?For us, the acquisition of eharmony is a perfect match.?

Tim Schiffers, CEO Parship Group

Their mission: Love. Parship Group, the leading provider of serious matchmaking services helps singles building long-term relationships. Worldwide. In addition to the well-known brands Parship and ElitePartner, the American matchmaking pioneer eharmony has also been part of the Group since 2018. One year after the acquisition, we spoke to Tim Schiffers, CEO Parship Group. Read more in our Insights Interview about the reasons of why eharmony is such a good fit to the Group and the challenges the team has mastered over the past twelve months.
eharmony is considered the American pioneer in online dating. In what way is the acquisition of eharmony significant to Parship Group?
?With the acquisition of eharmony, a German online company succeeds for the first time in taking over its American role model. This fills us with pride!?

To say it in our own ‘language’: For us, the acquisition of eharmony is a perfect match. eharmony is considered the icon of online dating and established the market in the US back in 2000. Only a short time later, Parship introduced matchmaking dating in Germany and Europe. With the acquisition of eharmony, a German online company succeeds for the first time in taking over its American role model. This fills us with pride!

Over the past few years, we have achieved a great development with Parship Group: In the German-speaking world and the Benelux countries, our services Parship and ElitePartner give us a market-leading position in the comprehensive online dating market. Even on the European level of serious matchmaking services, we have a market leading position. By acquiring eharmony, we are taking another step towards our internationalization. With the markets of the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia, we are focusing on a new language area – with a company that is a perfect fit to our portfolio.

Henning R?nneberg (COO), Tim Schiffers (CEO), Marc Schachtel (CTO/CCO)
Why exactly is eharmony such a perfect fit to Parship and ElitePartner?
?This focus on seriousness is something we don’t just wear like a shield. That’s clearly our DNA.?

Parship and ElitePartner on one side of the Atlantic and eharmony on the other were already positioned quite congruently in the past. Both offers address singles who are looking for a partner for a serious relationship. This clear search intent of our customers is a unique selling point and provides us with a very attractive position at the online dating market. This focus on seriousness is something we don’t just wear like a shield. That’s clearly our DNA.

Besides the likewise positioning, there are also similarities regarding the product approach: After the registration process, singles fill in a questionnaire, which then determines specific features of their partnership personality. Based on the results, the matching process is being conducted. For Parship, this process is being achieved along the lines of “as many things in common as possible, as many differences as necessary”. In the future, we are going to apply this successful approach to eharmony.

?The acquisition of eharmony had been a perfect opportunity to revive this terrific brand and, in doing so, to make use of our learnings.?
eharmony has been part of the Parship Group for a year now. What is something you can share with us about the integration of the company?

With the acquisition and successful integration of ElitePartner in 2015/2016, we have created an excellent blueprint for the realization of similar offerings’ synergies. Therefore, the acquisition of eharmony had been a perfect opportunity to revive this terrific brand and, in doing so, to make use of our learnings.

Although eharmony stands out due to an extremely high brand awareness, especially on the US-market – lying level with brands such as Twitter, Instagram, Budweiser, and American Airlines, the company has become less relevant, particularly among younger target groups, as a result of less-than-ideal communication. Now, our focus is on the repositioning of eharmony: We do our utmost to ensure that eharmony shines in new splendor – just like ElitePartner did from 2016 onwards.

Have you already been able to make progress in doing so?

Absolutely. A lot has happened in the past twelve months: Since the beginning of 2019, we have been launching a new TV campaign which may seem familiar to viewers that have already seen a Parship commercial…

?eharmony should again be clearly perceived as the go-to-brand for arranging serious partnerships.?

Over the years, eharmony’s products and platforms have lost on strength and the company invested too little in both the future and innovations. Based on our experiences with the ElitePartner integration, we decided to integrate the eharmony service into a joint technical platform with Parship and ElitePartner. That sounds easy, but, in fact, it was a huge project. Countless specific requirements resulting from the old eharmony platform or from regulatory parameters of the North American market had to be considered. Over the past twelve months, our entire team has almost been absorbed by the platform integration! But exactly one year after the acquisition and to the day as planned, we managed to migrate eharmony to the new joint technical platform. That’s an amazing achievement of the entire organization!

What are your goals for the future?

Now, of course, our focus is on increasing eharmony’s attractiveness and relevance for a broader population – this was and is the most important goal of the new technical platform and our repositioning from a marketing technology standpoint. We see enormous potential! eharmony should again be clearly perceived as the go-to-brand for arranging serious partnerships – as is the case with Parship and ElitePartner in the German-speaking world and the Benelux region. This, again, goes along with ambitious growth targets. In addition, in 2020, the focus of the new and enlarged Parship Group will lie on innovation and further development of our products and services. Our teams are full of new ideas and are eager to implement them!

Auf einen Blick
eharmony
- Founded in 2000
- Headquarters in Los Angeles, California
- Worldwide matchmaking pioneer
- Provides services in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia
- More than 3 million new members per year
- Every day 200 eharmony couples tie the knot in the United States
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