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#MemberMonday: Leveraging Change to Your Advantage

By Brandi McGrath Kong, Director of Member Services & Conferences

Our clubs are always looking for ways to keep the members that they have. We value our Sertomans and want to do whatever possible to keep them in our ranks. They have already demonstrated the love for service that has defined our organization for over 110 years, and we understand that losing them as a member is a loss not only for our club but also for the community that we serve.

One such strategy deals with the inevitable, and at times intimidating, concept of change. With membership retention, it’s possible to leverage change to your advantage. It’s just a matter of following the adage presented in the Kenny Roger’s song, The Gambler: “You gotta know when to hold em, know when to fold em.” Let me explain.

Change can be a great way to revitalize your membership base. It can come in the form of a small action like a website makeover or the creation of a new social event. Even if it’s just a minor cosmetic upgrade, this little change creates the opportunity for a new experience for your members and the excitement that comes with it. 

However, we all know that there are times when a change might not go so well. The failure of New Coke is an often-used example. Coca Cola did a great job hyping up New Coke in the 1980s, but when people actually tasted it, there was a huge backlash. In this case, even though the hype was successful, the result was not. Coke knew that it was time to walk away from their change and discontinue New Coke. 

So, in summary, be open to change, but don’t change just for the sake of it. Find the right balance of evolving with the times and holding onto the traditions that your members love. Doing too much and/or doing it too quickly can have the opposite effect on membership retention that you want.

Note: This is an excerpt from Sertoma “10 Member Strategies for Member Retention” club development video.