Engagement, Brand Strategy

Changing of the guard. Strategy redesign. Members & employees prioritised.

A major professional membership association had lost its way, and its highly educated members were demanding change and defecting.

The new CEO inherited a strategy based on what the old business ‘could’ deliver, and he wanted a strategy shake-up and redesign anchored to what mattered most to members – a strategy based on what the business ‘should’ deliver.

Also, he needed his executive to own the decisions in the redesign, he wanted a design anchored to evidence rather than what was easy, and he wanted the whole organisation, top to bottom and across international geographies, aligned with one purpose: to efficiently and effectively meet member needs.

What we did

Evidence first: The research team at Forethought completed a multi-geography study of member experience and satisfaction to understand the drivers of retention and defection. This study produced robust models that provided the evidence by which to interrogate the existing strategy and inform the strategy redesign.

Engagement and alignment: Forethought Traction, our customer and market advisory team, worked with the CEO and one of his EGMs to shape and deliver an immersive engagement program that allowed the executive and management across Australia and Asia to pivot. We facilitated this by:

  • refreshing their thinking via the member experience research
  • collaboratively examine the existing strategy to delete, edit, enhance and ideate initiatives; and
  • arrive at consensus to prioritise action and investment for maximum impact, again anchored to the evidence in the research.

We then navigated the new, narrowly focused ‘member-first’ strategy through the organisation, who were engaged in the research, along with the rethink and shaped tactical initiatives to deliver the strategy.

This was a transformative program that was built on evidence, reoriented the organisation to place the member at the centre of decision making, and engaged the entire organisation.


The next year was spent sharply focused on delivering a narrow list of member experience ‘impact initiatives’ responding to what mattered most to members.