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The Membership Economy

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  380 ratings  ·  34 reviews

Find Your Super Users, Master the Forever Transaction, and Build Recurring Revenue

If you’ve ever used ZipCar, Amazon Prime, Spotify, NetFlix, Groupon, Weight Watchers, SurveyMonkey, United Mileage Plus, Pinterest, Twitter – you are part of The Membership Economy, an increasingly popular model that author Robbie Kellman Baxter sees as the inevitable re
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published March 17th 2015 by McGraw-Hill Education (first published February 27th 2015)
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3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  380 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Thi Thumasathit
Mar 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is an important read to anyone who has customers. The key to getting more business from repeat customers is to STOP treating them like customers and START treating them like members.

The Membership Economy is not a book about some esoteric trend in Silicon Valley. It's a practical manual for how any organization can shift from being customer-centric to being member-centric. Anyone who treats their customers like ongoing members and delivers benefits to those members on an ongoing basis
Bianca Smith
Jan 07, 2015 rated it liked it
With all the success occurring with subscription boxes, Car share programs and being a member of the Hootsuite Ambassador team, I was expecting more from The Membership Economy by Robbie Kellman Baxter.

Maybe my definition of membership is too community-driven and interactive? Robbie does have extensive experience: more than 20 years consulting to NetFlix, Oracle, and Yahoo!, with an MBA from Stanford. It’s an impressive resume.

Let’s look at the book. The Membership Economy is in three sections.
Feb 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Do you have customers - transient or regular - or do you have members, people who feel they have a connection to your business and the products or services that you offer? The so-called “Membership Economy” is a fairly modern constructive term, yet it hardly seems so new. Technology has just made it perhaps more prevalent, more accessible and more in-your-face.

Maybe you’re a member and haven’t realised it? The distinction can be lost, especially in the digital world. You can be a customer of Ama
Seth Kahan
Feb 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love Robbie Kellman Baxter's new book. The content is outstanding and exceptionally relevant. Ever wonder why there are multitudes of Silicon Valley start-ups that are using membership and community in their core business models? This book not only explains why, it shows you how. For those of us in the membership economy this book is a milestone, codifying the framework and designating the era in business terms that are easy to understand, grasp, and implement.

I am the founder of AssociationTr
Chad Warner
Apr 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: leaders of membership organizations
A well-researched look at how membership organizations have succeeded, and how to replicate that success. There are plenty of examples, and good summaries make it easy to digest. It's clear that Baxter has a lot of experience working with membership organizations. I felt I needed to work too hard to glean the lessons from the fairly long examples; they could've been distilled to save the reader time.

Baxter defines membership as being formally engaged with an organization or group on an ongoing b
Scott Wozniak
Apr 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thorough Discussion of A Big Idea

The membership approach is huge and both very new--disrupting industry after industry--and very old (think churches and guilds).

If you aren't looking at this approach, probably one of your competitors is. And membership doesn't do well as a bolted on extra option. To work, the entire organization needs to be focused on real community and the members.

Very important topic. But I give four not five stars because this book is written like a textbook. It's wordy and
Scott Wozniak
Apr 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
The membership approach is huge and both very new--disrupting industry after industry--and very old (think churches and guilds).

If you aren't looking at this approach, probably one of your competitors is. And membership doesn't do well as a bolted on extra option. To work, the entire organization needs to be focused on real community and the members.

Very important topic. But I give four not five stars because this book is written like a textbook. It's wordy and dry and has a silly glossary and
Sergei Kotlov
Jun 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Good overview of how membership model works. Several well-known examples and hands-on advices for different kinds of organisations
Noah Goats
I am not a membership economy kind of guy. I hate feeling pushed into communities and memberships. Years ago when my grocery store adopted customer loyalty cards I immediately switched to a different store, when that one also adopted them I switched again, now the third store has also finally adopted customer loyalty cards as well and I’m trapped. I’m old enough to remember when you could get items that were on sale at the sale price without needing some stupid card. I drives me nuts that I have ...more
Jan 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Recurring revenue is part of THE MEMBERSHIP ECONOMY, a dreamy business model for entrepreneurs that doesn’t work unless it creates a sense of community through generating value for customers and consequently, loyalty.

Indeed, “The membership economy is all about putting the customer at the center of the business model, rather than the product or the transaction.” As customers move from ownership to membership.

To implement this system could be a challenge, especially for companies that already hav
Cody Faldyn
May 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In her book Baxter provides an online business roadmap that is packed with step-by-step digital strategies, useful resources, and case studies of super successful dot-com companies. The goal of the book is to show you how to get the most revenue from your online product, create an engaged community of customers, place your revenue on autopilot, and create sustainable loyalty programs. The book is written so that you may jump in and out where needed.

For your convenience, we had Robbie Baxter on o
Laura Reading
May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
A very thorough book about membership services and businesses.
I learned a lot while reading it that is useful to me both as a consumer and as a potential membership business sales rep.
Memberships have been around forever and give people a sense of belonging and comfort.
With advanced technology the membership concepts has changed. It is becoming more of a contract relationship.
Opportunities are opening up daily!

