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Nov 2, 2020

Robbie Kellman Baxter is a Strategy consultant helping companies develop and optimize membership models and subscription pricing. Deep expertise in subscription-based and SaaS businesses and the Membership Economy. 

Her specialties include Growth strategy, market assessment, market segmentation, the establishment of metrics, product and business planning, consumer services, premium services strategy, online services, recurring revenue, customer acquisition, customer loyalty, product marketing, social networking for the enterprise.  

In this episode, Robbie talks about the need to focus on the long-term value you are creating to have a bigger share in the pricing pie. With everyone she meets talking about their ‘cancel stories,’ she shares how hiding cancel buttons can negatively impact one's branding in the long run. She highlights how one can use subscriptions strategically to build a deeper relationship with customers.


Why you have to check out today’s podcast:

  • Find out the key factor when considering a subscription pricing model 
  • Find out how to optimize tiered pricing options with subscription 
  • Learn how to make your subscription model so compelling that customers stay forever 


“Subscription is just a pricing tactic. And it can be used in many ways.” 

- Robbie Kellman Baxter 


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Topics Covered:

00:40 - How she got into subscription 

01:39 - Her experience working with Netflix 

02:18 - Why does she love subscription so much 

03:38 - What there has to be trust and relationship in a subscription model 

05:33 - What does she think about ‘Keep it Simple.’ 

08:45 - Tiers come later 

11:06 - What it means to create a lot of value and to get a reasonable share of that value 

13:41 - How do you learn from your customers where to go next and what additional tiers to add? 

16:01 - Thoughts on a minimum viable product 

16:41 - The impact of hiding cancel buttons 

19:28 - Why is it so wrong to be making cancellations difficult 

21:26 - How subscriptions can be used in many ways 

24:54 - Amazon Prime as an example of a subscription pricing tactic 

27:14 - Creating more value 


Key Takeaways:

“Subscriptions really tie into human behavior. One of the things I always advise organizations that come to me saying we want to have subscription pricing, is, take a step back and make sure that you have a relationship with your customer that justifies subscription pricing.” - Robbie Kellman Baxter 

“It's only after establishing that trusted long-term relationship that you can justify the subscription pricing.” - Robbie Kellman Baxter 

“For me, if I'm going to buy a continuous stream of benefits, I need to trust that that stream of benefits is going to continue because I am turning off my consumer brain when I sign up for a subscription.” - Robbie Kellman Baxter 

“What I've noticed is, the more complex the pricing, the more difficult the decision for the buyer. And so, you're always balancing that trade-off. And if you want to go back to that, that concept of turning off your consumer brain and trusting the company, it's really hard to turn off your consumer brain when the consumption is so complex.” - Robbie Kellman Baxter 

“I wish companies would focus more on how to create more value because then it's easier to raise your prices if you're creating more value.” - Robbie Kellman Baxter 

“With subscriptions, and I think with pricing, in general, people often know just enough to be dangerous.” - Robbie Kellman Baxter 

“Hiding the cancel button leaves such a bad taste in someone's mouth that they're never going to come back to you.”  - Robbie Kellman Baxter 

I find that a really tough point of view to hold if you're going to be a trusted source and you're going to take advantage of the trust that you're getting to raise your prices and hope that the customer doesn't notice.” - Robbie Kellman Baxter 

“Every once in a while, take a step back and focus on the long-term value that you're creating them and say, 'How can I layer in more value to justify a bigger share of the pricing pie?'” - Robbie Kellman Baxter 


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