It can be really hard to know how to price a new product.
Pricing something that doesn’t have an equal in the market, well, that’s even harder. How do you figure out exactly how much something should be when every comparison you can make doesn’t feel like an exact match?
That’s the conundrum we’ve been running into at Sidecar, especially when it comes to our all-staff membership, which we call Sidecar Teams. And pricing it has also been a challenge when we juggle it with our Core Purpose: Build leaders at every level of an association.
You may already be familiar with Sidecar’s membership, an all-in-one professional development solution for every association staffer. Our membership grants you access to every single one of Sidecar’s downloadable resources, tip guides, eBooks, all of our step-by-step courses, access to the Sidecar Community forum, and video replays of interviews, webinars and events, including SURGE and digitalNow.
Sidecar Teams makes all of that content available to everyone on an association staff, with a couple of key management features to boot. While chatting about Teams pricing this past summer, we realized we couldn’t ignore it anymore: Pricing had to change.
When we rolled out Sidecar Teams in 2021, we were really excited about some key features in our all-staff-level membership.
For starters, at Sidecar, because our Core Purpose is to grow leaders at every level, we wanted to make it easy to offer professional development content to everyone on an association staff, not just executive leaders or the people who may take on those roles one day. Research shows that offering professional development opportunities to your staff across the board boosts retention, supports diversity in leadership and fights poor performance and organizational disparity.
That’s why everyone has just one option for Sidecar Teams sizes: Unlimited seats. Every Team Membership includes everyone at your association, including board members, volunteers, committee leaders, part-timers and consultants. Think of it like one-size-fits-all, but without any fake promises or weird fits.
When we started Sidecar Teams, we also knew going into it that one size couldn’t fit all budgets. From trade associations to professional societies, from international collectives to regional chapters, and everything in between, budgets for associations are as diverse as the industries they serve.
That’s why we created an open, transparent pricing system based on an organization’s revenue — not the number of users who might sign on to Sidecar. A year ago, we created a five-tiered system that, we hoped, would recognize all the different levels and shades of this organizational diversity across the association universe.
Turns out, we still had some adjusting to do.
The pricing we came up with, to be perfectly honest (which we always do on the Sidecar Blog) did not seem to land right with every organization. Even as we expanded the roster of Sidecar Teams, which today includes amazing organizations like the Construction Specifications Institute, the Society of Petroleum Engineers, INFORMS, the Washington Association of School Business Officials and even the Country Music Association (yes, that Country Music Association), none of them were a perfect fit for our initial pricing model.
Eventually, we had to reckon with that. Not only would a price change more accurately reflect where associations and nonprofits are today, but it would also make Sidecar Teams more attainable for more organizations which aligns with our Core Purpose.
That’s because we truly believe that extending Sidecar’s association-specific professional development content to association staffs will help these organizations grow revenue, build sustainable organizations and create opportunities for the people who operate and manage them.
Individual Sidecar memberships aren’t going anywhere — you can still join for just $297 per year or $30 per month — but today, we’re announcing our new Sidecar Teams pricing.
While this pricing is still based on organization revenue, we’ve simplified the tiers and dropped the overall price point. It means that if you’re an organization with revenue of less than $1 million and you have at least 3 people who are interested in Sidecar membership, then Sidecar Teams is for you.
We believe our price change will make our goal of bringing high-quality, association-specific professional development to all organizations everywhere on the planet a reality. But that’s the thing with experimenting: It’s all based on hypotheses, so it’s up to you — our association audience — to let us know what you think. You can also offer feedback directly to our team.
Our pricing model will keep evolving. We will keep using what we learn from our work with members to optimize how it works while bringing you new capabilities that create more value for our association audience.
And I hope you consider investing in your own organization’s professional development today by joining us at Sidecar.
Chelsea Brasted is the general manager at Sidecar. She joined the team as content manager in 2019 and has been looking for ways to help association professionals grow by getting connected with great ideas ever since. In previous roles, she worked at The Times-Picayune newspaper in her native New Orleans, where she still lives with her husband and two rescue dogs.
If you’re ready to increase your membership organization’s revenue, connect with an entire community of purpose-driven leaders and grow yourself, we’re ready to help you do it.Learn More