How to Choose Creative Membership Level Names for Associations?

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How to Choose Creative Membership Level Names for Associations?

Content Strategist
11 minutes read
Last updated: May 02, 2024

Whether you're part of a professional organization or a non-profit, the names you give your membership tiers can evoke a sense of belonging, ignite enthusiasm, and even drive member engagement. It provides a unique identity to each level, making members feel a special connection with the association.

In this blog, we'll delve into methods and tips to craft inventive names that resonate with your association's mission and member aspirations. We will also explore some best examples of the membership levels that will make potential members click the "sign up" button right away.

So let’s dive in.

Quick Reads

Why It’s Important to Name Your Membership Levels Creatively?

1. Help Associations Attract and Retain Members

When members see a unique or meaningful name attached to a membership level, they feel more inclined to join or renew.

Names that resonate can invoke a sense of pride in membership, making individuals feel that they are part of something exclusive or special. Moreover, a strategically chosen name can also communicate the perks or advantages of that particular level, guiding members in their selection and offering clarity on the value they receive.

2. Make Membership Levels More Appealing and Memorable

membership levels

An original name can capture attention, making it easier for potential members to remember your association. This is particularly important in the age of information overload, where associations are competing for a share of the audience's attention.

Beyond recall, intriguing names also spark curiosity. When potential members are intrigued by a level's name, they might delve deeper into understanding its benefits, leading to a higher likelihood of them signing up.

3. Make Associations Stand Out From the Competition

In a saturated market, unique names can set an association apart. It shows thoughtfulness, innovation, and a desire to offer something distinct from other organizations. As a result, an association with creatively named membership levels can be perceived as more dynamic and forward-thinking.

This modern approach can attract a younger demographic or those looking for an organization that isn't stuck in traditional ways.

Factors to Consider When Naming Membership Levels

1. The Association's Goals

Your naming conventions should align with the mission and vision of the association. For example, an association dedicated to environmental conservation might use names like "Eco-Warrior" or "Green Guardian."

Furthermore, leveraging the goals of your association through membership names can enhance the emotional connection members feel toward the organization. A name that resonates with the primary objectives of the association can instill a sense of pride and ownership in the members, motivating them to be more engaged and proactive.

2. Target Audience

Understanding who you are trying to reach is essential. If your target audience is young professionals, a modern and trendy name might be more appealing. Conversely, a more traditional audience might prefer classic naming conventions.

Additionally, diving deeper into the demographics and psychographics of your audience can offer insights into their preferences and values. Recognizing and incorporating these into the naming process can create a deeper bond and increase retention rates.

3. The Budget


It's essential to note that certain names might come with licensing fees or trademark issues. Always ensure that your chosen names are within your budget and legally available. Beyond immediate costs, consider future implications.

Choosing a name that's too trendy might necessitate a change sooner than anticipated, leading to rebranding expenses. Therefore, being fiscally forward-thinking in the naming process can save resources in the long run.

4. The Type of Association

A professional association might have different naming conventions compared to a hobbyist group or a nonprofit organization.

For example, a professional group might lean towards names that emphasize prestige and expertise, such as "Gold Member" or "Elite Professional." On the other hand, a hobbyist group might opt for more playful or informal names, while nonprofits might choose names reflecting their cause or purpose.

5. The Industry

Certain names might resonate more within specific industries. For instance, tech industry associations might benefit from names related to innovation and digital progress.

Moreover, aligning membership names with industry-specific jargon or concepts can create an insider feel, furthering the sense of community and belonging among members. It's crucial to ensure these names are understandable and don't alienate newcomers to the industry.

6. The Competition

Researching what other similar associations are doing can offer inspiration and ensure your names are distinct.

It's not just about differentiation but also about identifying gaps or opportunities in the competitive landscape. If most competitors opt for formal naming conventions, there might be an opportunity for your association to stand out with a more creative approach.

By understanding the competition, you can also avoid potential pitfalls or overused concepts, ensuring your membership names remain fresh and appealing.

