Club Insider

Twelve Enlightening Business Insights for the New Year

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Stephen TharrettStephen Tharrett

Winter is upon us, and we've just finished being immersed in the season of merriment involving gift giving, feasting and celebrating with friends. Our business persona was engrossed in the details of juggling a variety of business loose ends, including making sure the business year ended on a strong note, budgets and plans for the New Year were finalized and hoping our business embarks on an enlightened beginning to the New Year. Consequently, at ClubIntel, we wanted to bring forward business insights that we believe could help make 2015 a great year for your business. Staying with the theme of the just-passed Holiday Season, we've put together our list of 12 key insights for the New Year.

Mark WilliamsonMark Williamson

Twelve Insights for the New Year

  1. 1. "Innovation is not value creation; it's value capture!" Business leaders typically associate innovation with creativity, of bringing forward great ideas and solutions that can launch the business into a new dimension! Creating value (i.e., creating an exciting new program, new technology application or new process) is never easy. But, once created, it's like the infamous 15 minutes of fame, powerful and fleeting. The real gold in innovation is value capture, when your innovative idea actually generates a head-spinning return on investment. So, for 2015, instead of mining your team for a ton of innovative ideas, hone in on just a few that can really capture value (i.e., people's hearts, hands and purses)!
  2. 2. "High value does not mean low dollar!" In today's hyper-competitive club market, the word from on high is that budget, low-priced clubs are value clubs, and that the lower the price, the greater the value. For some, this might be true. But, for most people, value is about getting what you expect, possibly more than you expect for what you pay. Apple holds great value for customers and investors, and it isn't cheap! Whole Foods has great value to its customers, but it's not cheap! Value is created when your offering delivers what the customer is looking for and does it in spades! When you can deliver in spades, then price is secondary, as people will pay the price.
  3. 3. "Members are not customers!" The words customer and member are frequently interchanged when discussing the audience we serve. If you are in the member business, then you are not serving customers, you are serving members. Members take ownership in their purchase, meaning they want to be heard, they want to be appreciated and they want to be involved. Customers only seek to receive what they have paid for; it's a transactional covenant with no other obligations. There is nothing wrong with having customers, but if you are treating members as customers, you will have a problem; it's called attrition!
  4. 4. "Member loyalty can't be bought; it has to be romanced!" You can bribe people to buy from you. But, like any bribe, commitment is contingent on the bribe continuing and often escalating. Consequently, rewards programs and incentives in and of themselves will not bring about loyalty. Instead, like any romantic relationship, member loyalty requires nearly maniacal devotion to open communication with your members, developing trusting relationships with each and every member, respecting and valuing the uniqueness of each member, showing appreciation for the little things, and finally, showing each member just how much you care.

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