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Pivoting for Resilience

Understanding member motivations for better business models

In response to the many challenges brought by the [COVID-19] pandemic, associations are being forced to take a closer look at their business models in order to explore new, more crisis-resistant revenue streams. It could be a challenge to find an association willing to say that they have (or rather haven't) "cracked it" and subsequently now have the blueprints for a perfect model that doesn't rely in-part on event-driven revenue, but it's worth considering some of the key components of pivoting sightly from a membership-based model to a product-based model.

Carefully identifying the needs and interests of members and non-members alike must be top of the agenda in order to develop products that are relevant, marketable and profitable. This transition however requires careful planning and execution, and organizations must ensure that any new revenue streams align with the organization's mission and values, and their commitment to serving their members and the wider community.

The most important consideration is the motivations of one's members – who can be classified into three categories: joiners, buyers and status-seekers.

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