In an increasingly competitive market, an association’s brand may be its most valuable asset. Also: a different way to think about loyalty and your organization.
Associations do their best to offer benefits, products, and features that people can’t get elsewhere. But when it comes to education, tradeshows, subscription publications, and more, the for-profit competition is strong and growing.
What can your association do to stand out in the crowd? Strengthen your brand.
“Regardless of which competitors rise up in the marketplace, associations have to be brand experts and convey their value,” writes Brittany Thompson in a recent post for Association Adviser. Heavily promote your exclusive membership benefits, including “your education conference, local lunch and learns, online community, industry-specific publications, newsletters, and networking events.” Recognize that this is a buyer’s market, so it’s necessary to be aggressive about promoting what makes your group special and the impact it makes.
“If prospective members don’t know what you’re doing, don’t count on them to be loyal to you or your cause,” says Thompson. “You are only as strong as your belief in your association and your ability to convey that belief.”
— 360 Live Media (@360LiveMedia) July 26, 2017
Membership retention is vital work for associations. And one key to retaining members is to inspire their loyalty.
In a recent post, Don Neal of 360 Live Media identifies four types of customer/member loyalty: situational, promiscuous, purchased, and earned. Earned—the best and most challenging to achieve—means “I’m loyal to you and your organization because we share the same values,” writes Neal. “You get me, and I feel better working with you or buying from you. I’m willing to pay a premium in exchange for the value I derive from your association.”
Neal provides questions that will help you determine whether your organization has gaps that might lead to a lack of loyalty.
Other Links of Note
Are your data analytics ineffective? CMSWire says the problem might not be methods or tools but organizational culture and structure.
Big events need their own video strategy. BizBash shares tips for event professionals to make the best use of video.
Infographic of the day. The Omnipress blog illustrates key ways adults learn.