An Emerging Communication Tool
By Yvonne Chung & Jessica Louie

Live active. Post it online. Earn real-life rewards.

Imagine after an intense yoga session, you post your recent accomplishment online. You are then rewarded with a buzz of high-fives from your friends and an incredible discount on workout gear! With LifeKraze, this is possible and it will revolutionize how you stay active and healthy.

Whether its overcoming nicotine addiction or staying fit, LifeKraze is the perfect tool to stay motivated. It is a digital motivation platform that uses a competitive point system to allow people to share their personal accomplishments and earn tangible rewards. It is similar to Twitter but users earn real-life rewards catered to their active lifestyle by posting and sharing. Users respond to the question "What have you done?" with 160-character posts, to which they can attach links, pictures, and videos. Followers then view those posts and award them with Kraze Points in varying amounts, depending on the scale of the achievement. As points are collected, users can rank themselves amongst peers and redeem them for discounts and products from sponsoring companies who share LifeKraze’s vision of facilitating healthy lifestyles.

If Twitter is what you say, and Facebook is who you are, LifeKraze is what you do.

Step by Step on how it works:

1) Share Accomplishments - on site/mobile app
2) Encourage Others
3) Earn Kraze Points
4) Redeem Points for real life prizes - lifestyle products (like The North Face) or convertible into donations to charities (like DonorsChoose).

Why LifeKraze is THE emerging communication tool

Uses social media for good

LifeKraze is the first digital network to use the reach of social media as a tool to grow communities,  empower people, and essentially do good. By encouraging users to log and share their activities, it fosters a deep sense of community and personal investment. It changes the way how to achieve goals and battle through struggles because there is a community with like-interests going through the same challenges and rooting for you. Rewards coincide with a user’s lifestyle which further reinforces positive activity. The virtual encouragement is so vital that users have reported successfully reaching lifetime goals - from being completely sedentary to running half marathons! It’s all about peer encouragement. By investing in the success of others, they in turn invest in you.

“We believe social media can be a tool to make the world a better place” -  CEO Ben Wagner  

Goes beyond digital (way beyond)
LifeKraze is the ultimate interplay between the digital and real worlds. It spearheads the future of all social networks in bridging the gap even closer, leading this digital trend. With LifeKraze, communities are built online but can directly affect the individuals in taking the motivation outside and changing their own lives. After doing physical activities, users engage within a digital network, which in turn provides the opportunity to earn real life prizes. This encourages users to find a balance. LifeKraze takes digital content and directly translates it to benefits in the real world. It’s the perfect complement.  

Rewards people for living a healthy and active lifestyle
Because aside from the love of a mom, who really does that?

More Background Info

LifeKraze is a privately owned company founded in April 2010 and based in Chattanooga, TN. With an initial $250,000 from founders, friends and advisory-board members, the company subsequently raised $1.25 million from 68 Angel investors building the company to where it is today with nine employees in total. LifeKraze is able to sustain itself as a free platform for users due to the support from their current sponsors such as The North Face, O'Neill, Skullcandy and Men's Health. With an estimated 22,000 users, LK is growing into a widely valued and innovative motivational communicational tool. Last year, twelve Olympic athletes used and endorsed LifeKraze as a site that helped motivate themselves during the international competition.

No wonder in 2011, LifeKraze was recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the 100 Brilliant Companies of the year!

External Trends & Market Factors

Health and Wellness Trend
There is a huge consumer trend of staying active and living healthy. Brands such as Lululemon is successfully cultivating a culture based on embodying a fit lifestyle and a feel-good philosophy. Health and fitness leaders reveal that this year’s trends such as the end of energy drinks and making healthy normal will be accompanied by technology and personal wellness. This surge in health trend is exemplified by popular cultural memes that circulate on the web. For example,  “Do You Even Lift?" is a condescending expression used in social media to sarcastically question the legitimacy of someone's fitness, reflecting a cultural health trend to stay active.

Although many individuals understand the importance of exercise, they are often not motivated enough to make it part of their everyday routine. In 2013, there is a greater use of smartphone apps to track personal health and fitness. About 38% of the health apps that smartphone users download are fitness-based - and that number is only going to get bigger! The fitness apps market will grow to $40 million by 2016, up from just $12 million in 2010. This clearly shows the demand in the market for digital tools that support fitness and the potential for LifeKraze to grow. Although apps track the progress of fitness, there is no tool that combines this aspect with a community for motivation and a tangible reward system. LifeKraze fills this very gap.  