Common Types of Membership Level Names

1. Tiered Names

  First Tier

  Second Tier   Third Tier


  Silver   Gold


  Intermediate   Advanced


  Pro   Premium


These are hierarchical, like "Gold," "Silver," and "Bronze." They are straightforward and indicate a clear level of hierarchy. Additionally, tiered names are universally understood, making them ideal for a global audience.

People instantly know the rank or value associated with each tier, which can motivate customers or members to aim for a higher tier and enjoy the accompanying benefits.

2. Benefit-based Names


Names like "VIP" or "Premium" indicate the kind of benefits members might receive. Such naming strategies revolve around highlighting the value or exclusivity members can expect.

For instance, when someone hears the term "VIP," they often think of special treatment, priority services, or exclusive offers. Utilizing such names can be a powerful marketing tool, as potential members can easily understand the advantages they stand to gain.

3. Feature-based Names

These names highlight specific features of the membership, such as "Full-Access" or "Digital-Only."

By choosing feature-based names, organizations can clearly communicate the main offering or characteristic of that membership level. This type of clarity helps potential members make informed decisions based on their needs or preferences.

For instance, someone who is tech-savvy and prefers online interactions might be more attracted to a "Digital-Only" membership, knowing it aligns with their lifestyle.

4. Creative Names

These are unique names that may not directly indicate a feature or benefit but are catchy and memorable, like "Visionary" or "Innovator."

Such names add a touch of flair and can make the membership feel special or unique. They can inspire a sense of identity or community among members, fostering loyalty and engagement.

However, it's essential to ensure that the chosen creative name aligns with the brand's image and values to maintain authenticity.

5. Sponsorship or Benefactor Names

Often used by nonprofits, these names highlight donors or sponsors, like "Patron" or "Philanthropist."

Recognizing contributors in this manner not only shows appreciation but also encourages others to contribute at similar or higher levels. It instills a sense of pride and accomplishment in donors, knowing that their contributions are acknowledged and valued.

Furthermore, such naming strategies can also tell a story or convey a mission, reinforcing the organization's goals and ideals.

Tips for Crafting Creative Membership Level Names

When establishing a membership structure, the names you assign to different levels play a pivotal role in conveying value, rank, and identity. A well-chosen name can create a sense of belonging, inspire enthusiasm, and resonate with your target audience.

Here are some strategies to ensure that your membership names are both creative and effective:

  • Prioritize Clarity: Choose names that are straightforward and easy to understand.
  • Keep it Brief: Lengthy or complex names can confuse members. Aim for instant recognition of value and rank.
  • Incorporate Relevant Keywords: Select words that align with your association's mission and appeal to your target audience.
  • Embrace Originality: Stand out by thinking outside the box and opting for distinctive names.
  • Validate with Your Audience: Before finalizing names, solicit feedback to ensure they resonate and are clear to members.

Examples of Creative Membership Level Names

Here are some inspired naming suggestions that capture the essence of various membership roles, ensuring they feel seen, valued, and pivotal to your association:

  • Luminary: Reserved for trailblazers setting benchmarks and lighting the way.
  • Pioneer: Tailored for early adopters and groundbreaking members.
  • Champion: Salutes members ardently defending and promoting the cause.
  • Visionary: Designated for those always looking to the future, turning dreams into reality.
  • Innovator: Honors individuals introducing fresh perspectives and groundbreaking ideas.
  • Advocate: Represents members championing and vocalizing the association's objectives.
  • Benefactor: A special title for generous contributors making significant impacts.
  • Ambassador: Denotes representatives actively promoting the association's vision.
  • Partner: Reflects collaborative spirits working in synergy with the association.
  • Supporter: An encompassing term for all who passionately uphold the association's mission.

How to Test Your Membership Level Names?

Before finalizing the names for your membership levels, it's imperative to gauge their effectiveness and appeal. By ensuring these names resonate with your audience, you can optimize member engagement and satisfaction.

