Prize Auctions a Big Hit with CARROT Users

“I’ve got thirty, do I hear thirty-one?”

CARROT recently introduced a new feature that allows participants to use the currencies they’ve earned for walking to compete in live, 60-second auctions to win digital gift cards and other prizes.

The feature has been a resounding hit with as many as 2,500 bids submitted by users on certain days.

“Thanks for starting the auctions. I’ve won a $5 Starbucks and a $10 Kohl’s so far! I find myself making sure I make my goal more than ever, because I want to make sure I have enough for the next auction. Keep it up!” said Lori L., a CARROT participant since 2017.

“Thirty going once… “

“We’re always looking for ways to improve each user’s experience,” said CARROT Founder and CEO Michael Antaran. “By giving the participants a new, fun way to user their CARROT Coins and Reward Points, we were certain it would improve engagement – and it has definitely done that.”

Auctions available to all Premium Members are held each weekday with four-to-eight prizes up for bid at various times. Digital gift cards to Amazon, Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Panera Bread and many others are typical prizes. Shinola Detroit has sponsored a number of $25 gift cards as well.

CARROT’s development staff has just finished testing an update that will allow all CARROT clients to host reward auctions exclusively for their members. Beaumont Health, for example, will begin making its rewards available in the form of auction prizes to those who are enrolled in the “Beaumont Gets Walking” community health initiative on CARROT.

“Thirty going twice… “

Making rewards available through CARROT’s unique auction format, rather than simply listing them as “for-purchase rewards” on the app, provides many advantages:

  • More total rewards can be offered, and future prizes can be visible weeks in advance – increasing motivation with more “dangling carrots” available.

  • A countdown clock on each item lets participants know when that auction will start, so they never miss out on an opportunity.

  • Using the new auction filter, participants can view the prizes they “Like” as well as the ones requiring CARROT Coins or Reward Points.

  • It’s super convenient: the instant auctions happen in real time and are normally completed in a matter of minutes.

  • Only the winning bidder loses their currency – if a user is outbid for an item, they still keep ALL of their CARROT currency!

  • If a participant misses out on an auction, no worries – new prizes (and chances to win) are right around the corner!

Prizes are visible on the CARROT Wellness app under the “Auction” tab. Please be sure to check there frequently as new prizes are added regularly.

“SOLD – to another lucky CARROT user!!”

The app is a free download on the Apple and Google Play Stores and can be found by searching “carrot wellness”, or by following this link: http://onelink.to/carrot.

More information is available at http://carrotwellness.com.


“Closest Thing to a Wonder Drug”

According to Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this is "the closest thing we have to a wonder drug”.

He’s talking about (drum roll, please)… walking.

Yes, walking, that most basic physical activity. Thanks to social media, the very first steps taken by pretty much every young tot seem to be shared with the world. From that moment on, walking becomes (and continues to be) a critical, fundamental activity for a lifetime.  

That’s why walking is generally accepted to be foundational to good health. And according to the Harvard Medical School, there are five particular benefits to walking that you may find surprising:

1. Walking counteracts the effects of weight-promoting genes.
Harvard researchers looked at 32 obesity-promoting genes in over 12,000 people and discovered that, among the study participants who walked briskly for about an hour a day, the effects of those genes were cut in half.

2. Walking helps tame a sweet tooth.
A pair of studies from the University of Exeter found that a 15-minute walk can curb cravings for chocolate and even reduce the amount of chocolate you eat in stressful situations.

3. Walking reduces the risk of developing breast cancer.
An American Cancer Society study found that women who walked seven or more hours a week had a 14% lower risk of breast cancer than those who walked three hours or fewer per week. And walking provided this protection even for the women with breast cancer risk factors.

4. Walking eases joint pain.
Several studies have found that walking reduces arthritis-related pain, and that walking five to six miles a week can even prevent arthritis from forming in the first place. Walking protects the joints — especially the knees and hips, which are most susceptible to osteoarthritis — by lubricating them and strengthening the muscles that support them.

5. Walking boosts immune function.
A study of over 1,000 men and women found that those who walked at least 20 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week, had 43% fewer sick days than those who exercised once a week or less. And if they did get sick, it was for a shorter duration, and their symptoms were milder.

