Jill Z. McBride
Editor-in-Chief, COLLOQUY

Today’s conscientious consumers choose to engage with companies in a variety of ways, and they expect to be rewarded for that behaviour.

COLLOQUY research, in fact, shows that loyalty players are increasingly interested in selecting programs that provide incentives for actions that fall outside the realm of purchasing transactions. That specifically includes non-consumption activities such as living a healthier lifestyle, sharing on social media, exercising more, and practicing energy conservation.

Not surprisingly, Canadian entrepreneurs recognize that rewarding good behaviour makes good business sense. Businesses have learned that information about daily activities outside their brands can be used to better understand what motivates and inspires their best customers — giving a more complete picture of the individual.

Gaining rewards and social change

Metrobus, the mass transit system in St. John’s Newfoundland, saw an opportunity to reward consumers for their environmentally friendly behaviour. With 90 percent of St. John’s households participating in the AIR MILES Rewards Program, Metrobus decided to partner with AIR MILES for Social Change in 2012, a loyalty program operated by LoyaltyOne. 

In the first year, ridership increased by 6 percent, far surpassing expectations. So, the community of St. John’s benefits from fewer cars and SUVs on the road, and Metrobus benefits from more revenue from more riders.

Financial freedom through rewards

Aeroplan features an offer that helps program members meet one of life’s great challenges, at least in the personal finance department — paying off the mortgage.

Under a partnership with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), existing AeroMortgage members earn one Aeroplan mile for every dollar of mortgage interest they pay.  Program members can use the miles for trips and other lifestyle items.

Reduce, reuse, rewards 

It’s fitting to wrap up with Apple, a company sensitive to customers’ desire to make the world a better place. Apple recently launched a program to accept its own products for recycling. Customers who bring in a product in good enough condition to be resold are given store credit to buy a new Apple product. 

The exchange, used devices for store credit, forges a bond between customer and brand based on a shared interest in being good stewards of the environment.