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Membership for Superheroes

By Hannah Crossman & Alex Dodds

5 minute read

The backstory

Let me let you in on a secret. Whisper it quietly, but it turns out that parents (aka Superheroes) don’t have personality transplants when they have kids. Although the superhuman effort that it takes to function on 3 hours of interrupted sleep understandably leaves them looking frazzled and tired, they’re still the same person, who like the same things as they did before. It’s a shock I know, but stay with me on this one.

Now the antidote for a bad night’s sleep for the rest of us is a great cup of caffeine-filled coffee in a relaxing place to put the spring back in our step. However those spaces where parents and their children can enjoy the same luxury are non-existent. Stuck with either a cafe full of pointy corners and at-best apologetic smiles, or a play pen where you don’t know if the croissant is pastry or putty, there’s nowhere both of them are having a good time.

Seems a bit unfair doesn't it?

Well at least that’s what Lottie and Tania thought. They still liked going to a good coffee shop and meeting their friends, but didn’t want to feel guilty for dragging their children there with them. So they came up with the concept of The Parent Hood, which opened its doors to grown-up and child alike in April 2019. 

So what is it?

The Parent Hood offers a lot. Its exterior suggests a modern, stylish cafe, with all the trappings that you would expect, from the immaculate design to the polished coffee machine. But it’s only once you go inside that you get a get a true sense of why The Parent Hood has become the heart and voice of a community that has not been adequately catered to before. Not only is the space completely safe for children, it’s also full of fascinating activities that will keep them occupied for hours away from their screens. Downstairs, The Parent Hood has a studio that offers classes like post-natal fitness, baby yoga and dance.

After successfully starting their business and proving the concept, Lottie and Tania knew that they had to stay ahead of the competition, avoid the pitfalls that have affected so many other brick and mortar businesses and ensure the proposition remained compelling enough to keep those grown-ups returning. No easy feat. And that’s where we came in.

What did we do?

Working with Lottie and Tania, we found that a membership proposition fitted the bill. Membership is all about creating the most compelling experience to get customers coming back for more, going beyond transactional one-off relationships and creating a community your customers truly feel a part of, and so it ticked all the boxes for them.

The Parent Hood already had a great starting point. They identified a clear customer passion point that people connect with; that of parents caring for their children but not wanting to lose their identities along the way. We worked with Lottie and Tania to take this passion to the next level, turning it into a community that builds recurring, sustainable revenue. 

Together, we explored and agreed opportunities to grow and strengthen their core proposition. Beyond that, and using our Membership Economics Framework, we made recommendations to test and learn with free and paid-for membership options. We agreed the best way forward, including testing a free community membership offering, and building a plan to make it happen.

The outcome

We are already seeing the results. The Parent Hood have introduced the first batch of growth opportunities, including a “Hood Heroes” monthly online feature to build their community, and adding new revenue streams by selling lifestyle and fashion products in the café. Alongside that, within 2 weeks of introducing a free packaged membership offering, The Parent Hood had already gained over 300 email sign-ups from customers who want to be a part of that community.

Membership can work for companies across all industries, regardless of size or incumbency. It taps into those customer needs for a sense of believing in what they buy, feeling empowered that their voice will be heard and belonging to something that is bigger than them. 

Lottie and Tania cracked it with an awesome customer proposition and a genuine sense of purpose in what they do, and we at Manifesto are proud to have played a part in their story.

Want to find out about our secret recipe or as we call it, our Membership Economics framework, get in touch with us or download our report below.