Our takeaway: get out and take those #CARROTsteps today!


Source: http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/5-surprising-benefits-of-walking

Is Your Wellness Program Hitting the Mark?

Are the employees in your company truly happy with its wellness program? And is that wellness program easy for the company to manage and deliver?

Unless the answer to each question is “yes”, a new wellness solution is probably needed.

According to a recent article (“Wellness trends raise eyebrows in 2016” by Heather Caspiin) at HealthcareDive.com, many wellness initiatives – despite a greater commitment in resources and financial incentives – fail to hit the mark.

"It isn’t just about driving (or even forcing) more participation, but rather about facilitating smarter interactions that are targeted, timely, relevant, etc. to engage the consumer and influence their behavior,” said Steve Auerbach, CEO of Alegeus, which provides consumer directed healthcare solutions.

From the perspective of a benefits delivery provider, “We see growing complexity as employers use a variety of incentives to include premium variations and different plan designs (deductibles, coinsurance, etc.) for different levels of participation,” Eric Helman, chief strategy officer at Hodges Mace, added. “While we have seen these tactics raise participation, they can also contribute to employee dissatisfaction and administrative complexity when the benefits delivery platform is not up to the task.”

Most wellness programs would love to say that they are designed to be simple and easy-to-use for both the participant and program manager; In reality, CARROT Health & Wellness is one of the few that can make that claim.

The entire program is managed through the CARROT Pass app, giving the employer complete control of incentives which can be created, updated and deleted at any time. For participants, CARROT couldn’t be more convenient – the program in conducted exclusively on the user’s smartphone. Participants can monitor their activity progress on a specially-designed “Activity” tab, and all rewards are redeemed directly on CARROT. Additionally, there are no reporting requirement for participants – aggregated steps and redemption data are shared with the employer seamlessly through the app.

More information about CARROT Health & Wellness is available at www.carrotpass.com/wellness.

To read the article, visit http://www.healthcaredive.com/news/wellness-trends-raise-eyebrows-in-2016/413206/.


Our Latest Carrot Version Truly Drives Activity, Healthy Behaviors

When CARROT first launched in December 2014, it was hailed as an innovative tool to help connect shoppers with small businesses. And while that functionality is still very much in place, it has grown into what is now the most unique and dynamic Fitness Rewards program available.

After a series of updates that included the creation of a personalized activity goal for each user, CARROT now boasts features that promise to change the role smartphones play in motivating people to be more active. Most of the new features were created to support the new CARROT Health & Wellness program, including:

Our new Goal Coin. You will want to earn these!

Our new Goal Coin. You will want to earn these!

  • The introduction of a new CARROT currency – “Goal Coins” – which allows companies to reward employees for meeting personalized activity goals. Employees earn one Goal Coin each time they meet their daily steps goal.

  • A company-branded “Rewards Center” where employers participating in a CARROT Health & Wellness can post exclusive incentives for its staff – and this special tab would ONLY be available to the company’s employees. Goal Coins, as well as CARROT Reward Points, may be used to purchase these special rewards which are available directly on the CARROT app.

  • An improved “Activity” area when users can monitor their personalized steps goal and track their daily progress.

  • Thanks to a new “JOIN WELLNESS” button, employees have the ability to link seamlessly with their company’s established CARROT Health & Wellness program.

CARROT also includes a new “Featured” tab where businesses, regardless of location, can advertise special offers to reward all CARROT users. CARROT has also streamlined the process for businesses interested in joining the CARROT Merchant Network or posting an offer.

To learn more about CARROT, please visit www.carrotpass.com or contact the CARROT Team.


Long Term Wellness, or just Fit for a Bit?

The City of Huntingburg, Indiana, has committed to a Fitbit-only wellness program for its employees1 – is it a good idea?

Target recently made a bold statement about the importance of wellness by offering Fitbits to its 335,000 employees2 – is the money well spent?

Encouraging your employees to live a healthier lifestyle makes sense on many levels – but if the goal is to cost-effectively engage employees on a long-term basis, is it wise to push a program that uses a single device?

The answer to all three questions: no.

