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C Stutzman | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 28 2018 5:45 PM

  I purchased L7 Lutheran Portfolio, L7 Gold, L7 Platinum, L7 Anglican Bronze,  L7 Full Feature set, and the V7 Full Feature set. Along with a bunch of Misc. items.  Bought all that at 4 different times. So looking at my order history L7 Full Feature  set cost me $133.87 before the LN discount. The V7 Full Feature set was $1.18 before  LN.Afterwards realizing I bought quite a bit, I looked into the LN discount. I  Realized it would be cheaper if I called in and had my Purchase Recalculated. So I  bought LN. Then Logos recalculated everything. So the price of the full feature set  with LN of $105.25. Not sure what happened but they decided it would be best for me  if they refunded everything and do it over. After the refund I got the list of new to  me, since I had L6 and V6 with all crossgrades, the list only showed things that are  whats new to L7. Since Both L7 and V7 were both refunded and repurchased together, I  didnt have an easy way to figure out What was new to V7 full Feature after purchasing  L7 Full Feature. But if I remember correctly it was only 2 or 3 additional things  which cost me 84 cents. In Dec last year, after my LN was expired, I purchased the  "Logos 7 Essential Upgrade, Large" for $102.31. In doing so I have the complete  L7 feature set, not LN, along with a few books and journals. So even taking the LN  discount away, and after having the full L6 and V6 with all crossgrades, the grand  total was $237.36 to have all the features (and a few books and journals). And since  I have Logos version 7.13 they are updating feature set.

  So even though the prices are different depending on how much you have to catch up in  the first place, it may be cheaper to just upgrade the feature set if you already  have a large library, and are not interested the the features of Faithlife Connect.

  Yes they can also change the price of the feature set upgrade, but still it could be  cheaper than the overlap with Faithlife Connect. Since they are even giving you credits  for LN and 9 month notice, I am totaly confused with all the anger and resentment.

  I hope that maybe this will help some in making a choice on which way to go.

  God bless.

Posts 1911
Nathan Parker | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 28 2018 8:57 PM

I received the news about Logos Now and Faithlife Connect at the end of last week, and I wanted to wait and prepare a response concerning it after I had a chance to read through other customer’s responses and Bob’s response, as well as spend more time researching and reflecting on Faithlife Connect in order to offer as objective of a response as possible. I didn’t want to issue off a short, heated response after only initially receiving the “shock” concerning the announcement. 

A few words of note before I wade into this. I’ve been using Logos for years (I started on LLS 2.x and went through Libronix and “Series X”, version 3, version 4, 5, 6, and 7). I endured the painful “Logos Mac” transition of the past, as well as I upgraded to Scholar’s Silver, then Gold on Logos 3, then Platinum on Logos 4. My L4 Platinum upgrade was $400+, Platinum 5 $500+, Platinum 6 $600+, and Platinum 7 $700+ (even as Logos Now member and only buying the Platinum library, in which I had some of the high-end books in there). Each time I upgraded to a new version of Logos in a decent time frame, even with the increasing upgrade costs. I currently have 9,213 resources in Logos, and since Logos 4 (where all my purchases were registered to my Logos.com account), I’ve spent $14,110.64 in sales. I spent a ton of money with Logos pre-Logos 4 (I have enough Logos CD’s to be used as coasters for a good size church gathering if I wanted to). I signed up for Logos Now when it was first offered and kept it, and I even signed up for Logos Cloud when it was first offered (which I only canceled after Logos phased out the plan I was on). I’ve heavily promoted Logos throughout Bible college and seminary and pretty much ran on it for years. I’ve always been eager to invest in Logos even if it put me at major odds with my family. I’ve purchased and read through Bob’s books and have been willing to continue to invest heavily in the Faithlife/Logos ecosystem over the years and be as much of an ultimate Logos fan as I could. I’ve spent more money in Logos than I ever have on a car. 

Additionally, one critical note I’ll make up front is with regard to the new product icons Faithlife is using (I was going to mention this in another thread). The new multiple shades of green behind the app icons is hideous, and with my vision problems, actually makes me dizzy. I wish Faithlife would have sticked with a solid shade of green for the app icon backgrounds moving forward.

In terms of Faithlife Connect and Logos Now, here’s my thoughts on the situation:

  1. Faithlife Connect itself is a decent deal for new Logos customers. New Logos customers are able to test the waters with Logos without a major up-front commitment, as well as customers who need to use Logos resources more on a temporary than permanent basis could benefit from Faithlife Connect.
  2. Bundle deals of Faithlife services that combine Logos with other services such as Mobile Ed and Faithlife TV isn’t necessarily a bad idea in and of itself. For some customers, there are some benefits to it.
  3. I am grateful that Logos essentially gave us back our Logos Now membership cost in the form of a $100 coupon we can put toward purchasing the features directly, as well as extending our Logos Now membership through early November so we can prepare for the transition (Logos is likely legally obligated to do so since in essence, we signed a “contract” with Logos in which they would fulfill our membership benefits until at least the end of our membership term).

