Overwaitea Food Group’s More Rewards is one of four charter loyalty providers – joining Aeroplan, the Cineplex Scene movie rewards program and Petro Canada’s Petro Points – to partner with the new Carrot Rewards app, which rewards customers for making positive lifestyle choices.
“We are giving consumers the choice of four different currencies because we want to cover as broad a swath of the population as possible,” says Andreas Souvaliotis, CEO of Toronto-based Social Change Rewards, which developed the app.
Created with funding from both the federal and B.C. governments, as well as a reported $2 million from venture capitalists, the Carrot App awards points to users who make positive health and lifestyle choices, such as taking a healthy quiz or looking at a healthy recipe.
The app is designed to capitalize on Canadians’ love of apps and loyalty programs. According to research from Yahoo, the average Canadian has four loyalty cards in their wallet, with more than half saying they frequently use them to accumulate miles and points.
Souvaliotis says the participating loyalty programs have a combined user base that is several times the population of B.C., where the app will launch in the coming days (the province has a 90-day exclusivity window). “Between the four, we should be covering every single [B.C. resident],” he says.
Social Change Rewards contacted all of the country’s leading loyalty providers inviting them to participate in the program, says Souvaliotis.
“Overwaitea definitely believes it has a role to play in making British Columbia a healthier province, and what a great way for them to do this,” he says. “It’s a great way for them to contribute to the betterment of the province.”
The first two million downloaders of Carrot Rewards will earn loyalty points from the program of their choice just for installing the app, as well as an equivalent number of points for referring the app to friends.
There will be no cap on the number of referral points users can accumulate, although the rewards are being limited to the first 370,000 people in B.C. who install the app. “If you happen to have 1,000 friends, you’ll get pretty rich with points,” says Souvaliotis.
The app is designed to change users’ behaviour through a series of gentle nudges. Rather than awarding points to a user for quitting smoking, for example, Carrot Rewards will provide points for watching a video about why quitting smoking is important.
“It’s all about tiny increments as opposed to the big decision,” says Souvaliotis “We’ll give you points for all of the steps that will take you there, but we won’t necessarily try to reward you for the big step, which might be so big that no matter how much you’re rewarded you might not take it.”
He said that the app is also useful for replacing untargeted government advertising. “Instead of the government ad saying ‘Smoke less’ hoping you might see that ad, they know who you are, they reach you directly and know if you participated directly. It’s so much more efficient.”