Posts Tagged ‘membership’

I recently had the opportunity to participate in a session led by Sam Davidson of coolpeople.org. He made a statement that I found brilliant and timely.

“community is no longer defined by physical space”

True.  In a rough count, my wife, daughters and I  hold 27+ different memberships — both real and virtual.

  • newsletters
  • websites
  • gymnastic center
  • service clubs/chambers
  • sports teams
  • church
  • The Y (of course)
  • retailer loyalty programs

Each varies in the level of engagement as much as our involvement varies.  Does our involvement reflect their engagement?  Not sure, but despite outgrowing Webkinz, my 10 year old daughter continues to visit the website only to “feed” her pets so they don’t starve (virtually).  These groups also connect with us through multiple channels: IRL (in real life), texting, e-mail, mail, web and telephone.

photo by: d3designs

In serving members and customers we have an overwhelming number of channels (with more on the horizon) through which we can create and nurture our community.  It is important to create one community through all channels and not a community for each channel.

When in doubt, channel your inner member.  Take note of your own memberships — what are those that you could not live without doing to keep you engaged as a member?

What channels are you using for your business?  What strategies do you apply to bridge the experience between channels?

It’d also be a really good idea not to let them starve.

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Taxes Pictures, Images and Photos
Not sure who said it, but the old expression “the only absolutes in life are death and taxes” always hits home (and wallet) this time of year.  Mrs. Membershipjedi and I prepare for an arduous annual meeting with our accountant.  I missed last year’s due to an event conflict out of town — and my lovely bride assured me that was not to happen again, ever.

Our two little tax deductions are growing quickly and we are determined not to provide them with any siblings, so any deduction is a good deduction.

I told my wife I was going to put the receipts for my purchases of Toms Shoes as deductions, to which she replied, “before you put anything in that folder, ask Richard” (our Libertarian accountant).

Richard was not familiar with Toms Shoes (<-click that if you’re not either).

I explained that for the pair I bought, a shoeless child somewhere in the world would receive a pair. When he was done laughing and picked the phone back up from the floor, he said that I’d have to give my pair to get a deduction, but nice try.

Despite losing out on a small deductible, I’m still in love with the idea of embedded generosity.  I see the bottles of water sold in Starbucks around town, Toms Shoes, etc.  Consumers respond quite well to products and services that maintain a charitable component.

As humans we inherently want to help others, and I’m convinced that as consumers if given the right product, we will purchase it knowing it will help others.

I’m developing the idea of the “Difference Maker Membership” — not sure if it can model Toms’ one-for-one, but I’m trying to get close.

Do you have or know of a product that can make a difference?

Be remarkable, not replaceable.

Whenever I have to pick someone up at the airport, I get there early — I love watching people, the ebb and flow fascinates me.  Funny how when I’m the one traveling I’m the loser running to his gate.

My reverie was interrupted during a recent airport run by the marketing director of a biz-to-biz company — need to start wearing my ‘misanthrope’ t-shirt again, still not sure why he chose me that night.

He used an expression that absolutely disturbed me.  In kibitzing on business and the economy, he said, “well our people on the front line are telling me……………….”.  I zoned out the rest and I have no idea what he said after that.

The front line?!?!  Front line?!?!  Are you at war?  Thought you said you provided a billing system for Fortune 1000 companies?  At war with whom?  Your customers?

Boer War Pictures, Images and Photos

If we ask our employees, how things are on the “front line” are we suffering from ivory tower syndrome?  There are hundreds of other terms to describe those critical employees that have constant direct contact with our customers – use them.

Make love not war — they are customers, not combatants.

Be remarkable not replaceable.