Discovery dangles ‘Vitality Open’ to generate leads
Nonmembers can get points by exercising and driving well
● 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.”
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.
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
Head of Vitality Wellness