The Subscription Hunger Games; who wins, who loses?

In our recent study we found that 2/3 of respondents were currently signed up to a subscription service.

But where did it all start, and why have subscription services really started to take hold now?

Subscriptions began with the likes of 17th century periodical and annual publications; pay for exclusive access to content (sound familiar?). Then with the rise of milk and paper morning deliveries, subscriptions became common-place and a cemented part of our lives. And this for many years was the sweet spot for subscriptions. For consumers it simply became an ingrained behaviour – the norm of how you receive these products, with the promise of definite and (mostly) reliable delivery.

In this sense not much has changed, we still want to ensure we get the products we want, when we want them. But with technological developments, subscription service models were ripe for the picking and it has led to our ingrained behaviour evolving and expanding as we are offered more nuanced offers over a far wider array of categories.

But ingrained behaviour doesn’t mean one brand wins. It just means there’s a fruitful, or even possibly saturated, space. Look at the fight that has broken out between TV streaming brands as Disney+ looms on the horizon…

So as a Brand why do it? Why fight for space in consumers’ monthly pockets and join the cross-industry pile-in? As a business, there is a reliability in knowing exactly how many customers you have at any point, guaranteed revenue, a predictability to inventory and resource management, and other more functional benefits.

But more exciting than that, there is also a benefit to brand itself. Subscription models create a regular dialogue with your customers and opens the door for building brand affinity, top of mind awareness, and brand loyalty. Three things that can elude even the biggest brands.

So is it time for your brand to start the subscription hunger games?

By: Sam Barton

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