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September 2013

Innovation in Loyalty Marketing, North America

The Goal

With Walgreens Balance Rewards, the drugstore chain sought to remain true to its mission of helping customers get well, stay well and live well. Central to the campaign’s development was Walgreens’ goal to recognize and reward best customers while increasing overall engagement. With the Balance Rewards program, the company hoped to better understand its customers in order to make informed business decisions involving pricing, store layout and product assortment.

The Initiative

Walgreens’ aim to build a best-in-class loyalty program was founded on three tenets: ease, value and wellness. The company also needed the program to be highly relevant, innovative and enterprise-wide. The resulting Balance Rewards program features easy enrollment, instant points and rewards for purchases, wellness services and healthy behavior.

To encourage customer wellness and support Walgreens’ mission, the Balance Rewards program offers members points for health-related activities, including exercise, weight management, immunizations and prescription fulfillment. Specifically, members earn 20 points for every mile they walk or run and 20 points for tracking their weight.

The program uses the latest technology allowing for a multi-channel, real-time experience for customers. It also supports Walgreens’ goal of facilitating a more meaningful dialogue with its customers. Walgreens paid critical attention to the program’s value proposition to ensure alignment with the company’s mission.

The Results

Launched in September 2012, the Balance Rewards program has been playing an instrumental role in Walgreens’ sales growth and company performance. By the end of May 2013, more than 72 million consumers became members. They made repeat purchases throughout May to accumulate points, and sales that month increased 4.3% over the same month the previous year. In addition, the average basket size increased by 4.7% over the previous year.

2013 COLLOQUY Loyalty Award: Walgreens