Monday, December 21, 2009

Belonging: The Power of Membership Marketing

Posted by Princess Eva Angelica at 11:58 AM


Why is membership such a powerful mechanism to build relationship? Because properly understood, membership can build the platform of common vision, values, and valuables to produce belonging.

This desire to belong is beautifully explained by Simon Sinek in his analysis of an old Dr. Seuss story.

“In his 1961 story about the Sneetches, Dr. Seuss introduced us to two groups of Sneetches, one with stars on their bellies and the other with none. The ones without stars wanted desperately to get stars so they could feel like they fit in. They were willing to go to extreme lengths and pay larger and larger sums of money simply to feel like they were part of a group. But only Sylvester McMonkey McBean, the man whose machine puts ‘stars upon thars,’ profited from the Sneetches’ desire to fit in.

As with so many things, Dr. Suess explained it best. The Sneetches perfectly capture a very basic human need – the need to belong. Our need to belong is not rational, but it is a constant that exists across all people in all cultures. It is a feeling we get when those around us share our values and beliefs. When we feel like we belong we feel connected and we feel safe. As humans we crave the feeling and we seek it out.”1

Do you agree that belonging is a basic human need? Is membership a way to help meet this need?

1. Simon Sinek, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, Penguin Group, 2009, page 53.

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