Online Deals
With the North American economy in the rough and e-commerce booming, it is a no brainer that group buying for deals (Groupon, LivingSocial, TeamBuy) and online marketplaces are a growing phenomenon. For some, it has led to price sensitivity that questions paying full retail price. Shoppers are increasingly looking for ways to save money and are turning to the internet to compare prices and hunt for bargains.

LifeKraze present users with custom deals catered to their lifestyle. They can accrue significant discounts on products that is automatically introduced in their social feed. Because they had to work for this, it makes it much more rewarding to save!

Complementing Tools in the Marketing Communication Mix

Target audiences that would use LifeKraze are those who believe they live a healthy and active lifestyle and those who are pursuing one. Brands who appeal to this market can be part of the LifeKraze reward system by offering their products/services in discounts for users to redeem. The rewards tab in the LifeKraze interface displays all partnering brands and their respective rewards in accordance with a user’s level of points. This exposure is prime for brands who want to build awareness among their target audience. By associating with LifeKraze, it adds credibility to their efforts in helping that individual succeed their health and fitness goals, creating a link in using their product/service to get there. Brands are seen as having less of an “advertising intent” and more “earned media,” as LifeKraze prides itself on social good. This means, LifeKraze makes it easier for brands to move their consumers from one stage of the hierarchy of effect model to another.

More specifically, here are brand communication objectives that would be achieved by promoting on LifeKraze:

  • Increase in brand awareness
  • Enhancement of brand image as a good tool for your lifestyle
  • Increase of trial level among non-users

The strongest marketing tool that LifeKraze complements is sales promotions. The entire promotional platform of LifeKraze is based on brands offering great discounts to users as rewards. When users click on the reward, it leads them to a full page of the organization and more information of its current offerings and how to redeem, like a virtual storefront.

LifeKraze allow users to sync their Facebook and Twitter accounts. It uses the networks from these social sites to help find friends easily. Although there is currently no option to share your LifeKraze accomplishments on these social sites, there is a high chance this will soon be added to adapt to market norms.  

Risks & Barriers for Adoption

Many dominant social networks
As social is king, there are dominant social networks that many users are on, most notably Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Both brands and consumers may feel they already have many profiles and accounts and it is a burden to update another platform with their stories.

Too similar to Twitter
LifeKraze is essentially like Twitter (micro-blogging, hashtagging, following), but with real life rewards and a motivation of social good. It has other features like the ability to sort hashtags and create different feeds. However, Twitter users may feel the premise is too similar and are unwilling to adopt.

Low user retention rate
Because LifeKraze is oriented towards a healthy lifestyle, users may jump on board earlier on and not follow through (like all new years resolutions). Unlike Twitter, LifeKraze is more focused on your personal accomplishments, rather than random thoughts (they have a separate section for that). In short, LifeKraze may not garner enough usage/retention since its heavily based on user accomplishment. This makes it unattractive for brands to adopt this tool as a source of communication.

Nike + LifeKraze

The Perfect Complement

Nike is a perfect example of a brand whose target customers would be on LifeKraze. Nike can leverage this to execute their marketing. Nike can create a rewards page that has a description of the discounted product, allowing users to click "I Want It" to redeem their points, or click “subscribe” and be notified about future products and brand updates. This sales promotion placement will motivate users to continue earning points, thus feeding the cycle of brand engagement.

Another creative use of LifeKraze is through virtual encouragement. Like Twitter, companies can make profiles to further engage with users. Nike can be part of conversations and communicate with their customers. LifeKraze has unique functions such as sending high fives, comments, as well as daily points to spend on rewarding users. Nike trends such as #makeitcount and #nikefuel have recently been used on LifeKraze statuses to endorse personal accomplishments that are achieved through the use of Nike products or taglines. Nike can enter into these conversations. Not only can they track tags such as #makeitcount, #nikefuel, #nike, but Nike can reward, high five, and comment users for mentioning their brand in their personal accomplishments. As mentioned before, brands on LifeKraze are considered as earned media as it is not overtly sales-oriented but uses a more subdued approach. In this way, Nike acts as an equal member of the community, making its marketing efforts more relevant and effective.

Every day users are allocated 300 points to distribute among friends and followers. How encouraged would you be if you were given 10 points by Nike for running 10k today with your #nikerunners and using your #nikefuel bracelet?



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