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Tips to Avoid the “Dark Side” Of Membership

Sadly, not all member experiences have rosy outcomes

I tend to think of membership as a win-win. After all, people pay dues and join an organization because value and benefits come with the experience.

In her book The Membership Economy, Robbie Kellman Baxter, president of Peninsula Strategies, also focuses on the many positives of membership. She even predicts that it will become “the future of all business models.”

While we are certainly seeing the consumerization of membership—think Amazon, Netflix, Spotify or Blue Apron—not all member experiences have rosy outcomes. In fact, Baxter notes that membership has a “dark side.” She first heard about it from a friend who at the time was running a news-sharing site built around a wide base of online members.

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