Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Are retailers trying to become associations? What does it mean for your Association?

And, if so, what does that mean to association executives?

An InternetRetailer post (Retailers Move Social Media Out of Its Silo) focused on retailers working to engage their customers.

I realized that the huge shift toward engaged consumers is just an informal association in disguise.

I’m thinking most retailers are jealous of associations and the connection most associations have with their members. 

So, retailers are trying to engage them. Perhaps that’s why American Express uses the tag line “Membership has its Privileges” and other companies attempt to engage buyers as members?

Associations ask members for two things: time and money.

A key question is whether retailers – in becoming quasi associations through various on and off-line engagement efforts – are diverting their customers away from association memberships? 

The other question is whether associations will have the capability, resources and commitment to adapt new tools to make association membership relevant to members who are experiencing radical changes in their relationships with their retailers?

What do you think? 

 Are retailers our competitors? And are the experiences they provide our members influencing what our members expect from our associations?

1 comment:

  1. The answer to the question posed, are retailers becomming associations, is a definative yes! I have witnessed a growing number of businesses involved in the industry represented by an association offering overlapping services and programs directly to members. This is a growing trend exacerbated in part by the ability to communicate so easily with members and non-members. They offer educational programs, professional services and in some instances even advocacy on industry issues. Association managers and leaders would be well served to reassess who the competition really is today. Thanks for the great thought.