August 21, 2019

The secrets to a successful subscription model, with Robbie Baxter

Episode 899:

Robbie Kellman Baxter has been advising entrepreneurs on business strategy for 20 years. Her clients have included solopreneurs and venture-backed startups as well as industry leaders such as ASICS, Netflix, Electronic Arts, and The Wall Street Journal. She has worked with nearly 100 organizations in over 20 industries on growth initiatives.

A sought-after writer and keynote speaker, Robbie has presented at top universities, associations and corporations, as well as to corporate boards and leadership teams around the world. Robbie has created and starred in 10 video courses in collaboration with LinkedIn Learning on business topics ranging from innovation to customer success and membership.

As the author of The Membership Economy: Find Your Superusers, Master the Forever Transaction & Build Recurring Revenue, a book that has been named a top 5 Marketing Book of the Year by Inc.com, Robbie coined the popular business term “Membership Economy”. Robbie’s expertise with companies in the emerging Membership Economy extends to include SaaS, media, consumer products and community organizations.

Prior to launching Peninsula Strategies, Robbie was a strategy consultant at Booz-Allen, a New York City Urban Fellow and a Silicon Valley product marketer. Robbie received her MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and graduated with honors from Harvard College.

What you will learn from this episode:

  • How Robbie found her way into business strategy and consulting work and has spent most of her career in this space
  • Why Robbie believes that narrowing her focus and niching down has actually strengthened her brand and created new opportunities
  • How Robbie worked as a consultant for Netflix very early in their business, and why their subscription model appealed to Robbie
  • Why subscription pricing is appealing to many businesses, and why being customer-focused to justify subscription pricing is key
  • What “subscription fatigue” is, why consumers are learning to game the subscription model system, and why having the right content to fit the model is crucial
  • Why Robbie recommends you clarify what promise you need to make to your customers to make a subscription worthwhile
  • Robbie shares examples of surprising businesses that could benefit from a subscription model
  • Why being clear in knowing who your customer is and what their needs are is the best starting point for determining how you can best serve them
  • Why not every customer is the right customer for you, and why bad customers distract you and can cause you to deviate from your model
  • What important daily habit Robbie has developed that helps her maintain focus on her priorities

Additional resources:


Stephen Woessner

Stephen is the CEO of Predictive ROI and host of the Onward Nation podcast. He is the author of two bestselling books, speaker, trainer, and his digital marketing insights have been featured in SUCCESS, Entrepreneur, The Washington Post, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, and other media.