Diluting “Prestige”

I’m not a member of Mensa, the high IQ society, but I must fit a profile of their members. I get messages encouraging me to take the test to join. I’m not into “Prestige” personally. I don’t particularly care about status other than I do enjoy when someone is willing to listen to advice I have, outside of that I’m not too worried about much else.

But that’s just me.

The sorts of people who join clubs like Mensa generally ARE CONCERNED about “Prestige” and “Status”. To me, that makes the message in the screenshot below a brand dilution. “Joining Mensa is now easier than ever…” Where is the “prestige” in that? Does that mean lowering the bar and the status associated with a high one?

This is how you end up with a club full of associators. I’m not part of Mensa, nor planning to be, but I don’t think this is the right move for them. Though growth is a struggle that many organizations face. Staying true to their goals means not serving the masses, but inevitably to grow beyond a certain point the masses have to be marketed to, which means the restrictions have to be loosened, which means the original purpose is diluted on and on, until even the masses don’t care because no one remembers the original purpose. At that point, your organization is dead.

One alternative would be to seek to not increase membership, but “Prestige”. To constantly tighten the restrictions, increase the annual dues disproportionately higher, and generate more money that way providing ever more value to those who want to contribute.