We are in the golden age of subscription-based companies. There was a time when Amway and Pre-paid Legal were one of a few companies doing this, but now we have subscriptions for everything: food, snacks, movies, beauty products, and more. When it comes to media, we are well versed with the options: Netflix, Hulu, Xbox Live, Amazon Prime.
Companies have caught on that rather than trick people with the 14 Free Trial hoping you forget to cancel then having to issue refunds, it’s better to convince you that the subscription has a value and that you should enthusiastically join.
Considering there are so many subscriptions models, it can be difficult to determine which one is worth effort and cost. You could easily find yourself spending hundreds of dollars per month on subscriptions and not getting the bang for your buck. Therefore, you should understand the components of what makes the perfect subscription-based product/service.
Convenience and save money
These two go hand-in-hand. Sure, you can have either or, but when you when the product does both, you have a winning product and it’s definitely worth the effort. I’m going to put Dollar Shave Club under this category. I don’t buy expensive razor blades and I hate when I’m forced to use a worn razor because I have had a chance to get to the store. As a guy that rarely shops, this is a no-brainer and considering their success, there are a lot of men out there like me.
Differentiation and Uniqueness
Snacks and food are a good space for this. There are so many different types of snacks available that it could be fun to discover what is available. If a company focuses on healthy snacks, organic snacks, gluten free snacks, specialty snacks, it could be a worthwhile subscription. RawspiceClub.com is another subscription product that would be fun if only for the discovery.
BabbaCo delivers boxes of activities for children each month. Chroma Club offers adult color books. I’m not sure if these are for me, but if you have children and would like to keep them engaged in different activities, there is a benefit to BabbaCo. I know several people who are into adult coloring books and it’s not a bad hobby have and much healthier than smoking.
Leaning on the Experts
My Facebook timeline is filled with Trunk Club offers where they claim you get your own stylist and each month send and outfit based on my taste. That’s a great sales pitch and if I were into buying clothes like that, I’d be tempted. But they don’t pretend to be convenient – it can’t be considering someone who has never seen you pick out your clothes and if they don’t fit or look right, you have to send them back. They are certainly not cheap so they have to lean on the service of having an expert curate your wardrobe.
I won’t use a clothing service but a wine and liquor subscription are right up my alley. Not only are you getting an expert suggesting wines but it goes back to a previous point of variety. Having someone say, I think you’ll like this is a good thing. If you have 20 shades of gray shirts, someone pushing you outside of your comfort zone can be a good thing and that makes it worth the extra money.
I’m a fan of subscriptions. I have more than my share but I do keep track of them as to keep in line with my overall budget. But I will switch them around from time to time. None of my subscriptions came with a contract so I can cancel anytime.
A good strategy is to come up with a budget for your subscriptions, choose some you really like and determine which ones you’ll keep on a regular basis – buying razor blades in an ongoing service you need. But then take the others and switch them out every few months. You may not want a full year of color books. Switch it with wine or spices.
Maybe you want five really good outfits so you join Trunk Club until you’ve reached your goal. The beauty is you become a conductor of these services and can explore these disparate products without risking a lot of money or spending a lot of time.
Below are some links to subscriptions services. Happy exploring.