With that said…

I read over the Faithlife Connect announcement email, as well as spent quality time on the Faithlife Connect website comparing the tiers and reading up on Faithlife Connect in general. After looking over the various tiers and reading over the Faithlife Connect announcement email, as a longtime, loyal customer, essentially I felt as though Bob and the Faithlife marketing team included a picture of themselves “waiving” at us in an unsightly manner. Learning that in November, I would be automatically moved to a plan that didn’t include all the features of Logos I had under Logos Now unless I wanted to upgrade to an annual price increase of about 140% that also included subscription access to books I already shelled out over $700 for (which the collection included additional resources as well) literally had me double over in stomach pains. I’m not sure if I’ve even physically recovered from it. The way the email was announced and marketed and communicated did not seem as though Logos Now was being “retired” and that Faithlife was rolling out Logos Connect as a new subscription service. It was marketed and communicated in a way where Faithlife seemed to transition customers onto a subscription service more than double the price and with overall not as good of value as Logos Now. Simply put, the way Faithlife handled the marketing and communication, no matter the coupon or the extension, it felt from a customer point-of-view as a classic “bait and switch”. The way Faithlife handled the communication of the Logos Connect email was received by us as a “We’re not pleased with the amount of money we’ve been getting out of you each year for your Logos Now membership. We’d rather move you to a new service that already includes the resources you’ve spent hundreds of dollars with us and chase you 140% more if you want to retain all of your existing Logos features, plus with overall fewer perks than Logos Now”. 

In terms of Logos Now itself, I read Bob’s response, and if Logos Now was never intended to primarily be a membership for customers to gain access to the latest Logos features on a regular basis, then someone has slipped something into the marketing teams food during the marketing stages of Logos Now and for the past couple of years. That’s exactly how Logos Now was marketing and communicated to customers: the ability for customers to receive access to the latest Logos features on a regular basis without having to wait for a major Logos upgrade and shell out a hefty upgrade cost in a Logos feature set. Even the branding “Logos Now” reflects this. Logos Now also included an additional discount toward the purchase of a Logos 7 library and allowed for Logos Now members to purchase a Logos 7 library only without the features. These discounts helped offset the fact that there couldn’t be true “dynamic pricing” for Logos Now members in terms of features (although my upgrade cost to a Logos 7 Platinum library itself was $700+ with my Logos Now discount and only buying the books, more than I ever paid for previous Logos upgrades before Logos Now). The free books and free preview resources, coupon codes, Faithlife TV access, etc., were nice perks but not essential. I didn’t use Faithlife TV as much as I thought I would, and I generally forgot to look at each month’s preview resources. The coupons were nice, but only enticed me to spend more money with Logos than I likely would have.

In terms of the six-week feature release schedule, I was never a fan of it. While it’s fine for Faithlife to offer general updates to Logos every six weeks, especially bug fixes, the six-week feature release schedule was a headache for me, one I even complained about on the forums. I felt that Faithlife was rushing features out the door too quickly, some of them half-baked, and some of them degrading the quality in my Bible study experience since they weren’t ready yet (I noticed Logos actually getting buggier at times). Even as a Logos Now member, I would have gladly continued my membership for a major release of new features on an annual, semi-annual, or quarterly schedule (even an annual schedule would have satisfied me, although I know large organizations who ship high end software and subscription services that run $100,000 for the up-front cost and $2,000+/month for the subscription afterwards, and they generally released new features on a quarterly schedule). 

In terms of Logos Cloud, it wasn’t marketed or communicated well. Instead of being marketed as a “web based version of Logos”, it should have likely been marketed as the Logos version of “Office 365 Desktop” with beta access to the web based version of Logos (in case the web based version didn’t quickly get up-to-speed with enough features). While the original Logos Cloud plans were confusing for base package owners, I found enough content in them I didn’t have to justify the $20/month price, as attempting to purchase the resources I didn’t have on there on a monthly payment plan would have ran much higher than $20/month). Under the new plans, they align with Logos 7 libraries which makes logical sense, although since I have a Logos 7 library already, essentially I’d be paying for the identical resources I’ve already invested in hundreds of dollars in along with overall not as great of perks as was on Logos Now.

