Sunday Times

Dis­cov­ery dan­gles ‘Vi­tal­ity Open’ to gen­er­ate leads

Non­mem­bers can get points by ex­er­cis­ing and driv­ing well

- By PENE­LOPE MASHEGO Iceland · Belarus · Austria · South Korea · Belgium · Avior

● Dis­cov­ery’s de­ci­sion to open its Vi­tal­ity Ac­tive Re­wards to non­mem­bers could see it in­crease its al­ready large cus­tomer base and per­haps re­sult in the pro­gramme be­com­ing a stand-alone prod­uct for South Africans.

This month Dis­cov­ery an­nounced that for 10 weeks South Africans who are not Dis­cov­ery clients will have ac­cess to Vi­tal­ity Open.

Vi­tal­ity is a sep­a­rate com­pany wholly owned by Dis­cov­ery.

Dur­ing this time, peo­ple have the op­por­tu­nity to earn points through the Vi­tal­ity app by ex­er­cis­ing and driv­ing well.

The re­wards they could re­ceive for re­spon­si­ble be­hav­iour in­clude cof­fee, flights, gro­cery vouch­ers and con­cert tick­ets.

Al­though it is too early to mea­sure the im­pact of Vi­tal­ity Open, there has been pos­i­tive in­ter­est in it so far, said Dr Craig Nos­sel, head of Vi­tal­ity Wellness.

Asked about plans to roll out Vi­tal­ity be­yond the cur­rent mem­ber­ship base, Nos­sel said: “We will an­a­lyse the im­pact and see how we can con­tinue to im­prove health out­comes in SA and be­yond.

“De­vel­op­ing an ar­chi­tec­ture within our en­vi­ron­ment that gets peo­ple to make smarter de­ci­sions — or at least to get them to think about their de­ci­sions — and then re­ward­ing them for do­ing so, is at the heart of what Vi­tal­ity does.”

Peer mo­ti­va­tion

Dis­cov­ery Vi­tal­ity Ac­tive Re­wards, which is sep­a­rate from Dis­cov­ery Vi­tal­ity, has grown to have more than 5-mil­lion mem­bers across 10 coun­tries. Half a mil­lion of the mem­bers are in SA.

In ad­di­tion to its in­cen­tive struc­tures, Vi­tal­ity Ac­tive Re­wards makes use of goalset­ting and peer mo­ti­va­tion to in­crease mem­bers’ phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity.

Ac­cord­ing to re­search con­ducted by the in­surer, on av­er­age, mem­bers ex­er­cise 24% more fre­quently once they ac­ti­vate their Vi­tal­ity Ac­tive Re­wards, and there has also been a 9% in­crease in high-in­ten­sity work­out ses­sions among those who ac­ti­vate the re­wards pro­gramme.

It fur­ther found that the pro­gramme has the great­est im­pact among mem­bers who are in poorer health.

With re­gard to Vi­tal­ity Drive, mem­bers are re­warded for 100 con­sec­u­tive event-free kilo­me­tres of no speed­ing, harsh ac­cel­er­a­tion, harsh cor­ner­ing or hard brak­ing, and no cell­phone use.

Dis­cov­ery found that the num­ber of harsh driv­ing events de­creased 41% for driv­ers who earn Vi­tal­ity Ac­tive Re­wards for driv­ing well every week.

South Korea

War­wick Bam, head of re­search at Av­ior Cap­i­tal Mar­kets, said Dis­cov­ery’s strat­egy was to use Vi­tal­ity Open to at­tract new cus­tomers.

SA’s Vi­tal­ity Open is a fol­low-up on Dis­cov­ery’s suc­cess in South Korea, where the pro­gramme has been opened up for 12 weeks.

The idea in South Korea is that users of the pro­gramme end up buy­ing a life-in­sur­ance prod­uct from Dis­cov­ery.

This en­ables users to get ac­cess to the rest of the Vi­tal­ity pro­gramme and to con­tinue to re­ceive weekly re­wards while Dis­cov­ery at­tracts new cus­tomers for its other of­fer­ings.

Nos­sel said the pro­gramme had been live in South Korea for a month and has been very suc­cess­ful.

He added that South Korea was an ex­am­ple of Vi­tal­ity Ac­tive Re­wards be­ing used as a leads-gen­er­at­ing ac­tiv­ity, mean­ing that Dis­cov­ery is us­ing the pro­gramme to pique con­sumer in­ter­est in its prod­ucts and thus in­crease its cus­tomer base.

Im­tiaz Suli­man, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Sen­tio Cap­i­tal, said that for Dis­cov­ery, Vi­tal­ity Open was an­other way to stay ahead of its com­pe­ti­tion and keep cus­tomers loyal and en­gaged with the brand.

He added that ex­panded Vi­tal­ity be­yond ex­ist­ing mem­bers could be an av­enue for the group to sell Dis­cov­ery prod­ucts to a wider cus­tomer base.

He said he does not ex­pect Vi­tal­ity Ac­tive Re­wards to be­come a stand-alone prod­uct in SA be­cause Dis­cov­ery al­ready has had suc­cess in its med­i­cal aid and as­sur­ance busi­ness in the coun­try.

We will an­a­lyse the im­pact and see how we can con­tinue to im­prove health

Craig Nos­sel

Head of Vi­tal­ity Wellness

 ?? Pic­ture: Dino Lloyd/Gallo Im­ages ?? Vi­tal­ity mem­bers ex­er­cise 24% more fre­quently once they ac­ti­vate their Vi­tal­ity Ac­tive Re­wards.
Pic­ture: Dino Lloyd/Gallo Im­ages Vi­tal­ity mem­bers ex­er­cise 24% more fre­quently once they ac­ti­vate their Vi­tal­ity Ac­tive Re­wards.

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