A new goal for associations: generate excitement and passion among members.

Written by Sheri Jacobs, FASAE, CAE

(Image: Adobe Stock)

Last week, I overheard my daughter and her friends (future members of associations I hope) talk passionately about their love for Netflix. Each one screamed louder than the previous one as they shared stories about the movies (or content, as we call it in the association world) they had recently downloaded to their Chromebooks and as they relayed how easy it was to find and watch what they wanted when they wanted it. Because a subscription to Netflix starts at $7.99, less than the cost to rent two movies a month, the decision to join is almost a no-brainer. I wonder if their parents may have hesitated at paying an annual subscription for $96.

The best word to describe their reaction is passion. Oxford defines it as strong and barely controllable emotion. Imagine if your association generated this type of passion among your members – including young professionals.

The road hasn’t always been smooth for Netflix, but the organization had the agility to correct its course when it made a few blunders and had the foresight to give subscribers what they wanted, when and where they wanted it. Last July, Netflix boasted over 50 million members in 40 countries. It’s amazing when you compare it to 56 million households in the U.S. that have a cable subscription (Nielsen). Oh, and its revenue hit the $1 billion mark last year as well.

I understand that it is easier to be passionate about movies and TV shows, but what if we created the same level of excitement among our members? What if the simple action of helping members find exactly what they want the moment they want it became the goal of associations?

Posted on February 18, 2015