I would have preferred to read this book and discussed with members of my business te
Cristi Jakubik
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Founders, strategists and marketers
I'm a startup founder and one of the many in search of the 'forever transaction'. This book lays out the fundamental principles of creating a community where your current and potential customers feel like they belong and develop loyalty to your brand.

One of my favorite aspects of the Membership Economy is that it doesn't just prescribe a 5-step checklist that will work for every business. Instead, the book gives several different examples and applications to try.

Bottom line: Insightful and time
Aug 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this great book

Really enjoyed his great book on the value of membership and how to truly drive value from members, rather than being focused on the process of extracting revenue from customers. The key factor for me was finding your super users and developing your community. Also, the focus on the members you have today and providing them the platform to grow your community.
Alex Devero
Oct 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
To stay competitive in a membership-oriented business world, you need more than a basic company homepage; your whole organization needs to be built around the concept! If you fully commit to a membership model, put the right strategy in place to gain and retain members, appropriately price your product and track user behavior, your business will prosper.
May 11, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-2016
Honestly, there is nothing new here. This book is about 5 years too late. It might be of value for someone who doesn't spend a bunch of time thinking about, and working in, tech space, or a person who is completely uninformed about how companies like Netflix have built their businesses. The content wasn't poorly written, it was just unoriginal and untimely.
Ryan J. King
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wondeful book - as someone running an online subscription business, she hit the nail right on the head. I made so many notes, and have been executing a lot of the ideas she raised already. Top book if you're in the field.
atherton book lover
Feb 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. It is easy to read, informative, and contains many examples and case studies.
Aug 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Interesting, probably more applicable to for-profit companies than a public library. But the author has great information and points to ponder for anyone running an organization.
Greg Hohman
Robbie came to speak to the Office team in January. She challenged us to find creative ways to build a sense of community and membership among our Office users.
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I found this book quite valuable and can definitely recommend. It offers a broad review of common practices of companies/users interactions. Anyone who develops new ways of doing business online will find a lot of value in this book. I put 4 stars though for several reasons: 1) the author seems to put the word “membership” on anything he sees, which is, I believe, a stretch, 2) the author repeats himself, reading the mantra of innovating/tinkering (really, one time is enough). Overall — recommen ...more
Daniel DiPiazza
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is going to require a second read, as it was extremely in-depth.

As opposed to "The Automatic Customer" and "Subscription Marketing," "The Membership Economy" digs deeper on the nuts and bolts of creating membership and paid subscription products — including more complex areas like billing, retention and churn. These are areas which the other books I've read touch on, but don't dive into very deeply.

Required reading for anyone looking to build a membership platform!

Luiz Arakaki
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
Too superficial. She describes the new paradigms of the membership economy, but the advices are extremely general and supercial. Talk to your customers, plan you growth, look for retention. Not much enrichment from this book.
Mark Smith
Interesting reading

This book address and interesting subject one that various people will need to consider for how membership applies to their business. For a small business, I feel the book could have added some "how to" or "step by step" example that needs to be taken.
Wen Gu
Feb 26, 2019 rated it liked it
After Reading this I am cancelling many of my subscriptions.
Kim Ballard
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book for people who work in membership driven organizations.
Apr 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
I have like this book overall, because it touches a very important topic, which we see and experience every day in our digital world: the membership economy.
It structures pretty well the different kinds of organizations, and also the different strategies and tactics that should be applied when creating a successful "membership economy" organization.
Even though I lacked the deeper tips and tricks that made these particular membership companies successful. (Changes in User Interfaces or Subscrip
Jun 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Very good book on the membership business model. Author did a great job and was very thorough and detailed. He ended book with a great call to action. I recommend this book to any entrepreneur wanting to improve their business by converting one time sales to long term customer relationships. I did get a lot of ideas on how to incorporate this.
May 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Read this for work. Actually really interesting (for a business book).
Justin Kimball
Not as informative as I had hoped.
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“Many content-oriented companies try this approach of just gathering as much content as possible and offering it at a monthly price when their members might want depth in a few key areas or access to a community of like-minded people. In many cases, it’s not the stuff people want; it’s the curation and community. If the primary benefit is supposed to be the community, there must be a critical mass to enable a network effect. This means that the group itself and the connections of members to one another is the primary benefit of joining the community” 0 likes
“From Privacy to Belonging Some people want to be anonymous, but others are willing to give up some personal information in exchange for the recognition and benefits that come from belonging. There is an ongoing and probably endless debate over the complex concept of privacy. How much private data do you want to share? And with whom? How much should you have to share in exchange for the privileges of membership? One challenge many people face is the desire to access an organization’s benefits while wanting to stay independent. Some want to be protected from Big Brother, while others want to avoid superfluous social interactions. Still others are unabashed joiners and simply want to connect.” 0 likes
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