Here are three tried-and-true methods to help you refine and select the most fitting names for your membership tiers:

1. Ask Your Target Audience for Feedback

Engage with your audience directly, perhaps through focus groups or informal chats. This allows you to gain insights into what resonates with your members.

When soliciting feedback, provide some context about the goals of each membership level and the benefits associated with it. By understanding their preferences and pain points, you can tailor membership names to better fit their expectations and desires.

2. Conduct Surveys or Polls


This can be done via email or on your association's website to gather a larger sample size. Surveys and polls are efficient ways to reach a broader portion of your audience without the logistical challenges of in-person meetings.

Remember to structure your questions to be clear and concise, and offer an incentive, if possible, to boost participation rates. The data you collect will not only provide insights into preferred names but can also shed light on the overall satisfaction of your membership offerings.

If you're looking for an integrated solution, Glue Up membership software offers a built-in survey option tailored for membership organizations. It is user-friendly, allowing for easy creation, distribution, and analysis of your polls. By leveraging its capabilities, you can obtain actionable insights more efficiently and integrate feedback seamlessly into your membership strategies.

3. A/B Test Different Names

Consider testing two names to see which one gets more traction or positive feedback.

A/B testing involves presenting two versions to different segments of your audience and measuring the response to each. Use tracking tools and analytics to determine which name generates more interest, registrations, or any other relevant metrics.

It's a data-driven approach that allows you to make informed decisions based on actual user behavior rather than assumptions. Remember to keep other factors consistent so you can attribute the differences in results to the names being tested.

Bring Your Creative Tiers to Life with Glue Up

While the primary goal of your association might be to bring people together for a common cause, the way you present and differentiate membership levels can significantly impact member engagement.

Creativity in naming your membership tiers not only attracts potential members but also adds an element of exclusivity and value. When combined with a robust system like Glue Up, this creativity can make your membership plans stand out even more.

Here’s how Glue Up can make your tiers look more appealing:

  • Easy Setup: With Glue Up, translating your imaginative names into actual membership tiers is a breeze. Use the drag-and-drop feature to place memberships under your freshly coined names.
  • Showcasing Benefits: Align each creative membership tier name with its corresponding benefits in Glue Up. This way, members not only get attracted by the name but also see the tangible perks associated with each tier.
  • Smooth Upgrades: Glue Up’s intuitive system allows members to easily move up the creative ladder. They can transition from one tier to another with just a few clicks during renewal.

Remember, the names you choose should resonate with your audience, reflect the association's values, and be easy to remember. Combine this creativity with Glue Up's robust system, and you've got a winning formula for membership engagement.

If you're intrigued by the potential of blending creativity with functionality, feel free to get a demo here and unlock your potential to give your members a stellar experience.


What are some common mistakes to avoid when naming membership levels?

Some common mistakes to avoid when naming membership levels include overcomplicating the names, which can confuse potential members. It's also essential to consider cultural differences, as a name that's appropriate in one culture might be offensive or misunderstood in another.

Another pitfall is selecting names that don't align with the association's goals or values, leading to a disconnect between member expectations and the actual benefits offered. In addition, using ambiguous terms can result in members not fully understanding the differences between levels.

Lastly, it's important to avoid names that are too similar, as this can create confusion regarding the distinct value of each membership tier.

How often should I change my membership level names?

Changing membership level names should be approached with caution and is generally recommended only if there's a significant shift in the association's strategy, goals, or target audience.

Frequently changing these names can create confusion among existing members and may disrupt their understanding of the value and benefits associated with their current level. Moreover, it might give an impression of instability or lack of direction in the association.

If a change is deemed necessary, it's important to communicate the reasons and benefits of the change clearly to the membership base to ensure smooth transitions and understanding.

Where can I find more resources on naming membership levels?

To find more resources on naming membership levels, you can start by exploring industry-specific forums where professionals often share insights and experiences about best practices in membership naming.

Another effective approach is to seek advice from branding experts, as they have a wealth of knowledge on creating names that resonate with target audiences and align with organizational values. Lastly, reading case studies and articles related to successful membership models can offer inspiration and practical guidance.

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