The Private Club Model

Subscription Models – “The Private Club Model”

  The Private Club model is a subscription model that offers access to something of limited supply on either a membership or subscription basis. In other words, your customers will have to commit to a long-term subscription to access your ‘private’ product/service.
Examples of businesses using the Private Club Model:
Private sports clubs could be an example of a business using this subscription model. For example, you sign up for a subscription to a private sports club and get a limited membership, that includes using the clubs’ facilities or the opportunity to attend specialized classes. Another example could be made with private websites storing unique data or offering “insider knowledge”. It could be an investment or specialized art websites, where the only way to access is through a long-term subscription. This model can also be beneficial for business-to-business companies.
Who should use this kind of subscription model?
This kind of subscription model is interesting for subscription businesses that…
  • Supply something ‘rare’ – which means, something that’s considered to be difficult to access. Your product is of limited supply – a service or experience – that within a specialized customer group is in high need.
  • Have a certain kind of customers; Customers who see the grass to be greener on the other side and therefore willing to put money into your inaccessible product. In other words, highly curious, achievement-oriented and somewhat ambitious customers.
What to ‘keep in mind’ when using this subscription model…
If you decide to go with the Private Club Model, you should definitely not offer ‘a la carte’ access. In doing so, your product will lose its worth. When signing up, your customers should feel that they gain access to something truly rare and the only way they can become part of it is to sign up on a long-term basis. You should have in mind, that what you are selling is in extremely limited supply, which makes it difficult for your product to grow, without ‘ruining’ its rarity. You will probably also have to define your segment since your customers will most likely be a smaller, dedicated group, that should be targeted in a way that specifically satisfies their needs.