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a.s.r. Vitality uses the enormous power of rewards

The South African insurance company Discovery launched the Vitality programme in 1997. The aim was to encourage a healthy lifestyle among members in order to prevent (partially) modifiable diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cancer. a.s.r entered into an exclusive partnership with the Discovery Group, and they rolled out the programme in the Netherlands in 2019. Sparco was involved in this from the start.

Ramon Krans is partner manager at a.s.r. Vitality. In this role, he shapes the various partnerships that a.s.r. Vitality has.

“The Vitality programme is now running in 28 countries and has more than 20 million users”

says Ramon Krans.

“The concept works. Initially, the aim is to get people exercising more often simply by making it fun. By exercising more, you can earn points that you can exchange for rewards. In the long term, this results in a healthier lifestyle, which is not only great for the people themselves, it also benefits a.s.r.. If our members exercise more often, they will be sick less often, which means financial benefits for all parties involved. Employers also experience the positive effects because fewer employees are sick, which ultimately benefits everyone in the chain.”

Adapted to the Dutch market

“It was an existing programme. When we started it, we engaged Sparco to help figure out how to make the concept suitable for the Dutch market. Sparco has a lot of knowledge and experience in the field of loyalty, especially when it comes to what rewards to offer. For example, while Starbucks coffee is popular as a reward in England, gift vouchers are very popular here in the Netherlands. We do not want to offer just anything, the range must have something to do with health and relaxation and be socially responsible. Sparco not only arranges the fulfilment for us but also the necessary technical links between the a.s.r. Vitality app and the webshops of various product suppliers. For users of the programme, everything must be manageable via the a.s.r. Vitality app.”

Rewards work

Participation in the a.s.r. Vitality programme costs users 3.50 euros per month.

“You can link the a.s.r. Vitality app to an activity tracker or fitness app so that you can keep track of the number of steps you take. You can also book sports lessons via the app from the end of October. This data is proof that you have actually done some exercise. The cool thing is that you get a new goal every week. If you reach it, you earn points which you can exchange for weekly rewards such as gift cards and fitness equipment. You can also save the points or give them to charity. To keep it challenging, your weekly goal is adjusted to your performance. So if you achieve it, the bar is raised a little and if you don’t, the bar is lowered. This keeps you motivated. There are also monthly and annual rewards. Earn back the purchase price of your Apple Watch or Fitbit in two years based on your total number of points. And every year, your Vitality Status is determined based on your subscription in that year. The higher your status, the more ‘cashback’ you will receive on your additional health or dental insurance. This gives users a positive incentive in every possible way.”

Raising awareness

“Our programme is explicitly accessible to everyone, not just to people who are already doing well. When you start, you will be asked to answer some questions about your health and your lifestyle. You will also be offered a health check, where your BMI will be determined and cholesterol and glucose measurements taken. You can enter this information into the app, which will determine your Vitality Age. We do our best to make people aware of how healthy they are at this moment. And then help them to change their behaviour step by step through the a.s.r. Vitality programme.”

Health in all its facets

Krans emphasises that a.s.r. Vitality is not an exercise concept.

“Our intention is to make Dutch people healthy. To achieve this, we do more than just encourage people to exercise more. Your diet, your sleeping pattern and sufficient relaxation are also important for a healthy lifestyle. The Vitality platform focuses on all of these facets and wants to make it possible for you to work on your health in all these areas. However, the trick is to make these things measurable. We are working hard on this behind the scenes together with the Vitality Group. To continue to develop the a.s.r. Vitality programme, we need partners who can support that process, and Sparco plays an essential role in this as far as we are concerned.”

Involved account manager:
Kevin Martens
Kevin Martens
Involved project manager:
Ali Al Bana
Ali Al Bana

The Vitality programme is now running in 28 countries and has more than 20 million users.

Ramon Krans