I read carefully through Bob’s explanation of Faithlife Connect versus Logos Now and the logistics of it. I compared it to reading through some chapters in Bob’s business book, as well as my past upgrade history with Logos and how Logos has marketed and communicated each of its product and service offerings in the past. I’ve even had communications with former Faithlife employees in the past over some of Faithlife’s communications issues. Needless to say, Bob’s answer doesn’t feel fully transparent, and I’m not fully sold on it. I don’t know if I’d call it “greed” as some customers have. “Desperation” somewhat comes to mind the more I sit back and ponder watching Faithlife and Logos over the years. I feel like I’ve been on a sinking Titanic in which the captain keeps asking me to plug up the holes in the ship with money. There’s a few core issues I see with Faithlife and Logos, and I’ve tried to mentally bury these over the years in my dealings with Faithlife and Logos, but the incident with Faithlife Connect crossed the line where I can no longer suppress them:

  1. Faithlife always has, and continues to, have fundamental issues with marketing and communication. Simply put, my Dyson vacuum cleaner, while it has powerful suction, pales in comparison to Faithlfe’s marketing and communication. Every upgrade of Logos I’ve gone through has been a confusing and complicated mess which has only worsened over the years, and instead of improving with my Logos Now membership, it was even more confusing and complicated than before. It’s gotten to the point where it’s been so confusing to upgrade to new major Logos releases, I can’t even enjoy the upgrade experience or really embrace the new features. I spend more time trying to figure out how to upgrade to a major new Logos release over enjoying the upgrading experience or new features. This is only one area where Faithlife has had marketing and communication issues: others over the years include: Logos Mac, Theological Journal Bundles, Encyclopedia Britannica Noet Edition, the Logos Now membership phase out of the monthly subscription and the first annual price increase, just to name a few. I’ve watched time and time again when the Logos forums would catch fire faster than the wildfires in California.
  2. Faithlife  as an organization has “bitten off way more than it can chew”. In addition to its flagship Bible study product (Logos), Faithlife also offers brands such as: Verbum, Noet, Faithlife eBooks (formerly Vyrso), Faithlife Proclaim, Faithlife Groups, Logos Mobile Education, Bible Study Magazine, another Print Journal for Academics, Soundfaith, Lexham Press, Kirkdale Press, Biblia, Bible Screen, Beacon Ads, just to name a few (there’s other websites and services tied to Faithlife). Faithlife used to simply be “Logos Bible Software” and focused on quality Bible software. Now it has ballooned itself into a larger organization, but the more it has taken on, the more it costs to run, and the balloon can pop any moment (Faithlife even discussed creating a Christian online dating site once, which would have been insane to even attempt to deliver, and it was insane to even think about offering it). One issue with Faithlife is that I’ve read in the past where Bob “admires” Amazon. If he likes shopping at Amazon as a customer, that’s one thing. If he “admires” Amazon as a business model to emulate, that’s an issue. The only reason why Amazon can keep their Titanic of a company afloat is Jeff Bezos is a multi-multi-billionaire (even then, I see Amazon headed for a day where it’ll have to streamline and focus on select core businesses, as any business can get too large and fail, no matter how much money one has). Bob and the rest of the Faithlife team aren’t Jeff Bezos. The more markets Faithlife unnecessarily expands into, the quicker it is setting itself up for a trainweck. Faithlife would be better off to cut the fluff, streamline and simplify, and focus on one or a handful of core markets it can really succeed in (similar to the way Apple did with the return of Steve Jobs in 1997). Bible software is a “niche” market. There’s only certain people who are going to invest in Bible software, and an even smaller number of people who will invest regularly and heavily into the software. However, I’ve been customers with software products that serve even smaller niche markets (Nota Bene being one of them. Nota Bene primarily markets its word processors to academics, and even a large group of academics stick with Microsoft Word. Nota Bene will never have Microsoft Word’s marketshare, yet they’ve been successful for years and continue to have a devoted, loyal following). In the Bible software market, Faithlife’s competitors are still successful, even without subscription models and with software with less overall features and resources than Logos (Accordance is a solid product for scholars, WORDsearch endured a rough time but is still in the industry and doing well enough to thrive, and even YouVersion as a nonprofit Bible study app relying solely on donations and doesn’t charge users for features has survived and thrived and even offers features and new Bible versions faster than Logos has). Faithlife’s competitors have been successful with a fraction of the business, revenue, features, and resources offered by Faithlife and Logos, and their success is due to their focusing on succeeding in key areas instead of attempting to do too much at once. I work for a company who went through a similar ordeal and bit off way more than it could chew and had some fundamental communications issues. We got to the point where we had to sell off our well-known consumer brand to another company and had to spin off the “fluff” markets we attempted to get into into a separate company, even to the point where our CEO and top leadership left and transitioned to the new company. Now that we’ve streamlined our offerings and focused on a core market we wanted to tackle that we could truly make a difference in, we’ve been growing in revenue by leaps and bounds and securing lasting, major partnerships, and we’re in a position to seriously win time and time again in our industry. It took some massive fundamental simplification and changes to get there, but it was a move we needed to make.
  3. The larger Faithlife gets, the more issues with overall customer service begins to surface. I had a major issue with Logos a while back right in the middle of a school semester when I needed Logos to function the most. I called into customer service to resolve my issue. The rep provided me with half-baked and inaccurate information and actually worsened my issue and quickly rushed me off the phone so that he could go message other customers on Faithlife Groups. Only after letting loose on the forums and in an email to Bob did a higher support person assist with resolving my issue, and even then, it was a painful resolution that set me back when I needed Logos the most. Contrast this with one of your major competitors. I had another somewhat-major issue with my Bible software and called into their support teams. The support rep spent over an hour with me on the phone putting in as much effort as he could to resolve my issue. He even called me again after the office closed while I was performing some additional troubleshooting. It turned out the issue wasn’t even with the Bible software company but with my ISP blocking access to their server due to a security update. The rep even emailed me back the following day to ensure my issue was resolve. Bottom line, your competitor treated me as a valued customer, even though I’ve spent a fraction of my funds in their platform versus Logos, and when I called into Logos, not only did I have such a major purchase history, I had an active Logos Now membership, Logos Cloud subscription, payment plan on a Logos 7 library, and another subscription. The customer service rep treated me as if I were no different than someone who’s only downloaded Logos 7 Basic and wanted to rush and get me off the phone as quickly as possible without even taking the time to ensure I was provided accurate information.