Consider that these Fitbit-only programs require the wearers of other activity trackers to abandon the devices they’ve already purchased, use and trust – and that population is significant. Yes, Fitbit is the industry leader when it comes to activity trackers, but it far from dominates the marketplace. In fact, during Q2 2015, it accounted for just 24% of device sales while Apple iWatch (20%) and Xiaomi (17%) were second and third, respectively.3  With a Fitbit-only program, many people, clearly, will be asked to give up their own preferred devices. Is this the best way to ensure long-term compliance?

Consider also that, even among those who have gone to the expense of purchasing a Fitbit, many give up using them.  According to research by Rock Health, “more than 70% of Fitbit purchasers from the first three quarters of 2014 churned before the end of the year.” 4  Essentially, interest and motivation wanes – and more than two-thirds of Fitbit users give up using what they once believed was beneficial.

Likewise, research by consulting firm Endeavour Partners found that one-third of consumers who own a “modern activity tracker” (which they described as devices similar to Jawbone, Fitbit, Nike, and Misfit) stopped using it within six months.5

Given these statistics, will the allure of a $25 gift card every three months be enough to keep employees engaged? Probably not.

The bottom line: wouldn’t it be better to have a health and wellness program that allows participants to use the device of their choice?  Better yet, wouldn’t it be better to have a program that requires NO ADDITIONAL DEVICE AT ALL – a program that simply uses the participant’s smartphone?

Just such a program was recently developed in Michigan. Because of its unique mix of technologies and program strategies, purchasing additional hardware isn’t required, although data from tracking devices can be used.

In the “CARROT Health & Wellness Program”, participants who download the free app are given a personalized activity goal based on the participant’s own activity history.  This allows the employee to be rewarded, not for achieving an arbitrarily-assigned target (does 10,000 steps sound familiar?), but for meeting their own personalized goal.  

Through a company-branded Rewards Center on the app, employees then receive exclusive rewards for meeting their personalized activity goals. The Rewards Center is only accessible to the company’s employees. All of this takes place on the participant’s phone.

To celebrate accomplishments and encourage continued progress, CARROT sends automated messages directly to the participants’ lock screens. The CARROT program also involves local businesses who are given the opportunity to provide additional discounts and special offers to participants.

Rather than a “one-size-fits-all” program which typically only engages the healthiest members of a population (10,000 steps, remember?), CARROT’s individualized approach incentivizes and benefits all participants.  And it’s all done, solely, on the participant’s phone.

No extra device needed.

The CARROT app is available on the iTunes and Google Play stores (search “CARROT PASS”). Information about CARROT Health & Wellness can be found at http://www.carrotpass.com/wellness.


Sources:  1  http://www.duboiscountyfreepress.com/fit-by-bit-activity-trackers-cut-citys-healthcare-costs/;  2 http://blog.wellable.co/2015/09/21/target-offers-fitbits-to-335000-employees-ignores-byod/; 3 http://blog.wellable.co/2015/08/31/q2-wearable-shipments-fitbit-24-apple-20-and-xiaomi-17-lead-pack/; 4 http://rockhealth.com/deconstructing-fitbit-s-1/ ;  5 http://mobihealthnews.com/31697/survey-one-third-of-wearable-device-owners-stopped-using-them-within-six-months/



FORE!!! Look for CARROT on the Links!

CARROT iBeacons can be found in any number of places at the Cattails Golf Club in South Lyon, Michigan.

CARROT iBeacons can be found in any number of places at the Cattails Golf Club in South Lyon, Michigan.

Late this past summer, Cattails Golf Club in South Lyon became the first golf course to utilize CARROT as a tool to reward customer loyalty and generate increased business.

“Most new golf course apps use GPS which really drains battery life,” said CARROT Founder & CEO Michael Antaran. “CARROT’s use of low-energy Bluetooth combined with its other technologies gives golfers a better and more-reliable experience – and you won’t have to worry about recharging your phone at the turn!”

CARROT Beacons are placed strategically throughout the grounds, allowing Cattails to provide golfers with a digital course book, discounts at the pro shop and grille, loyalty rewards, and the ability to streamline food and beverage purchases on the course. Additionally, new features will be added before play begins in 2016 to give Cattails customers the best experience possible – all because they downloaded the free CARROT app!