Vitality | Inside Scoop

Welcome to the tenth edition of the Gamification Insider Inside Scoop!

What is the Inside Scoop?

A monthly deep-dive into an organisation, product or service and how they are using gamification in their business.

We’ll talk about the specific gamification techniques used, explain what they are, why we think that business is using them and give you some ideas as to how those tools can be used by small businesses.

This issue of the Inside Scoop will be discussed in more detail at our monthly Codebreaker Club, available to Codebreaker level members and higher at 7pm on 19th June 2024. 


Vitality is described on Google as: “a United Kingdom-based company offering private health insurance and life insurance to the UK market.”

They describe themselves slightly differently though; “We’re all about keeping you healthy and happy. That’s why we offer health insurance and life insurance that reward you for making positive lifestyle choices.”

I am a Vitality member and I love that I can exercise, meditate, or visit the dentist (and more!) and as a reward for my action I can get discounts on products and services or reduce the cost of my insurance.

Fitness brands are well known for using gamification, so it makes sense that a health insurance company would use gamification too. Let’s look at some of what they’re doing… 

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Points | Gamification technique 1.

Wait? Didn’t we cover this in a previous Inside Scoop? Yep! There will sometimes be repeats in the Inside Scoop as organisations use the same techniques. It’s always a good thing to see more examples of how different businesses use the same technique, or how they use it differently. Here’s a refresher:

Points noun (GAME)- The Cambridge Dictionary Definition: a unit used for showing who is winning in a game or competition:

Points are often paired with the gamification technique of rewards within gamified systems to encourage people to take action. A system will be developed to decide how much a point is worth both in terms of actions taken to earn the point and also what that point can be spent on. Points can be called different things like tokens or credits, but they are essentially the same thing; a game mechanic used to quantify the value of actions. 

Where do you see Points in the game world?

In some video games amassing points may allow you to purchase extra lives, equipment, access to new areas and more. In some board games, you may need to achieve a certain number of points to win the game. In sports, rewards for actions are usually points on the board, which lead to winning or losing.

How does Vitality use Points and why?

Vitality encourages their members to stay healthy using points. By completing certain levels of exercise you earn points. You can also earn points through completing an online health review, declaring that you are a non-smoker, submitting results such as blood pressure, cholesterol, meditating, eating well and having regular checkups for your teeth, eyes and more.

Points can be exchanged for rewards and if you earn enough points you can lower your premium too.

But why on earth would they offer this?

The healthier their customers are, the less likely they are to make an insurance claim. They are using gamification to reduce their outgoings, or increase their profits depending on how you look at it. Regardless, this directly affects their bottom line. 

Is the technique of Points something you could apply to your business?

Consider the examples included in the Inside Scoop about Litter Lotto.

You can use points like many businesses do in a loyalty scheme. Award customers points for purchases (maybe 1 point per £1 they spend), award them points for referrals and more. Think about what actions you want your customers to take and reward them for that. Some people argue that loyalty schemes aren’t real gamification, but they are a great way to use points, so I’m including this example here!

To motivate yourself you could adapt what Vitality is doing. Give yourself a number of points to work towards each week on something you’re procrastinating on. Assign points for different actions and then reward yourself for different amounts of points achieved each week, month or quarter. You could easily do this in a team too!

We’ll discuss more ideas in this month’s Codebreaker Club. 

Rewards | Gamification technique 2.

Wait? Didn’t we cover this in a previous Inside Scoop? Yep! There will sometimes be repeats in the Inside Scoop as organisations use the same techniques. It’s always a good thing to see more examples of how different businesses use the same technique, or how they use it differently. Here’s a refresher:

Rewards are incentives or prizes which can be used to motivate or increase engagement. Rewards can be very expensive or cost nothing but time. Different people will find different types of rewards motivating and something that motivates one person might be de-motivating to others.

An example of where I have used rewards to motivate myself was when I completed the London To Brighton charity bike ride. For context; I hate cycling, I find it difficult and quite painful. I’m not designed for it. There were gale-force winds, hailstones and torrential rain and I didn’t want to be there. To top it all off, all of my friends had dropped out, so I was doing it alone with thousands of strangers.

Once the weather turned, I was freezing and my shoes were full of water. I had to find ways to convince my brain to keep going. To motivate myself I simply told myself that once I got to the next planned break stop I could have a hot chocolate and then make a decision about whether or not to continue to the next planned break stop and so on. The hot chocolate was free, it didn’t cost me anything. I used free rewards to help me to complete the race. 

Where do you see Rewards in the game world?

Rewards are highly prevalent in the game world. Many video games feature Experience Points (XP) as a reward for completing tasks, defeating enemies or reaching goals. Sometimes they can be exchanged for items, or skills or used to level up. In board games, you may find that when you achieve something you gain resources, special abilities, cards or tokens as a reward, which usually help you to progress in the game. In sports rewards for actions are usually points on the board, which lead to winning or losing.

How does Vitality use Rewards and why?

As we’ve already mentioned, Vitality has paired the gamification technique of points with rewards. The more points you earn the better rewards you are eligible for.

Why are they doing this? Two reasons.

The first is as mentioned above for points; If people are working towards healthier lifestyles to earn rewards, they will be less likely to make an insurance claim; which reduces their overheads as a company.

The second reason is that some of the rewards are money off vouchers with their partner brands. Assuming that Vitality gets some sort of kickback as an affiliate for any purchases made with those brands, this is revenue generation for them too.