In terms of my standing as a Faithlife/Logos customer, after thoroughly pondering the way Faithlife handled the marketing and communication of the Logos Connect transition, here’s my response moving forward:

  1. I won’t be discontinuing using Logos itself. I’m not “leaving” Logos in the sense of dumping my copy of Logos entirely. I’ve invested way too much money in the product to let it go completely. I won’t be making any hasty posts to the “Logos Resales” group trying to dump as much Logos content as I can. I also have a high-end $5,000 iMac Pro to run Logos on it, and overall, it runs as speedy as it’ll ever run since I’m running it on workstation-class hardware. I am re-evaluating how I handle my Bible study workflow and transitioning more of my regular tasks to competitors of Logos in order to spend less overall time in Logos regularly. 
  2. I will be allowing my Faithlife Connect membership to expire at the end of its term. I’m not keen on paying 140% more to retain a membership that includes access to all the Logos features I enjoyed in Logos Now, plus books I’ve already invested in hundreds of dollars for, and with overall less value than Logos Now. I have no intentions on transitioning to Verbum Now either, as it’s only a matter of time before Verbum Now is dropped and replaced with another pricier, bloated mess. Additionally, Bob’s reasoning to drop Logos Now at its price point and retain Verbum Now at its price point for the time being makes zero sense. In terms of Faithlife Connect, it’s not even the money. I can easily afford $20/month, and I’ve even given Faithlife $20/month in other services in the past. The way Faithlife has marketed and communicated Faithlife Connect is the issue, and my trust and confidence in Faithlife has diminished to the point where I’m not comfortable investing in Faithlife Connect.
  3. I will either upgrade to a Logos 7 feature set in a reasonable period of time or wait and upgrade to a Logos 8 feature set. For the moment after examining the new Logos Now features since Logos 7, I’m not sure if I’d want to upgrade to a Logos 8 feature set (I certainly wouldn’t pay hundreds of dollars for the new features as they stand now). I may go for the Logos 7 feature set, wait and get the Logos 8 engine for free, then decide if a Logos 8 Feature Set is worth it. I see no reason to continue investing in Logos base packages when Logos 8 is released. While I’m not sure if I would have continued to invest in Logos base packages now that I need more specific resources, generally I’ve continued to invest in them or at least look into them as an option to get some solid resources at a discounted price. When Logos 8 is announced, I’m not even going to give the base packages a glance. Even in terms of the Logos feature sets, they’re confusing. Even your highly-trained sales reps don’t understand what feature set I’d need to ensure I retain all the features I was accessing in Logos Now, and even I have had issues wading through them.
  4. I’ve set my other Logos subscriptions not to renew including Bible Study Magazine. While I’ve enjoyed the content of BSM in the past, the Faithlife Connect transition has left me burned on subscriptions with Faithlife. Instead of the marketing email that was released, it would have been better Bob would have drafted up an email that had been released to customers telling us up front that Logos Now was becoming an issue for Faithlife to maintain (especially on its current feature release schedule), that it would be completely retired, offering us the $100 coupon as a means to “give us back the cost of our Logos Now membership” that could be put toward a Logos feature set to “permanently buy the features we had in Logos” (as well as mention it could be used for either Logos 7 or Logos 8, and for those with a Logos feature set, it could be used for any Logos.com purchase), as well as mention that Logos Now would go through early November. In the same email, Bob could have mentioned that Logos Cloud has also been an issue for Faithlife to continue marketing in parallel with Logos Now, and that Logos Cloud would be morphing into a new offering called Faithlife Connect. It would have been made clear in the email that Faithlife Connect as a re-brand of Logos Cloud (not Logos Now) is a subscription version of Logos that costs more for the complete Logos feature set and includes resources customers may already have in a Logos 7 library. Therefore, while Logos Now members would be invited to take a risk-free trial of Faithlife Connect in case it would be a good value for some, since Faithlife