I partake in many discussions with loyalty critics. One this week in RetailWire talked about the gap between program memberships and active participation. Some of the more critical comments were linked to the need to offer a value proposition that the customer wants rather than what the business wants to give away. The most respected people in loyalty marketing today would agree that encouraging behaviors that are good for the customer as well as profitable for the business is good policy.
I found two programs which encourage healthy living that illustrate how this can be done.
Blood donation is a polarizing topic. While some people ooze with enthusiasm for contributing to the saving of another person’s life through donation, others cringe and shiver at the thought. We know not everyone is eligible to donate blood, but for those that are, there has always been the attraction of soda, cookies, and admission to the movies or comedy store for their efforts. OneBlood is hoping to change the game just a little in hopes of encouraging those deliberating over donation to say “yes” in return for a greater incentive. OneBlood is a group that covers the state of Florida as well as parts of Georgia and Alabama and was formed recently through combination of three separate blood centers in the state. Donor Rewards was introduced in conjunction with launch of the new brand name and awards donors a choice of $10 gift cards provided by 9 different national brands.
Walgreens Balance Rewards is living at the corner of “healthy and happy” as the chain’s current tagline suggests. When I interviewed Divisional Vice-President, Loyalty and Insights, Adam Holyk this past fall, the program had been in market for a short time but had already achieved membership into the millions and boasted a mobile app rated #1 seller in its Lifestyle category and #10 overall. This week, Balance Rewards announced expansion of the ways members can be rewarded for practicing healthy habits. Since inception, Balance Rewards members could earn points through participation in the Walk with Walgreens™ program. Now, walking, running and weight management goals can be logged, tracked, and awarded as well.
With criticism of some loyalty programs as being better for the sponsor than the member, I’d say any program that encourages healthy behaviors and offers incentives to boot is above reproach.