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The Perks of Subscription Economy and the Companies Adopting the Business Model

The subscription economy is not new. In fact, the membership-based business model has been around since the 17th century. Publishers of books and periodicals basically introduced subscription as a business model. In order to keep the sales of magazines and periodicals, writers and novelists serialized their work to keeps readers hooked on cliffhanger installments. With this business model, publishers are guaranteed up to 24 months of sales and readership.

Recently, the membership-based business model has been gaining a foothold. Nowadays, consumers can subscribe to a wide array of products, services, and experiences. From sunglasses to shavers and from coffee to concerts—a growing number of businesses are adopting the business model. With the rise of the subscription economy, customers now have access to more options. On the other hand, companies benefit from the membership-based business model by having a steady revenue stream. However, the perks of the subscription economy go beyond options and revenue. Experts believe that the membership-based business model is the revenue model of the future.

a photo of lined-up sitting young men and women looking and smiling at their phones while hitting the subscribe option on their screens amid the rise of the subscription economy
Today, consumers can subscribe to a wide array of products, services, and experiences.

Benefits of Subscription Economy for the Customers

McKinsey & Company conducted a study to understand the subscription habits of more than 5,000 U.S.-based consumers. Their findings indicate that subscriptions have become a common purchase method for products and services online. In point of fact, more than 40 percent of the participants have at least one subscription. There are a number of reasons why such is the case:

  • Customers appreciate the convenience of hassle-free shopping. Once the subscription has been set, products and services are delivered automatically at their doorstep.
  • Personalization is also a key driver to why the subscription economy is flourishing. Consumers are given the freedom to modify their purchases based on their preferences. With this kind of freedom, subscribers receive the best possible experience in making their purchases.
  • Lastly, value pricing is a common practice within the subscription economy. Products and services are bundled in a way that customers are offered the best savings. Thus, it is not surprising that consumers subscribe to a membership-based business model.

Why Should Companies Seriously Consider the Membership-Based Business Model?

Tien Tzuo, founder and CEO of Zuora and author of “Subscribed: Why the Subscription Model Will Be Your Company’s Future – and What to Do About It” believes that people’s buying habit has changed for good. Customers now prefer outcomes more than ownership, personalization—not one-size-fits-all—, and improvement over the status quo. For these reasons, companies must learn to adapt and accommodate their customers’ ever-changing predilections.

While expectations from customers are high, the yields for companies are high as well. For one, with the subscription economy, companies have a more consistent revenue flow. With guaranteed revenue, businesses can predict outcomes, develop plans and formulate better strategies. Moreover, with the membership-based business model, businesses have an opportunity to develop a deeper relationship with customers. With insights on customers’ wants and preferences, companies can work on improving their products and service.

Companies Joining the Subscription Economy Revolution

  • Signal Snowboard is a snowboard subscription that lets snowboarding enthusiasts gain access to new snowboards every year for as little as $35. The subscription includes the Baldface Snowboarding experience—complete with accommodations, daily backcountry snowboarding, avalanche safety courses, and transportation to more remote locations.
  • Sudsy Club offers amazing skincare regimen through handmade artisanal bath-and-body products. Deliveries are made every even month—a time when customers will receive a box of luxurious bath and body products for only $25.
  • Viveport Subscriptions is the first VR technology subscription app. With access to numerous VR applications, members can trek the Everest or explore the deep of the Pacific.  Launched in April 2019, the subscription app is a subsidiary of HTC.  Consumers can choose from the library of more than 600+ apps and games
  • The Period Store is an online shop that lets women customize their menstrual products delivered at their doorstep every month. From sponges to pads, cups to tampons, The Period Store offers a selection of products starting at $15 per month.
  • Trade Coffee is a matchmaking service to help coffee lovers find their perfect match. Current members can’t help but gush about how they found their perfect brew. Matching starts at $15 with options curated from 400+ roasters all over the country.
  • RushTix is proof that the membership-based business model is making its way to every industry. Rush Tix is a platform that aggregates live entertainment experience at members-only prices. Tiered-pricing starts at $19 per month. From concerts to theater plays to cultural events, RushTix curates events for its subscribers. So, members can simply pick, click and go.
  • Inspirato Pass is a luxury travel subscription that lets members choose from 60,000 travel experiences for $2,500 per month, with no nightly rates, taxes or fees.

The Subscription Economy—and Beyond!

a photo of a white paper filled with the names of the companies or brands adopting the subscription economy business model
Evidently, more and more companies are adopting the membership-based business model of the subscription economy!

The rise of the subscription economy underscores the shift of commerce from product ownership to the creation of consumer experience. With the customer at the center of the value creation—providing convenience, customized experience, and value for money should be at the front and center of every enterprise. And based on current trends with businesses around the world, it’s safe to say that the membership-based business model of the subscription economy is on its way to gaining more traction globally.

