Traditional marketing promotions databases typically have a big central database with identified members (usually via an email address) and a profile, including individual interests. Aggregators may ‘enrich’ that data with other information from other sources, correlating and joining it to build a valuable customer profile they offer to other organisations. Legislation like GDPR controls the worst abuses of this sort of information ‘marketplace’. For co-operatives this legislation places a burden on even well-intentioned co-operative marketing. The data must be kept up to date and only by permission, and disclosure must be strictly controlled. And of course even the best of these data ‘honeypots’ can be hacked, with serious consequences for members and co-ops alike.
Co-op credentials flip the traditional model and put members in control of their information and what they disclose. Because it is verifiable, members referred to a new co-op arrive with trusted credentials, ready to join or buy the products and services they express an interest in.
A co-op only needs to hold the information relevant to the products, services or membership they offer. Members control the information they hold, and can present and prove it when they need to.