Continuous access to benefits around a product or service.

Full definition

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.

How memberships differ from subscriptions

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.