If you are contemplating or trying to navigate the shift to a subscription pricing model in your firm you need to know Robbie Kellman Baxter. She is a strategy and marketing consultant and the leading voice on getting subscription and membership models right at scale.

Robbie recently joined me on the show to talk about her latest book, The Forever Transaction: How to Build a Subscription Model So Compelling Your Customers Will Never Want to Leave I love the book for the many practical examples and the great guidance on treating this shift to subscription pricing as a strategic transformation.

In this fabulous, fun interview, Robbie Kellman Baxter generously shares insights from her consulting experiences as well as from this fantastic new book on leading the transformation to a deep customer intimate model with “forever” thinking! Enjoy the show!

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Show Highlights:

Robbie shares who the book is for and how she structured the book–from a transactional business model to a relationship business model (0:50)

Art suggests, The Forever Transaction feels like a follow on to the concept of customer intimacy from Treacy and Wiersma’s classic The Discipline of Market Leaders (2:00)

While everyone seems to want to slap a subscription price on their expertise, many organizations neglect bringing the added value of customer intimacy (earn their trust) to the opportunity (2:56)

When considering moving to a subscription approach, here are some things to think about (4:20)

What Robbie means by “forever transaction” and the great lesson taught by the founders of LinkedIn. Pick something with a long runway (4:59)

Art and Robbie suggest that SiriusXM (for example) might have missed the memo on getting the “forever transaction” approach right. We deliver into subscription fatigue and the bad feature of “hiding the cancel button” (7:40)

Bad actors in the subscription world and where not to focus your efforts (9:30)

The challenge of shifting to a subscription model and why this transformation topic is such an important part of the book (11:14)

Treat shifting to a forever transaction like an internal start-up (12:15)

“You can’t take whatever products you have lying around and bundle them like a subscription” (13:00)

Why Art loves the book as a manual for leading strategic change and the biggest challenges firms face in making the change to a subscription model (13:30)

The long term focus is important here (16:00)

Art highlights his view on the most challenging topic: pricing and Robbie offers counsel. Make it easy to understand–don’t require the customer to become an expert on your pricing (16:45)

Why you need a killer headline benefit if you want to command a higher price (18:30)

The resilience of membership pricing in our current challenging environment (19:40)

Changing consumer habits that are being forced upon us and why this moment of crisis can be positive for firms with subscription business models (20:30)

Robbie shares some of her favorite subscription model examples (22:30)

Robbie shares the insights gained since she wrote and published The Membership EconomyFive years later I don’t have to convince anyone a subscription model is a good idea  (26:30)

What Robbie learned in the process of writing The Forever Transaction Writing forces me to get clear on what I know and what I don’t know (29:00)