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Top 20 States Ranked by Education Quality Infographic

Top 20 States Ranked by Education Quality Infographic

The Bold Business Top 20 States Ranked by Education Quality

With states ranked by education quality, students standing at the crossroads of life have more geographical diversity and more quality options when choosing a college or university. However, for years, published rankings have been the go-to source of information for the best colleges and universities. The publication of reports from U.S. News and World Report, QS World University Ranking, and Times Higher Education World University Ranking are always highly anticipated. Subsequently, based on these college rankings, the concentration of top universities and colleges fall within the states of California, Massachusetts, New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania.

While these rankings are helpful, options become limited. For families and students trying to make informed decisions, the availability of more options offering quality education is essential.

First, Let’s Define What Quality Education Means

Education is more than a content delivery system. To believe otherwise is outdated, if not insufficient. With attempts to define quality education away from the pedagogical point of view, educators from around the world have reached a consensus. The concluding agreement defined quality education as a system designed to help the youth reach their full potentials and enter society as full and productive citizens. Supported by quality teachers and quality tools and learning conducted within choice environments—quality education aspires to prepare every child not just for testing but also, most notably, for life. Thus, with more states offering quality education, the aim to prepare the youth for the future can be realized.

a photo of a classroom full of students listening to a teacher in front talk about the topic of states ranked by education quality
Education is more than a content delivery system

In Detail: States Ranked by Education Quality

By focusing on measures that spell successful educational outcomes, Bold Business would like to highlight the states with systems and policies in place to ensure that quality education is available for all. We collected available public data about the education system of each state, information from the best colleges and universities rankings, and the universities’ websites.

From these data, we created a list based on the states with the highest number of 4-year and 2-year higher education institutions within the state. We also investigated graduation rates for both 4-year and 2-year higher education courses. For a U.S. state to be included in the Top States Ranked by Education Quality, the population’s percentage with an advanced degree must be high. Lastly, the average dollar amount of debt at graduation should be low.

The Bold Business List of Top 20 States Ranked by Education Quality

Our gathered data points painted a whole new picture. The states of California, Massachusetts, New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania are still included in the list. However, a few previously low-ranking states climbed up the list, thus creating a more geographically diverse line up of options.

