The Membership Economy

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The Membership Economy: Find Your Super Users, Master the Forever Transaction, and Build Recurring Revenue is a guide intended to show companies, nonprofits, and individuals how they can create a membership program and why it is important that they do so. Author Robbie Kellman Baxter offers specific advice for a wide variety of organizations and asserts the need to create memberships that place the customer at the center of any business model.
As consumers increasingly seek access to products and services instead of ownership, people are interested in becoming members of communities that can serve this desire. Companies that recognize the value of this “membership economy” provide their customers with an ongoing and stable relationship that engenders positive feelings of belonging to a community of users and develops often intense brand loyalty. In return, the company offering the membership can enjoy a predictable revenue stream over the long term, so long as the membership community is managed properly.
Creating a successful membership program is not as simple as asking customers to sign up or periodically offering them free goods or services. A good membership program must be beneficial for both the customer and the company and earn the customer’s loyalty through continuous innovation and service. The membership model isn’t simply a subscription model; there must be an emotional component to the member-company relationship that transcends a mere financial transaction. The member craves a sense of belonging to a community. The company must provide this and cultivate its community network. Once this is developed, the company can enjoy the positive rewards of initiating a “forever transaction.”
The main key takeaways for “The Membership Economy” book are:
  1. Consumer purchase preferences generally lean toward either ownership or membership. Currently, they are trending towards membership.
  2. A successful membership business benefits both the customer and the organization.
  3. A membership program is not the same as a subscription service.
  4. Membership is more valuable to a company than day-to-day sales because it requires a “forever transaction.”
  5. Membership economy companies have a significant advantage over competitors who do not employ this tactic.
  6. Memberships are more enticing than ever because people feel a need to belong to something.
  7. Technology has made membership more convenient than ever.
  8. Any business, nonprofit, or individual can offer a membership program successfully.
  9. Pricing and payment models for membership economy businesses must be designed for long-term success.
  10. Companies must earn a customer’s loyalty.

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