A recent trip to Starbucks left me thinking about the core value proposition of association membership. Your organization’s value prop is the #1 reason your members remain members and also determines whether a prospect comes on board or continues to shop. So, what makes your association different? Are the benefits you provide relevant to the needs of your prospects? How will membership in your organization help solve their problems? Good questions to consider.
Let me provide an example. I go to Starbucks for 3 reasons. A place to meet a colleague, a clean restroom downtown, and a cup of coffee. When I observe the trends at some local Starbucks, I wonder if they are still for me. They are replacing comfortable seating with group tables, which makes one-on-one conversation more difficult. Goodness knows what the impact of adding beer and wine to the menu will have on afternoon noise levels. And well, let’s just say this visit failed on the expectations of a clean restroom. Sure, I still get a good cup of coffee, but my other objectives aren’t being met.
My colleague and I moved across the street to Au Bon Pain. We found a larger, quieter space; a clean restroom; and, a good cup of coffee. Au Bon Pain met all three of my needs – while the changes taking place at Starbucks actually led this customer to jump ship.
What three core programs or services do your members want most from you? Ask yourself – are you delivering on all three? If you aren’t serving up the goods, someone else will.
Patty Leeman, MBA, CAE is the Moery Company’s Chief Analyst. Follow her on Twitter and connect with her on LinkedIn.
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