Episode 24 | How to Disrupt Yourself (or Die Trying)

with Membership Economy author Robbie Baxter

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It used to be that the relationship with your customers ended at the transaction. You might engage them heavily as they entered your sales funnel, but once you closed the deal, that was the end of it – on to the next.

Today’s guest turns that notion completely on its head. Robbie Kellman Baxter is a consultant, keynote speaker, and the author of The Membership Economy, a fantastic new book that explains why access and community are more valuable than ownership and transactional relationships.

Robbie makes a powerful case that all companies – not just subscription based companies – are better served when they move away from the idea that the relationship ends at the transaction, and realize that they need what she describes as an “ongoing, open, multi-directional conversation” with their customers. What’s more, she explains why a membership-oriented culture can positively transform your business.

Additionally, we explore “self disruption” – one of the most fascinating points in the book – the idea that leading companies need to disrupt their own business models, or risk losing out in the long run.

Robbie also describes the fascinating world of Competitive Smell Analysis from her days at Mrs. Field’s Cookies.

We highly recommend her book, and after this interview, you’ll see why.

Key Takeaways

  • Robbie explains how her consulting career led her to the concepts behind The Membership Economy, and why she felt she had to write the book.
  • Robbie defines the term “membership economy,” and explains why it’s relevant to companies in every industry.
  • Robbie walks us through the concept of ownership vs. access, and explains how the shift in expectations around ownership has led to major disruption.
  • Robbie explains why your company needs to disrupt itself, and the dire consequences that could result if it fails to do so.
  • Robbie talks about why your company needs to build a membership-oriented culture, and what that entails.
  • Robbie points out that in a traditional economy, the transaction is the end of the relationship, but in the membership economy, the transaction is just the beginning.


Recommended Reading 

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