Continuous access to benefits around a product or service.
Membership is a type of a paid loyalty program, in which the customer pays a regular fee for access to exclusive, additional benefits offered alongside a product or service. The benefits can vary, depending on the brand’s strategy and audience, ranging from discounts, free delivery, cashback, etc.
For example, a premium membership can give access to member-exclusive product launches, free shipping on large enough orders, invites to events, workshops, and workouts (as it is with Nike).
Memberships foster a closer relationship between the customers and the brand through the element of exclusivity or belonging to a club, which can be appealing to loyal brand supporters and new shoppers who want to gain additional perks and rewards.
Both memberships and subscriptions require customers to pay a regular fee in exchange for certain benefits, such as access to a product, a service, exclusive offers, etc. But, while subscriptions are mostly based on an individual relationship between the subscribers and the brand, memberships also entail a belonging to a community or a group of members that share the same values, interests, or just has something in common.
Compared to subscriptions, memberships may sometimes require a bigger commitment than a regular fee to remain active. For example, members may need to make a certain number of purchases in a given period of time to retain their current membership status.