Pricing Paradigm Shift: Taking the Stigma Out of Discounts
In my prep work for my pricing session at ASAE’s Great Ideas conference next week, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about how discounts are offered for associations and events. Very often, they are given based on ability to pay, with lower fees being offered to retirees, students, members from developing countries, etc. I can’t help but feel that there is an underlying stigma associated with this: a message that some are rich and others are poor.
The Shift to Distinguished Voices
I’m proposing a paradigm shift: from changing the pricing message from “You can’t afford to pay full price” to “You have an important voice that we value”. The format offers discounts that have a positive connotation in their description. Imagine these new price categories:
- Association Mentors: Retired members of the association that bring institutional knowledge and experience.
- Faculty Ambassadors: Educators that are extended the message and mission of the association by incorporating concepts into the classroom.
- International Contributors: Open to participants who enrich the conversation by bringing the unique perspective of developing countries.
- Association Evolvers: Open to students and young professionals that are investing in the future by contributing views on the priorities for the evolution of the industry and the association.
There is, of course, an urgent need is to look at messages for retiring members. With baby boomers starting to retire, let’s make sure that this important community hears the message that they are valued members with an important contribution that they can make. Of course, there are many other possible categories to include here, but the underlying message is this:
Leverage pricing to make people feel that they are worth more, not worth less.
I’ll be discussing this in next week’s session, along with many other pricing considerations related to associations.