No.1
California grabs the top spot in the Bold Business list of States Ranked by Education Quality. California is home to several prestigious universities such as Stanford University, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and University of California, Berkeley (UCB). Not surprisingly, the Golden State holds the highest number of 4-year and 2-year higher education institutions. Graduation rate is also one of the highest at 68 percent.
No.2
North Carolina placed lower in other published rankings. However, with Bold Business’ list of States Ranked by Education Quality, the Old North State takes the second spot. North Carolina is undoubtedly one of the states that hold the most number of 2-year higher education institutions and that have a high 2-year graduation rate.
No. 3
Washington appeared in Times Higher Education Ranking, with the University of Washington taking the No. 19 spot. However, with Bold Business’ list of States Ranked by Education Quality, the Evergreen State earned more points by having a high 4-year graduation rate and a low student debt rate at graduation.
No. 4
Florida is one of the states that have the most number of 4-year higher education institutions. Thus, it is not surprising that 40 percent of the population is college-educated. With the Bold Business list of States Ranked by Education Quality, the Sunshine State takes the fourth place. Additionally, Florida takes the No. 1 spot in the U.S. News and World Report as the Best State for Higher Education.
No. 5
Colorado has a current population of 5.7 million. About 50 percent of this population achieved advanced education—the second highest in the list of States Ranked by Education Quality. This case is not surprising, as the Centennial State is home to some of the best colleges and universities—such as Colorado State University, the University of Colorado Boulder, and the University of Denver.
No. 6
New York lands sixth in the Bold Business List of Top 20 States Ranked by Education Quality. The state currently has 238 higher education institutions that provide world-class education. Students from four corners of the globe flock to the state for quality education and to experience a diverse melting pot of cultures.
No. 7
Maryland—also known as the “Old Line State”—is home to 6 million residents. Forty-six percent of its population has attained advanced education. Plus, the graduation rate is high at 67 percent and 53 percent for 4-year and 2-year higher education levels, respectively.
No. 8
Minnesota is a new entrant in the Bold Business List of Top 20 States Ranked by Education Quality. With a population of 5.6 million, Minnesota is home to 61 institutions offering 4-year higher education and 34 institutions offering 2-year higher education. Markedly, 47 percent of the population has attained an advanced degree.
No. 9
Illinois is a mainstay of published school rankings with the inclusion of University of Chicago and Northwestern University. However, the state has a lot more to offer when it comes to education. Illinois is home to 108 colleges and universities and 63 schools offering 2-year higher education.
No. 10
Pennsylvania is one of the states where you can find most of the top colleges and universities: University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon, Swarthmore College and Haverford College. Currently, Pennsylvania has 159 institutions offering 4-year higher education and 82 institutions offering 2-year higher education.
No. 11
Virginia has produced the most U.S. Presidents, such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Woodrow Wilson, to name a few. The state is also home to a number of intellectuals, scholars and writers. While Virginia ranks low in published school rankings, this state takes the No. 11 spot in the Bold Business List of Top 20 States Ranked by Education Quality.
No. 12
New Jersey has Princeton, Rutgers, and College of New Jersey from its line-up of best colleges and universities. With a college graduation rate of 68 percent, the state of New Jersey is ranked as one of the states with the best education system. Thus, it makes it to the Bold Business List of Top 20 States Ranked by Education Quality.
No. 13
Arizona’s top colleges and universities include Arizona Christian University, Prescott College and the University of Arizona. While Arizona does not usually rank high in published school rankings, the state offers an extensive network of 2-year higher education institutions.
No. 14
Texas, the second-largest state—with a population of 28 million—, is fast becoming a technology hub. Tech companies are setting shop in Texas to take advantage of its tech-based education system. For instance, Rice University—a leading research university—sits in Houston, Texas. Other notable universities within the state include Trinity University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Texas A&M University.
No. 15
Massachusetts is a hub of top-ranked colleges and universities such as Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. With higher education, choices abound with 121 higher education institutions within Massachusetts. Overall, Massachusetts’ education system was ranked top among all states.
No. 16
Tennessee makes it to the Bold Business List of Top 20 States Ranked by Education Quality. The state holds the highest 2-year higher education graduation rate at 57 percent. Moreover, the state offers a wide variety of educational facilities for higher education across the state. Vanderbilt University, Belmont University and Welch College are some of the top higher educational institutions within the state.
No. 17
Ohio’s higher education system includes 120 institutions offering 4-year higher education and 65 institutions offering 2-year higher education. Ohio’s extensive higher education system includes 13 state universities, 46 private colleges and universities, 24 university branches, and six state-assisted medical schools. Clearly, Ohio can offer so much when it comes to higher education.
No. 18
Michigan takes the eighteenth spot in the Bold Business List of Top 20 States Ranked by Education Quality. The University of Michigan is a top-ranked university in published lists and is one of the 65 institutions offering 4-year higher education within the state. Michigan is the center of the automotive industry in the country. Michigan is an excellent fit for students looking to explore a career in the transportation and automotive industry.
No. 19
Vermont has 48 institutions offering 2-year higher education and has a 4-year graduation rate of 72.8 percent. Such numbers helped Vermont earn a spot in the Bold Business List of Top 20 States Ranked by Education Quality.
No. 20
Connecticut consistently ranks in most published college and university rankings. This case is not surprising as the state has a 4-year higher education graduation rate of 64 percent. Also, 47 percent of its population are college-educated. The Constitution State is also home to some of the most prestigious higher education institutions, namely Yale University, Wesleyan University and Fairfield University.
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What Went Wrong with Popular Colleges and Universities Rankings

Top 20 States Ranked by Education Quality Infographic

Top 20 States Ranked by Education Quality Infographic

The U.S. News and World Report, QS World University Ranking, and Times Higher Education World University Ranking are some of the most popular systems that rank the best colleges in the country. Families trying to decide which best colleges and universities to pursue refer to these rankings for guidance. While these rankings offer a good starting point in trimming down choices, they have unfortunately become instruments for the commodification of education. Each of these established rankings follows different methods, unregulated approaches and matrices in determining which best colleges in the country makes it to their list.

  • For instance, the U.S. News and World Report ranking uses an extensive set of criteria which include graduation and retention rate, class size, faculty ratio, peer-to-peer assessment, and results of standardized test, to name a few.
  • The Times Higher Education Ranking, on the one hand, chooses to give equal weight to Learning Environment, Research Efforts, and Research Citation and Influence.
  • Lastly, QS Ranking gives Academic reputation and Employer Reputation the most significant weight at 30 percent and 20 percent, respectively. Furthermore, QS Ranking also looks at the university’s international research network, faculty and student ratio, and teaching staff and student diversity.

It’s Time for A Bold Change

Without doubt, the best colleges and universities rankings have been adeptly positioned as the authority in the space. And stakeholders in the academic field are not underestimating the undeniable influence of these rankings. While these rankings have established influence in the field of higher education, they are veritably part of a mostly unregulated system. With the society’s overreliance on these rankings, isn’t it time for a paradigm shift?