FeatApp Report: Success in Bologna

FeatApp takes on Bologna.

The Project

FeatApp’s vision is to promote personal wellbeing by creating a virtual currency for positive behaviour. Combining two important factors of wellbeing, physical activity and proper nutrition, FeatApp offers healthy food rewards in exchange for overall steps taken.

Launched in October of 2015, FeatApp is currently available for download in app stores of all three mobile operating systems: Android, iOS and Windows. It is free for download and integrates directly with Apple Health for iPhones, Google Fit for Androids, and Microsoft Health for Windows Phone to keep track of fitness activities by tracking daily steps. The app profits from integrated step counting in mobile devices and transforms data into virtual coins. For each 500 steps counted, FeatApp awards users one virtual coin. Accumulating 20 coins, participants receive a one euro discount in participating partner food venues. Coins will accumulate for seven days, after which they will then be erased at start back at zero.

To redeem rewards, users enter into participating food venues to find a FeatApp QR on display near the point of purchase that will give them access to a specific code for the retailers at upon checkout.

FeatApp Bologna

From January to August 2016, Feat monitored the activity and impact of Feat users in Bologna. The objective of this Bologna study was to examine the FeatApp concept at a local level to validate the value proposition on a global scale. The eight month project aimed to:

  • Validate the value proposition for users: Are food discounts an appealing and motivating incentive to engage with the FeatApp program system?
  • Show a proof of concept: Is the Feat goal of behavior modification (encouraging physical activity through virtual currency reward system with food) viable? If so, can it be replicated in new segments.
  • Grow a Feat community

The Users

Over the course of eight months, FeatApp received 10,000 downloads in the Bologna area, with 30% logging into the app and therefore becoming users. 64% of users are Female and 36% male, with 98% being Italian. The majority of the users were between 17 and 30 (46%) while 37% of users were 31 to 40. Through surveys with 52 active transaction users and 11 personal interviews, we were able to understand that the typical Feat Bologna user engages in moderate physical activity including everyday walking and occasional running. Some users were decidedly more active, participating in marathons and other more extreme sports. Almost all of the surveyed users were omnivores, not limiting their food choices. In addition, most active users with transactions were in the habit of eating out frequently. The majority were working with a disposable income allocated to eating out, looking especially for quality products and natural ingredients in the food sector.

Participating Food Experiences

Altro: Good food for Feat users

Virtual coins could be used for the purchase of organic smoothies, high-quality meat and vegetarian burgers, salads, soups, fruit and vegetables, organic dark chocolate bars and fruit ice creams at the following local retailers:

Yogurtlandia / Botanica Lab / La Bottega di Silvia / Well Done — Fioravanti/ Well Done — Caprarie / Altro / Oggi Gelato / Stefino / Sorbole / Spicchiricchi

They could also be used in purchasing online with:

Fruttaweb / Mail Corvino / FreeGlu / The Algae Factory

The Results

Over the months active users in Bologna walked over 10 billion steps accounting for 7,140,000 kilometers. They logged a collective 1,428,000 hours of activity and burned an estimated 350,234,136 calories. Over 1,000 transactions took place, with the average transaction amounting to 6 Euro.

Validate the value proposition for users: Are food discounts an appealing and motivating incentive to engage with the FeatApp program system?

10 billion steps. That’s a lot! The engagement of Bologna users in FeatApp was significant, showing that there is interest and demand for the FeatApp proposal. With over 10,000 downloads in the area, FeatApp has reached a large portion of the city’s population, and the 325 recommendations to friends show that FeatApp success is being shared through word of mouth as well.

Users redeemed over 1,000 rewards and giving participating businesses over 6K euro in FeatApp business. Active users made transactions in 12 of the different participating locations. The majority of users took advantage of the rewards at the same location while 21% varied their reward location. Typical users redeemed their rewards every 12 days, showing consistent use around times per month. Even with a limited number of participating businesses, the food discount rewards has proven to be appealing and consistent among users.

Show a proof of concept: Is the Feat goal of behavior modification (encouraging physical activity through virtual currency reward system with food) tractionable and viable? If so, can it be replicated in new segments.

The FeatApp model is meant to be be expandable and adaptable. By launching in a small city and gaining traction within the community, FeatApp’s model has potential to expand or adapt to any environment. In Bologna, users had access to both local and online rewards but the majority of rewards were redeemed in person, showing that the geo-localization aspect is valuable and profitable from a user and food business standpoint. The simple goal of FeatApp (walk, earn, eat well) through an easy-to-use app requires little effort on both the user and participating business. Feat sees the potential for FeatApp to integrate into closed communities (schools, corporate offices, interest groups) as well as expand across boundaries. As the participating business network continues to grow, Feat sees no hindrance in expansion.

Grow a Feat community

10% of active users recommended the app to a friend. This means that already there is potential for Feat to grow and expand its community from the roots. During the Bologna program, Feat engaged in two group events: a walk to San Luca with representatives from La Bottega di Silva, one of the participating food reward partners and a talk at the Well Done Caprarie. An estimated 60 users participated in the two events. In interviews with active users with transactions, there were mentions of using Feat as an accountability measure for physical activity with friends. Users mentioned sharing their results with friends as one of the positive aspects of FeatApp. As Feat gears up to present FeatApp in more public events, we look forward to sharing the FeatApp motivation and growing a community with similar interests well being.

Next Steps

Create a stronger localized community

With 10,000 downloads and 3,290 active users, there is evidently a large community interested in motivational reward systems to increase physical activity. Moving forward, Feat aims to transform this community from exclusively digital to personal through events and meet-ups that would engage the Feat users in a physical community. Feat sees potential to include experiential food rewards into the FeatApp (communal dinners, outings, and experiences) to bring together FeatApp users within the community to increase the socialization among users.

Feat also sees an opportunity to add a competitive or team element (see Feat Summer School report) to further engage users in motivational behavior change and create a sense of togetherness through FeatApp. Because social behavior is also a large part of overall wellness, Feat sees this FeatApp in playing an important role in large and small scale community building. In September, FeatApp will be represented in the 2016 Race for a Cure as well as Bologna Design Week. These events aim to solidify pre-existing Feat community and expand the potential community.

Increase participating food experiences

Moving forward, Feat aims to integrate more venues into the Food Reward system so that coins can be redeemed at a larger variety of places. This will provide further incentive for users to try new places in their geographical area and also give more venues a chance to gain clientele.

Feat also wants to expand the variety of food rewards available so that experiences and products are not limited. Healthy has a wide definition, and Feat wants to be sure to include products that are nutritionally sound but also produced in a way that is artisanal and with care, hoping to give exposure to small scale vendors that may need new clients.

Conclusion

FeatApp is a valuable and viable product that can be integrated on every level. There are opportunities to strengthen user experience across the app and to expand the rewards system for high user usage rates. However, it’s evident from the consistent use of users with transactions that goals of FeatApp are being accomplished. Now there is a need a to continue to engage users, creating a strong Feat community and continuing to spread enthusiasm for personal wellbeing through physical activity and positive food rewards.

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