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Member Software

Defining Your Member Value Proposition

Andrea Amorosi April 19, 2024
Table of Contents
6 min read

If you are interested in expanding the influence and footprint of your membership-based organization, you can often find inspiration from how commercial businesses compete and market themselves. One strategy commercial interests have employed for years is creating a unique value proposition. Now member value propositions have been playing a more critical role for membership organizations.

In this article, we will explore the definition of a value proposition and why it is important. We will discover how to define your member value proposition and the questions to answer that will make the process easier. If your organization has yet to craft a member value proposition, you are now on the path to expand your influence.

What is a Value Proposition?

A value proposition clearly explains a product or service, how it fulfills a need, and how it is better than what may be offered elsewhere.

These member value propositions explain the benefits of becoming a part of an organization, why they fulfill a need, and what makes a particular organization unique and exceptional.

An Example of a Value Proposition

A simple sample example of a value proposition for a fast food restaurant could be “hot, delicious food served quickly at an affordable price.” This value proposition addresses key issues of importance to a fast food customer. These include “hot, delicious, served quickly, affordable price.”

Keep in mind that this is a simple example your orginization will likely require a more complex member value poroprosition.

The Importance of a Member Value Proposition

What makes a member value proposition so important is that it clearly answers important questions about why membership is so valuable. It defines the difference between your organization and others. It should help balance the cost vs value scale, helping to make the membership decision easier.

Defining Your Member Value Proposition

Defining your organization’s member value proposition can take some careful thought and honest assessment. It can benefit from input and collaboration from those with a vested interest. Defining your member value proposition can even benefit from a member survey detailing the factors that influenced them to become members.

Once you have selected those who should have input, including feedback from members, you can begin crafting your member value proposition.

5 Questions To Ask To Best Define Your Member Value Proposition

When brainstorming the elements to be included in your member value proposition, asking probing, open-ended questions can be useful. Here are five such questions.

1. Precisely Who Are You Targeting for Membership?

If the initial reaction is “everyone,” there is work to be done. To create a valuable member value proposition, you should clearly define your target audience for membership. What is the target demographic (18-34, 35-54, 55 plus)?

What is their education level, and what motivates them? What interests do they have, and do they have children? Some organizations will create a persona with an imaginary name, job title, hobbies, and education to help them better visualize their intended target.

2. What Value Does Membership in your Organization Provide?

A superb member value proposition will emphasize the overall benefits of membership. These should be identified and prioritized in order of value to members. These may include:

  • Access to members only content
  • Certifications
  • Discounts
  • Networking Opportunities
  • Prestige
  • Marketing Opportunities
  • Member Benefits

It can help to categorize benefits into broader categories like educational, networking, and financial. These can help provide a better understanding as to what groups or benefits are most important.

3. What Are Competitors Up To?

If you don’t think you have competitors, you should reconsider. Potential members are also consumers, and they have an endless selection of options for their membership fees.

In terms of direct competition from like-minded groups, analyze what they offer members. How are they branding and positioning themselves in the market? Is there a need that could or should be filled?

This can be a good time to assess you and your competitors’ place in the market and your corresponding strengths and weaknesses.

4. Quantify Your Member Value Proposition

Quantifying your member value proposition can involve placing a value on the benefits of value. This is often more extensive than a member organization may recognize.

Quantification may include the value of educational opportunities and their influence on potential earnings. It could include potential discounts for attending conferences or conventions and even place a value on exclusive member content.

Quantification adds weight to the value side of the cost vs value equation. This is how some members decide if membership fees or dues for your organization are “worth it.”

5. How Much Can a Member Afford to Pay

While you may demonstrate the value of membership, the reality is members will often make a decision based simply on if they can afford to pay dues.

Members in professional organizations (attorneys, accountants, doctors, etc.) are likely to be able to spend more on a membership than, say, a middle-income family. This can be influenced, however, by the value of the benefits.

Elements of a Well-Crafted Membership Value Propositions

It is generally agreed that a member value proposition should have three major components.

1. It should have a concise and compelling headline that emphasizes the core benefit of membership.

The headline should be followed by a short paragraph that details who should be a member, what membership provides, and why it is valuable.

2. Evidence of your willingness and competence in delivering what is offered. This can be accompanied by visuals.

Additional and unexpected Benefits of Creating a Membership Value Proposition

Creating a value proposition for your membership-based organization can take effort and diligence. It can involve some soul-searching and honest assessment. When it is complete, however, you will have a very valuable marketing tool to use in your recruitment process.

More than that, however, there are additional valuable benefits that can evolve from your creation of a member value proposition.

A Better Focus on Your Target Market

Creation of a value proposition requires you to refocus on your organization and your target market. It can help you better define prospective members who are most ideal for your organization. This can involve clarity in the demographics and psychography of potential members.

A Better Awareness of Your Competitors

Interestingly enough, the process of creating a value proposition for your organization can shed more light on what your competitors are offering. This can ultimately show gaps where members and potential members may be underserved.

Improved Understanding of Your Core Strength

When you spend time contemplating the benefits and assets of your organization, it can help re-energize you in carry out your core mission. As time passes, organizations can lose their way.

Working on a member value proposition can help you rediscover your purpose and determine a way to express it briefly and with clarity.

It Emphasizes the Importance of Providing Value

When you craft a member value proposition, it compels you to look at the benefits of the membership of being a part of your organization. What benefits are you offering, and are they being taken advantage of by your members? Do the benefits provide enough value compared to your fees? Are you properly explaining the value and benefits of membership to those involved?

It also allows you to verify that you are, in fact, providing fair value to your membership.

The Benefits of Marketing

It is easy to get distracted from critical issues facing your membership-based organization. Daily tasks like volunteer management, collecting dues, staffing events, and retaining members can understandably get in the way of critical duties like expanding membership through marketing.

Member management software can help automate many daily tasks, allowing you to focus on major issues like marketing. You may just rediscover the joys and value in being able to shift some of your focus to marketing.

Putting Your New Membership Value Proposition to Work

Once you have created your member value proposition, it is time to put it into action. Use your value proposition on the following:

  • Your Website
  • In Your Membership Agreement
  • On Printed Materials and Brochures
  • Place it on Social Media
  • Include it in Your Newsletter
  • Post it in Emails

Keeping your organization on pace and even ahead of the game in marketing and technology can pay big dividends. It demonstrates your organization is progressive, responsive, and in touch.

This can be shown by the use of a well-crafted membership value proposition. It can also be shown through the use of advanced technology, like a membership management system.

MemberClicks is a complete, robust system for efficiently managing membership, dues, benefits, website content, volunteers, events, and more. It can simplify updates, like adding a member value proposition, easily.

Learn more about MemberClicks and how it can improve efficiency in your organization. Take a test drive with a free trial today.

Free Member Retention Guide

Ready to retain members and keep them coming back forever and ever? This guide will teach you everything you need to know about member retention. We cover all the basics, like the first steps to member retention and how to map out your member journey. From there, we dive a bit deeper into retention tips.