Connect costs more than Logos Now for features that include Logos 7 library content, it may not be the best option for many current Logos users, and if it isn’t, customers can transition back to the traditional purchase method, while being encouraged to share Faithlife Connect with new Logos customers. Had that been the case, I’d already be promoting Faithlife Connect to friends of mine who aren’t Logos users yet. However, Faithlife has marketed the Logos Connect transition as a replacement for Logos Now, in which customers are paying more for the same features customers had in Logos Now (140%), plus double-paying for Logos 7 library content for those with Logos 7 libraries, getting overall less value for the money, then marketing the coupon as a way to push Logos 8 sales. The way Faithlife marketed the Logos Connect transition sends a message saying to customers that Faithlife wasn’t financially satisfied with the membership dues of Logos Now, wanted to loop customers into paying 140% more for the same features, then pushing us onto a Logos 8 base package in which customers would be paying for books and features in Logos 8 already owned in Faithlife Connect, plus still keeping Verbnum Now at the same price point which is heavily confusing and doesn’t make sense that Logos users cannot retain Logos Now but Verbum users can. It has shattered my confidence in Faithlife’s handling of subscriptions, and I cannot in good confidence recommend any Faithlife subscriptions to anyone in fear they’d also become burned. 
  5. I have canceled all my current Logos pre-publications and community pricing resources (except for a free book which I don’t even need but will take it since it’s free). After the way Faithlife has handled the Connect transition, my confidence in Faithlife is shattered enough where I don’t feel comfortable even investing too heavily in major book purchases moving forward. I also canceled the Master Journal Bundle 3.1 and will stick with subscribing to the Galaxie database. Looking over the 3.1 bundle, some of the journals I use the most are already somewhat out-of-date before it’s even shipped. The bundle doesn’t include key journals I use regularly such as JETS, and the bundle contains a bunch of journals I’d probably never use. While the $150 dynamic pricing upgrade wouldn’t be too bad, I can pay into Galaxie for three years on that and get fully up-to-date journals and the journals I really need. I’ve never been a fan of accessing journals through a web browser instead of Logos, but I started my searches on the Galaxie database first during my last research project, and surprisingly, I easily found the journals I needed. Even with journals in Logos, I tended to run my own searches using the existing search commands in Logos over the new “journal tagging” that was added and the Journals guide section in Logos. Those additions haven’t been that beneficial in helping me find the articles I really needed, and while Logos has been off looking for ways to increase service revenues, it’s taken Logos too long to deliver regular journal upgrades to customers, and even the current product arriving doesn’t meet the expectations of I and those who use journals on regular basis.
  6. I’ve removed myself from many of the sales promotion newsletters from Logos, as well as many of the sales-related stuff from the Logos home page. I’d rather not continue to keep a watch on Logos promotions until Faithlife doubles down on improving communications and customer service, and even then, it’d take some major steps for Faithlife to re-earn my trust. I’m pivoting away from major future sales in Logos, as well as I’ll be cross-grading some of my Logos resources into a competitor platform to ensure for future sustainability. Logos will also no longer be by first choice for purchasing resources in general. In the past, I generally purchased all of my resources in Logos first, and I only turned to competitors if Logos didn’t offer the resource I needed, or if I needed to invest in a resource from a competitor to better integrate with my Bible study workflow in the competitor platform. Most of the time however, the bulk of my resource purchases went to Logos. Moving forward, the bulk of my resource purchases will be with competitor platforms, and I’ll only turn to investing in Logos purchases for resources I can’t get anywhere else. I’ll also have a very difficult time highly recommending Logos to students and schools I work with, and I’ll recommend students look at competitor platforms first and only turn to Logos for content they can’t get elsewhere.

