As long as they feel they're getting some real benefit in return.

Would your members pay a premium?

premiumWe’ve written before about the idea of charging for CU membership – what you’d have to do to make yourself feel like an exclusive club worth joining, a la Costco and Sam’s Club. We know people will pay club membership fees – AARP, AAA, social clubs, professional associations – as long as they feel they’re getting some real benefit in return.

I pay $79/year for an Amazon Prime membership which gives me free two-day shipping, access to tons of movies and TV shows, and free books on my Kindle. Is it worth it? You bet. I like it just for the free shipping option.

Not only will people pay for membership, they’ll also pay extra for higher-quality products.

Some that actually ARE better and some that really just make us feel superior. I’m sure you’ve noticed the proliferation of Dollar Stores in your town. In many places, they’re right across the street from each other. The fact that there are so many surely indicates that they’re doing a brisk business – people love feeling like they’re getting a good deal.

On the other end of the scale, more and more companies are coming out with luxury-themed items to appeal to those who appreciate the nicer things in life. Despite the downturn in the economy, many consumers make room in their budgets for the finer things by scrimping on those items they don’t care as much about. Everyone, no matter how rich or poor, wants to live a better life and very often it’s the things we buy that help us feel that way.

Would you pay more for these new products? Apparently some people are:

  • Paper towels embossed to look like cloth, almost double the cost of regular paper towels
  • Individually carved ice cubes with zero taste at $75/bag
  • Dishwashing detergent that cleans the dishes and the dishwasher at a 12% markup

Now’s the perfect time to introduce a few up-scale products of your own to appeal to those who are seeking a little luxury in their lives.

What if you offered a special auto loan to a “members-only” Auto Club that came with benefits like discounted car wash coupons and free yearly detailing? Or a mortgage that included special coupons at the local hardware store and discounted moving services? If you get creative, your products and services will almost sell themselves. You’ll make your members feel great and in turn, you and your CEO will feel great, too.

Brian Wringer

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