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What is Membership Economy?

In today’s business world, it takes more than a website to keep competitive. The smartest, most successful companies are using radically new membership models, subscription-based formats, and freemium pricing structures to develop their customer base―and explode their market valuation―in the most disruptive shift in business since the Industrial Revolution.

The Membership Economy is a term to describe a massive transformation in every kind of organization, from nonprofits and associations to the most profitable of companies. It’s about a move from ownership to access, from anonymous transactions to known, formal relationships and from one way messaging to two-way communications between the organization and its members, but also conversations among the members themselves, under the umbrella of the organization.

A subscription is a pricing decision. It’s a tactic. The Membership Economy is about a mindset, in which organizations trying to build formal, long-terms relationships with their customers. Some organizations charge their members a subscription fee. But others might be free for most, like LinkedIn or Pinterest. The Membership Economy gets organizations off the hamster wheel of constantly releasing more stuff to win their members’ attention and wallet share.

The benefits are huge. Companies that have joined the Membership Economy enjoy more predictable and smooth cash flow, and greater loyalty. But the relationship structure also allows from greater learning, which allows the companies to evolve their offering and stay ahead of the competition. Customers, even Millennial want to be recognized as unique, and treated as such. They also want to be acknowledged for their contributions and accomplishments.



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