A few months ago, I had a feeling that the Logos 8 marketing and communications rollout would be as complicated and confusing as it was in Logos 7, if not more confusing. I actually put together a marketing and communication plan for Logos 8 that is so clear for the customer’s standpoint and that would have made the upgrade process go so smoothly, that Faithlife would have had the upgrade go off without a hitch and make a ton of money out of it. I waited to send it over to Faithlife to review, but since it is so clear and understandable and so simple, I’m not sure if Faithlife could mentally grasp it. It’s not confusing, complex, and complicated enough for Faithlife’s marketing and communications teams. Bob and Faithlife’s marketing teams have my customer information on file, so they know where to reach me if they want it.

This isn’t a total “goodbye” of myself and Faithlife and Logos, but I’ll admit my faith and confidence is shattered enough in Faithlife and Logos where the only way Faithlife and Logos is going to wake up, streamline, simplify, focus on core markets, cut the fluff, improve marketing and communications, and improve customer service is when there’s a major impact to its bottom line.

Nathan Parker

Posts 449
Bootjack | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 28 2018 8:59 PM

Nathan, I wish you could have gone into a little more detail.  

ASUS Rogue / 500 GB Samsung SSD / 500 GB HD / 16 Gigs of RAM/ Logos 8 Full Feature Set / Faithlife Connect Essentials 

Posts 3163
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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 28 2018 9:13 PM

Nathan Parker:
here’s my response moving forward

Bob said, "Please give us a few more days to work out some alternate plans before you lose our number / abandon ship. We want to retain (or regain) your trust."

We might want to wait to hear what FL will announce before making any decision(s).

Posts 3937
abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 28 2018 9:17 PM

PetahChristian:

Bob said, "Please give us a few more days to work out some alternate plans before you lose our number / abandon ship. We want to retain (or regain) your trust."

We might want to wait to hear what FL will announce before making any decision(s).



I wonder if Bob ever feels like moses trying to lead the nation of israel?

I'm glad my church members aren't as whiny as I've been.

L2 lvl4, L3 Scholars, L4 Scholars, L5 Platinum,  L6 Collectors. L7 Baptist Portfolio. L8 Baptist Platinum.

Posts 1082
Sean | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 28 2018 9:30 PM

Nathan Parker:
Instead of the marketing email that was released, it would have been better Bob would have drafted up an email that had been released to customers telling us up front that Logos Now was becoming an issue for Faithlife to maintain (especially on its current feature release schedule), that it would be completely retired, offering us the $100 coupon as a means to “give us back the cost of our Logos Now membership” that could be put toward a Logos feature set to “permanently buy the features we had in Logos” (as well as mention it could be used for either Logos 7 or Logos 8, and for those with a Logos feature set, it could be used for any Logos.com purchase), as well as mention that Logos Now would go through early November. In the same email, Bob could have mentioned that Logos Cloud has also been an issue for Faithlife to continue marketing in parallel with Logos Now, and that Logos Cloud would be morphing into a new offering called Faithlife Connect. It would have been made clear in the email that Faithlife Connect as a re-brand of Logos Cloud (not Logos Now) is a subscription version of Logos that costs more for the complete Logos feature set and includes resources customers may already have in a Logos 7 library. Therefore, while Logos Now members would be invited to take a risk-free trial of Faithlife Connect in case it would be a good value for some, since Faithlife Connect costs more than Logos Now for features that include Logos 7 library content, it may not be the best option for many current Logos users, and if it isn’t, customers can transition back to the traditional purchase method, while being encouraged to share Faithlife Connect with new Logos customers. Had that been the case, I’d already be promoting Faithlife Connect to friends of mine who aren’t Logos users yet.

The last few days, I've been thinking along very similar lines. Doing something like this would have gone over a lot better and avoided this most recent trainwreck. Bob, I assume, has paid marketing staff to come up with roll-out plans for him. No sympathy for them is forthcoming if customers in their spare time can figure out better ways of doing it. They shouldn't need a week-later "Oops, let's try this again" do-over after every major change.

 Logos Now Subscriber -- 22/2/2018

Posts 20
David J Heintzman | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 28 2018 9:54 PM

Nathan Parker:
it would have been better Bob would have drafted up an email that had been released to customers telling us up front that Logos Now was becoming an issue for Faithlife to maintain (especially on its current feature release schedule), that it would be completely retired, offering us the $100 coupon as a means to “give us back the cost of our Logos Now membership” that could be put toward a Logos feature set to “permanently buy the features we had in Logos” (as well as mention it could be used for either Logos 7 or Logos 8, and for those with a Logos feature set, it could be used for any Logos.com purchase), as well as mention that Logos Now would go through early November.

As I have stated, on reflection of all of this, the way that this was marketed and communicated has been my only real concern, and the backlash should have been entirely predictable.  The subject of the announcement email read "Logos Now IS NOW Faithlife Connect", followed by a messaging saying that the annual cost would double to retain the current Logos Now features.

When I saw the subject line, before I read one word of the email, my reaction was "Uh oh, now what are they up to?!" - I assume not the type of reaction they were aiming for.  This says something about how I've viewed their marketing and ever-changing business models as of late.

When Bob addressed the issue on the forums he tried to clear things up by letting us know that Now was going away, and Connect was an entirely new offering not focused on feature upgrades (the way they marketed Now).  How are people supposed to react?  I felt that the marketing and communication of the whole thing was at best misguided, and at worst very misleading.

I love the Logos software and want the company to do well.  I just hope they find a way to address their issues with communication.

Posts 13312
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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 1 2018 3:36 AM

David J Heintzman:
The subject of the announcement email read "Logos Now IS NOW Faithlife Connect", followed by a messaging saying that the annual cost would double to retain the current Logos Now features.

David J Heintzman:
I felt that the marketing and communication of the whole thing was at best misguided, and at worst very misleading.

I agree 100%. I think the email should have been titled, "“Sadly, Logos Now is ending (but we’ve got you covered)", and then gone on to offer a choice of the following:

  • A full refund of the Now Membership fee.
  • 50% of the purchase of a feature set
  • Or 9 months of the Faithlife Connect programme.

The big mistake was to switch everybody to Connect, rather than just saying that Now is having to end, but Connect might be an option for some people.

