Can you believe that Kodak failed? Kodak was a very strong and trusted brand and brought in billions of dollars in revenue per year but as of 2013 what is left of the company is not much more than a pension plan. There were similar fates for Borders (books) and Smith Corona (typewriters). The one thing these failed business have in common is they stopped being relevant to their customers. Staying relevant to members is just as important for associations as staying relevant to customers is for companies.
Being relevant means making the member the center of our world. When members are the center of our world: we talk to them, we ask them good questions, we seek to understand them, we empathize with them, we want to serve them, we want to solve their problems and we want them to matter.
Does the death of Kodak or Borders worry you? You may be thinking if this can happen to a big corporation with tons of resources it could happen to any organization. It doesn’t have to be this way. You can stay relevant! And you stay relevant by being member-focused.