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Excellent overview of the ancillary race to the bottom. Your thought of paid 'membership' is very interesting. One key area I've found in building loyalty strategies is take a close look at the customer continiuum's next (under the top 15%) 40% or so. It's this group that most likely has descrietionary spend that might be captured with stronger loyalty. A component for this group along with top revenue generators might be to consider is stock shares of those companies that are publically traded. Who's a more loyal customer than a customer? My thought is being an owner would raise the barrier to switch.