Posts 702
JH | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 1 2018 5:47 AM

Until things stabilize, I too have stopped all purchases and cancelled my subscriptions. I was ready to buy over $500 worth of resources to take advantage of February sales, but I removed them all last night and do not plan to buy anything else until the dust settles (if ever).

Posts 1930
Mark | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 1 2018 6:17 AM

Nathan Parker:
Faithlife always has, and continues to, have fundamental issues with marketing and communication.

Nathan Parker:
Faithlife  as an organization has “bitten off way more than it can chew”.

Nathan Parker:
The larger Faithlife gets, the more issues with overall customer service begins to surface.

These points are quite valid and have been clear to me since the change from L3 to L4.  These seem to be the main points of Nathan's long and well thought out post. 

Posts 98
Johan L | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 1 2018 6:51 AM

I'm sad to see Logos Now go, and I wish Faithlife would continue with a Faithlife Connect Features (or whatever) for those who want to buy their library and subscribe to the program. 

Still, I don't really get all the fuss. 

  1. We get what we paid for, and more (most of us get some free months of LN and some added benefits which may or may not have value for us).
  2. We get credits that can be used toward upgrading to Logos 7 or 8. In my case this means that if I upgraded the L7 features today with the code I would have used less money than I would had I upgraded to Logos 7 when it came out.
  3. We have gotten to participate in a good value program for a couple of years. 
  4. Faithlife communicated clearly about the changes and what they meant from the beginning. (The title could have been better, but the contents of the email was very well written. Clear and brief.)

----

Some other issues that may have made this less of a blow for me.

When I got LN instead of upgrading to L7 LN had two big drawbacks.

1. It was uncertain. If Faithlife decides to change the program by making it more expensive or less value, or let it go, I may be left with very little for what money I had put into LN over the years.

2. If my economical circumstances change and I have to let my subscription go I will be left with nothing.

We are now in a situation where there has been large changes to how Faithlife deals with subscriptions, without any big loss on our part except the opportunity to subscribe to Logos Now.

I also expected changes to LN. For some time you've had to know what to look for to find Logos Now on logos.com.

I've been disappointed by how Logos/FL has handled and communicated several changes before. this is not one of those times.

Is there something I'm missing?

Posts 1886
Donnie Hale | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 1 2018 6:57 AM

Bootjack:
Nathan, I wish you could have gone into a little more detail.

Priceless! Wink

-Donnie

Posts 10034
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 1 2018 6:57 AM

Mark Barnes:

I agree 100%. I think the email should have been titled, "“Sadly, Logos Now is ending (but we’ve got you covered)", and then gone on to offer a choice of the following:

  • A full refund of the Now Membership fee.
  • 50% of the purchase of a feature set
  • Or 9 months of the Faithlife Connect programme.

The big mistake was to switch everybody to Connect, rather than just saying that Now is having to end, but Connect might be an option for some people.

I agree 100%. (got in hot water for correctimento).

And just guessing, they knew that. But the new program was not likely to take off, absent the auto-convert. Normally, someone at/near the top is pursueing a dream.  


Posts 1886
Donnie Hale | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 1 2018 7:05 AM

(I'm not going to quote Nathan's post, but that's what I'm responding to...)

This is pretty much where I stand. The big difference is I have zero invested in a competing Bible study software product - either dollars or time / learning curve. So I've go to do some thinking. I love Logos: it was indispensable in allowing me to finish an M.Div. degree while working as a technologist and pastoring a church. I've been looking forward to the new notes system, though I wonder now what it will take to get it. I'm tempted to treat my investment and all my resources as a giant electronic reading library - which is very valuable - but move to something else for "Bible study proper."

I'm inclined to be impulsive, so I'm trying to avoid any immediate decisions.

Also, the point later in this thread about the communications entitled "Logos Now is now Faithlife Connect" is dead-on. Absolutely horrible execution, and directly at odds with Bob's explanation as to the reasons for the change in direction.

Donnie

Posts 313
Thinking | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 1 2018 7:09 AM

Denise:
But the new program was not likely to take off

Denise:
someone at/near the top is pursueing a dream.

I never saw how LN would succeed. I don't see how this program succeeds, either. I don't see where the market comes from. Bob believes that people "want" a subscription. My experience is just the opposite. Most people I know despise subscriptions. One of us is out of touch. Time will tell which one is correct.

Posts 313
Thinking | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 1 2018 7:14 AM

Donnie Hale:
I have zero invested in a competing Bible study software product

For simple searches there is not a learning curve, it is intuitive. It does not have the steep learning curve of Logos. Talk to them about a competitive upgrade.

Posts 27436
Forum MVP
JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 1 2018 7:24 AM

Thinking:
I don't see where the market comes from. Bob believes that people "want" a subscription. My experience is just the opposite. Most people I know despise subscriptions. One of us is out of touch. Time will tell which one is correct.

