We know that every membership organisation is different however there is one thing that they all have in common; they think too much like membership organisations. Unfortunately, potential members don’t want to be a part of any old membership organisation anymore, so if you continue to think like one you’ll get next to no results. This is why you and your organisation have to grow and adapt to the forever changing member. You need to immerse them in something bigger than a membership organisation, you need to immerse them in a household name, you need to become a brand.
Let’s face it, love them or hate them, the world’s biggest brands have a lot going for them. They get tonnes of publicity, can be found on and offline and they have some of the biggest followings in the world. People are starting to see brands as more than just companies, they’re now thought-leaders, lifestyle advocates and are a huge part of their customers’ lives.
Wouldn’t it be great if your members started to think of your organisation like that? You wouldn’t be just a membership organisation anymore, you’d be a community, you’d be helping hand, you’d be a teacher, you’d be anything your members need you to be.
However, before you can be any of that you have to understand what it means to think like a brand and why membership organisations need to think more like brands too.
So why do membership organisations need to think more like brands?
Well, unfortunately, membership organisations are not having a great time at the moment. The membership industry is very competitive with many new membership organisations popping up. However, not many of them are succeeding. Why is that? Well, we think that the way membership organisations like to operate in is simply not appealing to potential members anymore. Members want more. They want the excitement, purpose, reliability and value of a brand.
In short, members want more brand culture and less membership organisation protocol which can alienate potential members and bore current ones. Membership organisations need to make it easy for their audience and at the moment nobody makes it easier for their audience than the big brands. They communicate clearly, adopt a what you see is what you get culture and encourage brand advocacy to spread their message. Hence why your membership organisation needs to think more like them.
But what exactly does it mean to think like a brand?
Big brands, no matter what, use a customer-centric approach. They put the customer at the heart of what they do and that’s why they are so successful. Giving the customer what they want, helping them solve a common problem or just creating a customer-focused community online are just a few ways to adopt a customer-centric approach.
In addition to this brands also have a purpose or a message that they want to bring to the attention of their customers. This gives them not just a bit personality but also a way to connect with their customers on a more personal level. Showing customers that you care about more than just your profit or membership numbers is an important way to break down that company/customer wall and build a more personal experience.
So how can membership organisations start thinking more like brands?
As a membership organisation, you have to take the time to get to know your current members more. After all, you want more loyal members, so by looking at your current ones you can see what they like about your organisation, and utilise that to attract more. Additionally, your current members can suggest areas of improvement so that you can change your membership experience to suit them.
Furthermore, you need to build that relationship and interact with your members on a more personal level. To do this you need to create a message or purpose for your membership organisation. What matters to you and your members the most? Use the answer to this to start brainstorming different ideas about what would drive your organisation and it’s members. Make sure it’s emotive and connect with your members and/or potential members.
If you enjoyed learning about why membership organisations need to think more like brands then why not have a read of some of our research references?
As always if you’d like to know more about how we can help you and your membership organisation please do not hesitate to get in touch and we’ll see what we can do to lend you a helping hand.