NSR's hunt for members: A riding clubs quest to increase membership numbers through communication and marketing

Rye Svendsen Kristine

Student thesis: Master thesis


The thesis focuses on the question of which measures NSR can take in order to keep its current members and attract new ones at the same time. It also asks how NSR can strengthen its organizational identity, what NSR should do to gain a competitive advantage of its competitors and how NSR can develop a marketing communications strategy that efficiently promotes the values and advantages of NSR. Qualitative and quantitative data has been collected in the form of interviews and a survey to obtain knowledge about how NSR’s members perceive the club and what they expect as well. The thesis starts by defining the roles and relationship between NSR and the board of directors. This led to the definition that the members have two roles; 1) members, and 2) customers. A stakeholder analysis followed in order to identify that it is NSR’s members who are the most important stakeholders and NSR should therefore remember to fulfill their needs. From here the thesis moves into analyzing NSR’s organizational identity and culture to discover how to strengthen NSR’s identity. Schein’s organizational culture theory is used to analyze the assumptions, values and artifacts of NSR. Based on the findings a value statement, along with a mission and vision were created for NSR as this strengthens the identity. NSR’s leadership is also analyzed to see who should set the direction of the organization. As the BoD are the leaders it is their responsibility to lead the way. Having discovered how to strengthen NSR’s identity the thesis moves on analyzing the riding club industry using Porter’s 5 Forces, along with a competitor analysis and a SWOT analysis of NSR. This is used to gain an overview of NSR’s competitive advantages. NSR’s main possibility to differentiate itself is through promotion as this is an unused strategy in the riding club industry. The last part analyzes and discusses how NSR can promote their values and advantages by developing a marketing communications strategy. Here it is argued that NSR’s main communication channels should be its website, its Facebook group, advertisements and – most importantly – itself as an experience. At last the thesis concludes that in order for NSR to keep their current members and also attract new members NSR needs to become visible. This has been done by developing a value statement along with setting the strategic direction of the organization by creating a mission and vision. NSR’s primary differentiation possibility is the opportunity to promote its strong identity, values and competitive advantages. In order to successfully promote itself, NSR should focus on using Facebook, NSR’s website, experience-based communication and advertising in local papers and magazines. The message should be clear, consistent and informative; letting riders know why NSR should be their preferred club in District 2.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2015
Number of pages152