If it is an "either/or" proposition, I agree with you... but it's not. It is a "both/and" one. There are some potential users who would never drop $500 or more to purchase a library, but they would spend $20/mo. Furthermore, there are churches which would do so as well for their staff. Consider this: The Bronze Library is currently $ 629.99. A year of FC (which includes the Bronze Library) is $240 ($20/mo). 

From that perspective, FC may make sense to many people... and churches. Consider that the average sized church is less than 100 people, so $20/mo is much more manageable. 

OSX & iOS | Logs |  Install

Posts 5247
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 1 2018 7:41 AM

Donnie Hale:

I'm inclined to be impulsive, so I'm trying to avoid any immediate decisions.

I am not leaving FL but have been a long term Accordance user. I do not discourage you from being a FLuser but I like not having all my eggs in one basket. I would advise you to download ACC lite try it out see if any of the resources that are not in FL are ones you would like. There are always options and trying something out and looking at what is on offer is never a bad thing. Blessings on you and may you make the decision that is best for you.  

-dan 

Posts 3
Matthew Pilch | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 1 2018 12:01 PM

Brother, I fear you may have forgotten (or simply glossed over) the "why" behind the initial implementation of Logos. You hinted at it in your long response but quickly moved on to other things. I have been with Logos since its Libronix days (and physical backup CDs of our entire libraries), making my first purchase from you roughly around 2003 (11 years after you created it - yes, I know). 

The point that I'm trying to make is this. The reason that I got on board back then and continued to invest was because I believed that there was a future to digital tech, and lo! and behold! I was right (one of the few things I have ever gotten right). Back then, you weren't trying to get perpetual customers forever; you were trying to convince people like me and others that we should build digital libraries and not physical libraries - or at least consider supplementing our physical libraries. Now let's stop and think about that model - which, by the way, worked just fine: If I am investing in a physical library am I always going to be adding to it at the same rate? Answer: no. Not at all! You wouldn't expect that. If one is a student for life, the library will keep growing bit by bit for life. The beauty of the physical library is that once you retire are facing death, you can will your library on to your family, or to a church. I know that you have worked a little bit toward that (though it is far from satisfactory, seeing that it stops after one gifting). I don't want to digress too much, but the point is that there are many of us (I don't really know how big your customer base is, but I know quite a few people in a similar boat to me) who have literally spent, not thousands of dollars, but tens of thousands on Logos - I know that I have. And all of that has been without a subscription that I don't need or want. 

Do you know what I want? I want my library. The amount of money that I've spent, I would think that you would be happy that it has funded you to this point. But let us reason together on this, you can't expect me to continue to spend at rates that I once did when I was initially building my library, can you?! If a new volume is added to a set that I like, I buy the single volume. These days I'm very picky about what I buy - mostly monographs anymore. But I was just the intended demographic of your initial startup. Don't throw me and everybody like me under the bus because you don't have the revenue stream that you think you need. We want our libraries and we will continue to invest in them. What you need to do is not to dream up new ways to get us to pay you more when we have invested thousands, if not more; no, you need to ask yourself if that is still your model - attracting library builders - and figure out how to get more.

Maybe the building that houses your office and staff doesn't need continual upgrades; to be bigger and better every couple of years. Maybe it's time to recall that this initial project was borne out of a desire to help those in the ministry, not necessarily to make you wealthy. Listen, I don't begrudge you the profits that you have made from my purchases or anyone else's. You have a good product and I thought it was worth the money, so I bought it - that's how the system is supposed to work. But now, you're changing all the terms on the old guard.

People aren't buying books like they used to? No - your client base is getting older and we all have most of what we would like, just like I do with my physical library - yes, I still have one and am growing increasingly glad of that fact every day with the depressing changes that Logos rolls out every few months. But, we're still buying. What you need to focus on is getting new people to invest in these libraries just like we did. It isn't going to come from having a subscription plan the costs hundreds of dollars every year.

Posts 3
Jerry Griffin | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 1 2018 12:52 PM

Marketing 501

I teach a graduate level - "Strategic Marketing Management' course that begins next Monday.  I'm going to use this thread and example as a case study.  I'll approach it from a neutral position and let the students do their own analysis.

I'll just post notes - without names - for them to view.

Wow - is all I can say.

as a side note.  My confusion has always been - and I also go 'way back' with several thousand dollars invested - is there are too many names, and options.   Make it one name - one website - with different product offerings. 

I have a nice library - and it will take me 10 lifetimes to read what I have. I enjoy LOGOS, and add books from time to time, but don't want to subscribe to 'anything'.  Who can keep up with the subscriptions?  I found a charge on a credit card of something that I thought I quit a longtime ago.  SO i've been paying $9.99 a month for almost two years. 

Netflix, Microsoft, Hula, Grammarly, Screen Castify (there the best - they have a reasonable price).  I'm going to get one credit card that expires every year and put all my subscriptions on that card.  Then I will be reminded every year - 'what's going on. :)

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