The Club Industry’s First Private Club Maturity Model

After conducting extensive research in the private club space, as well as other industries, including hospitality, we’ve developed a series of documents and workbooks for club industry professionals, creating the Private Club Industry’s First Maturity Model. Our goal is to help club professionals to better understand their maturity relative to the industry and evolve their way of delivering exceptional member experiences that result in #members4life.

In the course of our research, we’ve identified four distinct stages in private club maturity. The four stages are: Developing, Emerging, Strategic, and Leading. Read on to learn more and get started

The Next Level for Athletics

National signing day. What used to be just another day for most of the world (aka, those not signing a national letter of intent) has become a veritable sports holiday. Everyone from high school to college sports fans to even professional sports prognosticators are weighing in on teenagers and their future impact on sports. While it is an exciting time looking ahead for everyone, the work behind it is what makes it possible. And more and more, as local news coverage dissipates, that work is falling on the high school athletic department, the coach, and the individual athlete. See how forward-thinking athletic programs are dealing with the change in this blog post: Getting Your Players and Athletic Program to the Next Level.

Creating a Lasting Member Base

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The following is an excerpt of the post that originally appeared here:

As generations and members change, clubs have to shift with them or risk being left behind.

For the first time, that requires new ways of thinking about everything, from member recruitment to member expectations at the club. Here are some points to consider to help to develop a member base that will be around for generations.

Member Experience at the Club

While the standards for great service and member experiences are familiar. the bar of expectations for how well you deliver has been raised significantly. Fueled by data and new technology, today’s members are used to being individually catered to everywhere they go by even large corporations.  Clubs will have to step up their game to stand out. Fortunately, much of the same technology used by national businesses are available for clubs.

Data captured throughout the club, or even before they join through a CRM system accelerates the depth of knowledge about members, creating a consistent experience throughout the club grounds. This can expedite onboarding of new hires and enable them to act and feel like tenured team members. It can also help you determine what types of programming to include going forward. “We’re working to develop a variety of clubs within a club,” says Emily Ojerholm, Membership Director at Longue Vue Club. Within the last two years, they’ve hired a Director of Fun to engage with members and create active programming all year round like fly fishing, wine, and gardening; “things that mom and dad can participate in together and with their families,” she says, because that’s what their member base is clamoring for.

Also, don’t overlook the everyday things at the club, like how members pay for example. Increasingly we use different payment methods in the outside world, from credit card to newer digital formats. A mobile ordering solution can enable associates to place orders wherever they are, allowing for more time to interact with and attend to members’ needs. As these methods become more common, they’ll come to be expected. Not having them will be noticed and be seen as an inconvenience to members.

Member Recruitment and Retention

“What would we want if we were in the market? What we’re trying to attract is exactly what we look for outside of work as well, that’s where we start,” says Greg Gilg, General Manager at the Field Club of Omaha. That’s a great start to attracting peers. Again, a CRM system can ensure that prospects get followed up with and nurtured through the process. But just as important is retaining members once they have joined. That’s where predictive analytics and a system like Clubessential MAP, the club industry’s first predictive analytics solution, can make a huge difference. MAP provides quick insight into member engagement based on predetermined scoring criteria and identifies members at risk. With that information, you can initiate a tailored re-engagement strategy and keep that member for decades to come.

Read the complete blog post here: Develop a Private Club Member Base that Will Last for Years.

Predictive Analytics Arrives at the Club

The Club Industry’s First Predictive Analytics Tool

Clubessential’s Member Relationship Management (MRM) solution is the club industry’s first predictive analytics toolMRM allows you to incorporate five different variables as to what constitutes an engaged member using information that’s already collected in your system. With that information and your rules, MRM creates models to identify who is engaged and predict who is at risk. With a simple click, you can view an individual member’s activity trend analysis. You’ll know instantly who has fallen below the engagement threshold (that you set) and be able to initiate a re-engagement strategy. This post was originally published on the Clubessential blog, Predictive Analytics Arrives at the Club.

Brand First Positioning

Brand first means that your market position is created through your brand personality, which revolves around three critical aspects:

1. A Purpose-Driven Culture
2. Unification Across the Business
3. Customer Engagement Optimization

See and hear our approach to becoming brand first in this episode of the Wilson Bridge.


Just What I Needed …

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Consumer Habits are Shifting Ahead of Industries

It’s been apparent that the middle is not where retailers want to be for some time. However, led by changing demographics and economics, industries that were built on high-end continuous consumption and upgrades are in for a shock as well. Where previous consumers could be relied on to search for the latest and greatest, new consumers are more willing to settle for a product that meets their needs, does the job, but doesn’t break the bank. And the fact is, new manufacturing techniques and design knowledge mean that products in the middle or even the lower end are pretty darn good. They might not feature the latest technology, but they will reliable do what is asked of them. One sector likely to be be hit the hardest is outdoor gear and it will have profound affects on the passionate group of manufacturers. Here are just a few examples:

Cycling – For years bike manufacturers have been dedicated to performance and technology. Enthusiast have lined up to get the next greatest thing. Cutting weight, finding the right balance of strength, comfort and performance have been the holy grail. It came at a price, and a high one at that. Modern entry level and mid-range bikes are very competent, and may be all that many cyclist will ever need for years.

Golfing – For years golfers have believed that a new driver, putter or ball will magically cut their strokes and lower their scores. Golf manufacturers have been happy to oblige with continuous upgrades in every facet of the game. But as new audiences fail to hit the links, and interest wains, manufacturers won’t be able to play it where it lies. They’ll have to make adjustments.

Archery – While a bow and arrow is often considered primitive, the modern compound bow is anything but. Each year bow manufacturer continually try to improve the performance of their bows with faster speeds, higher let-offs, and smoother releases. Many of the high-end bows were sensitive to adjustments and required special tuning to get the max performance. Now bows are available off the rack that shoot nearly as well as top flight models just a few years ago, at a lower price, and without the setup work.

Fishing – The right tool for the job necessitates that many serious fisherman carried multiple rods and reels to match different situation. Modern reels and rods have improved in their reliability and ability to handle multiple situations. As the technology works down to the lower-priced outfits, many anglers are able to do more with less.

Return of the Middle? Not Quite

Don’t believe that this is a return to the middle. Hardly. While new audiences, millenials specifically, might be satisfied with a “good enough” product, they also care about experiences. That’s part of what drives these purchase decisions. For example, they want a bike to create an experience, but the experience is the important part. The bike has to function and perform, but it is not the focus.

Because they crave experiences, they love stories. Brands that have a story, create a great buying experience, and enable the buyer to better create their own stories, will win with these new evolving audiences.

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Centralized Data and Customer Engagement


The disconnect has to end. For the sake of your business and kids, end it already. For years, marketing was lucky to be just one part of the overall customer relationship: the initial phase. The data that was created in this phase and anything that happened afterward was moved to the business side of the house and stayed there. It was like an uncomfortable housemate situation, where, despite many common interests, not much was said or shared between marketing and business. Meanwhile, marketing would meet new customers. The problem was that many of them weren’t being met for the first time-they were existing customers. Business would stay mum. The two never talked. And nothing moved forward with their data and information sharing. Read the complete post, originally published here:

Great Brands Rise Again


Great brands can live forever. We’ve been saying that for years. With all of the attention on startup companies, the desire to scale quickly, and the surprising number of brands on various lists that didn’t even exist 15 years ago, it’s probably easy to dismiss. After all, forever is a mighty long time. It’s so abstract that it’s difficult to comprehend. And can a brand really keep growing forever? Read the complete original post here: