizations
A top-10 card issuer was experiencing mounting losses from one of the largest affinity programs in the world and wanted to restructure the relationship.
The affinity partner was unhappy due to flat program growth and income and declining member satisfaction.
The overall relationship was strained and nonproductive and was characterized by a lack of trust on both sides.
- Kessler convened both parties to establish shared objectives for the program, identify key issues and develop potential solutions
- A new, customized product was developed that attracted a broader mix of consumers with better performance characteristics
- The program started growing again and quickly returned to profitability
- The bank was rewarded with a healthy contract extension
- The affinity partner generated higher levels of member satisfaction, and its income rapidly increased
- The overall relationship is now harmonious and productive
A top-10 card issuer had low response and activation rates on a professional sports affinity program.
The existing rewards program provided little product differentiation.
The sports team questioned the long-term viability of the card program.
- Developed a unique “experiential rewards program” to encourage activation, usage and retention
- Created new branding to leverage sports fans’ affinity
- The new experiential rewards program doubled balances and activation rates on new accounts
- The program expanded to all other teams in the league
A top-10 card issuer had underperforming affinity programs. Stringent credit criteria limited the marketable universe and generated low approval rates.
Another top-10 card issuer sought additional channels to generate incremental subprime and near-prime credit card accounts.
- Kessler negotiated and implemented a “risk syndication” partnership between the two card issuers to transfer declined application volume from one to the other for review and potential approval
- Partnership grew to include additional opportunities for the second issuer to leverage the affinities and monetize parts of the program unattractive to the first issuer; for example, the second issuer mailed segments of the list excluded by the first – and attended events the first issuer had deemed unprofitable
- The first issuer generated significant fee income
- The second issuer generated hundreds of thousands of incremental accounts
- The affinity groups earned more income and achieved higher satisfaction ratings due to increased product availability and approval rates