Capital Bike Share – a case study for associations

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Capital Bike Share launched today. It’s a marriage of new and old. It’s reaching out and using the technology available while holding on to the traditional ways that still resonate.

It’s very simple. Use the sophisticated metro system to get part way to your destination. Then, pick up a bike and go the rest of the way.

What can associations learn from this?

Check out the membership model. You can opt for a day, month or year. Or you can pay-as-you-go. Simple. Accessible. And all about “me.” How can we in associations craft customizable membership models?

Notice how it focuses on the member’s convenience not the organizations. As a member, I choose to ride when I want, where I want and for how long I want. And if what I want they aren’t offering (longer rides), they tell me outright where to go (and give me list of options!). How can we put members first?

It was born by necessity and a desire to be socially responsible. People need transportation options. And there is urgency to responding to needs in a socially responsible way. The bonus is for the response to be one that encourages socially responsible behavior. Where are these same opportunities for us? Can we offer a “green” educational event?

Notice how this serves customers on the way to where they are going. How can our associations provide members a way to get involved that doesn’t require detours or out-of-the-way excursions? If a member is coming to an event, then asking them to report on it while they are there or sharing their photos from the event catches them in route.

It’s innovative. They looked for an opportunity and created a response. We can too.

Let’s go biking …

Mariner Management & Marketing provides association management, volunteer coordinator and leadership development information for associations and non-profit organizations.