Is the technique of Rewards something you could apply to your business?

We’ve covered rewards before. Make sure to check out the previous Inside Scoops about Litter Lotto, the NHS Blood donation service and Amazon shopping for more ideas on using rewards in your business.

I like how Vitality has taken a different approach to rewards and points, giving people the autonomy to choose what they want to use their points towards. A bit like earning tokens at the arcade and picking your prize from everything on display behind the counter. There are plenty of options too; you can use them for leisure activities, for equipment, for discounts and if you earn enough you can use your points to reduce the price of your insurance.

You can apply this when rewarding yourself or anyone else in your business. Give choices for what points can be spent on, and include options that are a bit different to the norm. For example, instead of rewarding your team with a pizza night, maybe offer them an afternoon off instead, if they prefer. For rewarding yourself, if you earn enough points maybe reward yourself with a networking event or something else that will help you to achieve your goals.

If you can; take a leaf from Vitality’s book and align the rewards with what you are trying to achieve. 

If you intend to use this kind of technique in your business please do so ethically; with the intention of gamification that benefits the end user and their wants/needs (be that your audience, students, members, customers, whoever) as well as your business objectives.

Exclusivity | Gamification technique 3.

Exclusivity noun – The Cambridge Dictionary Definition: the right to have or do something that is limited to only one person or organisation.

Exclusivity is a gamification technique that can work well to drive sales, encourage attendance, keep customers loyal and more. If your business provides something that is only available to a certain number of people, or for a certain amount of time, it can make it much more desirable.

Lots of businesses use the concept of exclusivity to charge more; think VIP areas in clubs, members lounges in airports and exclusive member-only perks. Other businesses may give access to exclusive content or discounts based on actions, to encourage certain behaviours.

This technique is very versatile! 

Where do you see Exclusivity in the game world?

Games might be released exclusively on one platform or console; encouraging more people to sign up to that platform or purchase that console. If you preorder a game, you may be eligible for exclusive content or early access. Some video games embed exclusive content for gamers that reach certain levels, play on certain days, or take part in special events. A common exclusivity mechanic used in games is what’s known as an easter egg; something that is hidden in a game that only certain people will find. Some people invest a lot of time and effort hunting for easter eggs!

How does Vitality use Exclusivity and why?

Vitality offers exclusive access to some very big sporting events and chances to win money-can’t buy experiences, but only to their members. For some of their members, these exclusive offers will be enough to stop them swapping to a different insurance provider. Vitality are using exclusivity to keep their members for longer. Clever!

Is the technique of Exclusivity something you could apply to your business?

To reiterate the ideas above, this technique is really versatile. Think about what you want to use it for; to generate more revenue, offer an add-on that you can charge more for, retain existing customers, drive more people to attend things live or perhaps something else and then decide how you can add an exclusive offer, discount or perk to meet that objective!

To motivate yourself with the technique of exclusivity, pair it with rewards to motivate yourself to achieve certain things. Rewarding yourself with something that is a bit more expensive than you’d usually go for, or is time-limited if you need to get something done by a deadline! 

Prize draws | Gamification technique 4.

A prize draw is what it says on the tin. People can enter for the chance to win a prize. The conditions of entry can be extremely varied, the prize or prizes can vary too, but the idea is the same! A prize draw is different to other styles of competition, as you don’t necessarily have to achieve anything or compete with anyone to take part. In some prize draws you can simply say you wish to take part and that’s enough. 

Where do you see Prize Draws in the game world?

Some video games will hold prize draws where players gain an entry by playing during a certain time period. Other games will give prize draw entries for logging in on consecutive days and building up streaks leads to more prize draw entries. .

How does Vitality use Prize Draws and why?

Vitality offers prize draws for their members to win tickets to sports events or exclusive money-can’t-buy experiences. To enter, members simply have to say they want to take part. As a member this month I’ve been emailed a chance to win tickets for some big cricket events, there are 120 tickets up for grabs and I just selected the one I was interested in from a drop down menu. It couldn’t have been easier!

Why are they doing this? For the same reason they are offering exclusivity to their members, to keep them as customers for longer. Customer retention is the main reason, alongside promoting their sponsorship partners. 

Is Prize Draws something you could apply to your business?

Important note: Every country has different rules about prize draws and gambling, and different social media platforms do too, so if you’re going to run a prize draw please check the legalities first.

You can use prize draws as part of your social media promotions to encourage people to follow you, engage with your content, share your content and more. Decide what you want to achieve by using the prize draw, don’t ask people to do too many things and check the rules of the platform first!

Prize draws can also be incorporated into memberships, free challenges, online courses, affiliate launches and more to motivate people to do all sorts of things! They can also be used to motivate your teams to achieve too.

We’ll discuss more ideas in this month’s Codebreaker Club. 

Time to wrap this up!

Time to wrap this up! We’ve covered a lot in this issue. A deep-dive into Vitality and some of the gamification techniques they’ve used to increase revenue, reduce overheads and increase loyalty for improved customer retention.

We’ve covered four gamification techniques; points, rewards, exclusivity and prize draws.

We’ve also given you some ideas of how you could implement these in your business.

We will be discussing these techniques in more depth and workshopping how you could apply them in your business in the Codebreaker Club on Weds 19th June at 7pm. 

In pursuit of truth,
Kimba 🔍 

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