Membership Hack: Discounted Consumer Research

The United States Association of Cider Makers recently partnered with the global research firm Nielsen to offer an opt-in group study to gather consumer feedback on members’ product designs and marketing.

How to hack it? Members of the United States Association of Cider Makers rely on consumer data and other metrics to develop products and labels with eye-catching appeal. That information is critical to their business success, says USACM Executive Director Michelle McGrath, but it’s also a huge expense.

To help its members get access to consumer feedback and other data on product packaging and labeling, USACM recently formed a new partnership with the global research firm Nielsen to offer members the opportunity to participate in a group study.

“Nielsen does a lot of very cool things for businesses that have a marketing component,” McGrath says. “They actually help to analyze the consumer’s reaction to packaging, and they do consumer surveys, which comes as a direct benefit to our members.”

Why does it work? Members get a $300 discount on the study—about the cost of annual dues and 90 percent less than an independent study. “With the discount, your dues payment goes to work through this one benefit,” McGrath says. “It’s also a service and rate that’s much more achievable for, say, a small cidery with a limited marketing budget.”

What’s the bonus? So far, a handful of members have signed up for the optional service. “The results are shared with all participating members, so it becomes a valuable learning opportunity for everyone,” McGrath says.

(Jirsak/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Tim Ebner

By Tim Ebner

Tim Ebner is a senior editor for Associations Now. He covers membership, leadership, and governance issues. Email him with story ideas or news tips. MORE

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