From points to purpose: how loyalty programs are changing the world

Loyalty programs have the power to create real change in the world - and not just for the businesses that implement them. Rewards and loyalty incentives are taking on a new role: in social change, climate action, and bettering people’s lives. 

The power of loyalty programs to create social change

When you think of a loyalty program, you probably imagine collecting points and getting discounts. But what if these programs could create positive change in communities? 

One new example is the OnHand app, which uses gamification to encourage people to serve their communities. Users are incentivised to volunteer in local causes such as youth mentoring and helping the elderly. OnHand plants trees when users sign up and complete missions. Users can also collect badges for accomplishments, and compete with friends to see who can make the biggest impact. 


OnHand gamified app

OnHand’s loyalty app is unique in that it rewards users for their positive impact on the community and the environment - rather than their purchases. This approach encourages people to take action to create a better world - and also shifts the focus of loyalty programs from consumerism to social and environmental impact. 

Why loyalty programs should go beyond transactions

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The role rewards can play in saving the planet

Another example of how loyalty programs can help create change is climate action


The infamous Starbucks Rewards program offers customers bonus points and discounts if they bring reusable cups to their coffee stores. This initiative encourages sustainable actions by reducing single-use cups and encouraging environmentally friendly behaviours


Starbucks Rewards has been highly successful in using incentives to promote climate action - with more than 6.4 million customers participating in the program and over 80 million disposable cups saved to date!

Starbucks rewards program
Starbucks rewards sustainability


Using loyalty gamification to improve quality of life

What if you could turn positive habit-building into a rewarding game? Habitica is a productivity app that uses in-game rewards to motivate users to reach their goals. Goals and desired habits are turned into quests with levels and rewards along the way. The app also allows users to join groups and challenge friends to complete goals together, creating a strong social network to keep users accountable and motivated. 


By using gamified elements, Habitica can help users who struggle with mental health issues. Mental illness can often hinder an individual's ability to function in daily life. Depression and anxiety can make basic tasks challenging, like remembering to take medication or leaving the house. That’s where gamified initiatives like Habitica come in - by making each task more rewarding and engaging, gamification can help people manage their day-to-day lives. 

Habitica gamified productivity app

Driving positive habits - how to influence behaviour with rewards

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Loyalty programs unlock so much more than points and discounts.

Loyalty programs can be used to create real, positive change. From helping communities, reducing carbon footprints and even encouraging people to achieve their goals. 


Through rewards, gamification, and community engagement, loyalty programs encourage positive behaviours. The examples of OnHand, Starbucks Rewards and Habitica demonstrate just a few of the exciting ways that loyalty can be used to change the world. The possibilities are endless, and we can’t wait to see how loyalty continues to evolve and contribute to a better world…


The best part? Loyalty programs don’t have to be limited to just one cause or industry. Imagine a world where you can incentivise people to make better decisions - whether it’s the food they buy, how they travel or how they serve their community. If you’re interested in making an impact for good, get in touch with us to discuss your loyalty solution today. 

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Helen Walker

Helen Walker

Senior Content Marketing Executive

Helen is our Senior Content Marketing Executive. She shares valuable information about the Future of Loyalty and will keep you up to date on the latest industry insights...

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Customer Engagement
Purpose-driven Marketing
Consumer Trends