CMO Radio Interview: Robbie Kellman Baxter, Author of the Membership Economy


The Membership eco

About The Episode

A special edition of CMO Radio, as we bring author Robbie Kellman Baxter, the author of The Membership economy.

Robbie Kellman Baxter is the author of The Membership Economy, a consultant, and a speaker who has been providing strategic business advice to Silicon Valley companies for over 20 years. She is the founder of the consulting firm Peninsula Strategies, and regularly presents to professional associations, leading universities, and corporations.


If marketing matters to your company, changing your perspective from “How do I get customers to buy my product?” to “How do I continue to provide value to the customer after the transaction?” is necessary, Baxter said. CMOs should welcome a departure from the transactional mindset and look to perpetuate a culture of membership and community for their brands.


“Moving from a product focus to a mission focus is moving to a customer focus,” Baxter said. “What you’re trying to do is take care of a customer’s need instead of selling them a thing.”


Membership models appeal to the customer by fulfilling basic human needs: the desire to belong, to be recognized, and to be treated as an individual. To reinforce the importance of the customer’s needs being fulfilled, brands must continuously attach value to their product or service.


“The transaction is now the starting line, not the finish line,” Baxter said.


Additional highlights from this week’s episode of CMO Radio include:


  • Let’s talk retention (6:14)
  • The forever transaction (11:01)
  • Avoid everything but the kitchen sink (18:01)
  • Niche businesses with membership models (19:35)
  • The buffet principle (27:40)