The third type of program combines both hierarchical and role based structures.
Spotify have a hybrid hierarchy/role based model. Staff invite community members into the Spotify Rockstar program from the pool of Potential Stars.
|Members that are actively helping other customers, gaining kudos, posting accepted solutions, and establishing relationships with Moderators.
||Highly engaged Potential Stars who have to pass a test to move into this trial phase. They remain a Rising Star for a minimum of 3 months before being eligible for promotion to a Rock Star.
||Official program members receiving full benefits.
Nested within this hierarchy is a role based structure – Rockstars choose specialized roles such as ‘Idea Guardians’, ‘Fun Masters’, ‘Community Mentors’ or ‘Blog Mavericks’
Thermomix are working on a super user program structured around research on existing roles.
|Instead of usual mass marketing, all sales for the kitchen appliance are from word of mouth referrals and sold through a network of advisors who, post sale, also act as influencers and brand advocates within the community.
||When a new model or product is released, communicators are mobilized to help discuss, review and spread the word.
||Once the members become more familiar with the new product content (recipes) contributors are engaged to provide reviews and votes.
||If certain recipe categories are under-developed, value makers could be incentivized to create new recipes.
Vinted had an interesting model. Rather than ranks or tiers within one program they ran two distinctly different programs which complemented each other. The Brand Ambassadors (60 members globally) were responsible for running meet-ups with the twin objectives of strengthening the brand and and acquiring new members.
A separate recognition program called Top Sellers (15k members globally) was tasked with creating content for the Vinted site. There was a subset of Top Sellers called Trendsetters. They were influencers with a much larger social media following and were deployed to run workshops for Brand Ambassadors. These workshops were aimed at helping the ambassadors “move up the foodchain” in a similar way that the Salesforce MVP Mentorship team supports and trains other program members.
A hybrid structure such as the Vinted model works to support the scalability of your program. Hybrid structures tend to work better in established environments where the values and motivations of members are well understood.