Loyalty for Good

The simplest and most powerful way to fulfill our social purpose is by leveraging what Aimia does best. In practical terms, this means using the power of our people, products and partnerships to drive positive change. This is the fundamental concept behind Loyalty for Good.

Helping clients create a better world

The loyalty business has traditionally been about rewarding desired behaviours in the marketplace. But what about promoting health and clean air, helping to reduce hunger, and protecting society’s most vulnerable members? These are just some of the behaviours that savvy businesses, NGOs and public organizations wish to promote — using loyalty as a gentle nudge toward doing the right thing.

Loyalty for Good makes it easy and rewarding for people to take action for the common good. It’s an innovative idea based on the well documented gap between people’s intentions (“I want to do the right thing…”) and actions (“…maybe tomorrow”). Loyalty can help close this gap by “nudging” consumers toward more sustainable behaviors and habits. These nudges can range from rewards for certain actions to opportunities to donate loyalty currency to a good cause.

Our hypothesis is that aligning people’s brand loyalty with their desire to do good can:

  • Lead to new insights for building more meaningful relationships, especially with the millennial generation
  • Have a positive impact on the world and get more like-minded partners to join in
  • Bring to light innovative solutions to sustainability challenges, inspire people and lead to the adoption of more sustainable habits

Using the power of loyalty to create social and environmental value

Our Loyalty for Good programs around the world are already enhancing Aimia’s value proposition in many ways:

  • In Canada, the generosity of our Aeroplan members, who donated over 500 million miles through the Aeroplan donations program has made a huge difference for charities. Miles are being used to help offset travel costs and support projects in communities across the world as well as for raffles to raise money, hotel stays, car rentals and even for merchandise such as a laptops. In addition, Aimia offsets 100 percent of all carbon emissions for flights taken by Aeroplan philanthropic partners.
  • Aeroplan was the first partner of a startup called Higher Ed Points Inc. The goal is to take some of the pressure off paying for post-secondary education by allowing consumers to use the points they have sitting in loyalty accounts to contribute to university or college tuition for themselves or for someone they know.
  • Aeroplan’s Green It Up is a voluntary carbon offset program to offset a flight or everyday activities. Aeroplan Members can either use their miles to offset when completing a flight reward booking online or redeem their miles for carbon offset credits through Aeroplan’s online Activities and Merchandise catalogue.
  • In the United Kingdom, Nectar, the UK’s largest loyalty program, with more than 19 million members, is an emerging force for helping others do good. By incenting members with Nectar points for their donations, the Nectar Tag Your Bag program attracted 93,000 people in its first year, generating almost £1 million of additional sales from donated items. Participants simply donate items to Oxfam’s chain of shops, and for every £1 raised from their donation, they receive two Nectar points. How did it start? From perfectly complementary needs. Oxfam wanted to increase the quality and quantity of store donations, customer footfalls in stores, and sales — and in the process build stronger donor relationships. As for Nectar, an Aimia program, we’re always looking for new and innovative opportunities for Collectors to earn and spend Nectar Points.

Popular TV presenter Laura Whitmore, who is also a regular Oxfam donor, promoted the program

  • Nectar collectors can spend their points on Oxfam’s “Unwrapped” gifts, which fund education, farms and fresh-water projects in developing nations
  • In the United States, the event we delivered to Oracle Corporation provides a great example of how Aimia’s loyalty expertise can be harnessed to build multistakeholder relationships and advance a client’s social responsibility. In 2012, our U.S. team designed a program that gave select Oracle employees a once-in-a-lifetime experience, conquered their fear of sharks and enabled them to learn more about these threatened species. The program was so innovative that it won the 2012 SITE Crystal Award in Beijing for the “Most Impactful Effort Toward Corporate Social Responsibility As Part Of An Incentive Program.” “Shark Encounter” partnered Oracle employees with staff at the University of Miami RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program, and in the process enabled them to become “shark researchers for a day.” The program contributed to the world’s scientific knowledge about sharks, converted Oracle employees into ambassadors for the cause, drove up employee engagement for Oracle, and also advanced the company’s social responsibility. Through loyalty, everyone wins. We delivered a similar initiative to Microsoft in 2013: 

Crystal Award: Aimia helps Microsoft with CSR – School Supply

Loyalty for Good Pilot Projects – a few examples

In order to measure the potential impact and benefits of Loyalty for Good, we conduct pilot projects with current and potential partners. For example:

  • Over a nine-month pilot in 2012-13, Nectar partnered with Birmingham City Council to encourage citizens to step up their recycling and fitness. Residents earned Nectar points when they recycled and visited their Leisure Centre. Covered by local and national media, this first-ever initiative increased the number of eligible households that recycle by 26 percent and the number of adults registering for leisure activities by 25 percent.
  • To drive up the recycling of plastic bottles and cans, Air Miles Middle East and local partners installed “reverse vending machines” in strategic locations. Air Miles Middle East members simply feed their bottles and cans into the machine and receive points. More than 17,000 bottles were recycled in the first year.