Not Just Data: Why General Mills Launched Its First Consumer Loyalty Program

Lisa Johnston
Editor-in-Chief, CGT
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The Good Rewards program will extend offers across all General Mills brands.
The Good Rewards program will extend offers across all General Mills brands.

In launching its first consumer loyalty program, General Mills will not only build up its first-party data library, but the company also sees a path for it to mutually benefit its storied Box Tops for Education program.

General Mills is expanding its partnership with Fetch Rewards for the new Good Rewards loyalty program, offering consumers with members-only access to benefits and exclusive offers for all 45-plus brands in its portfolio. Consumers can accumulate reward points by submitting pictures of retail receipts in the Fetch Apple or Google Play app, with points subsequently redeemed for gift cards, merchandise, and more directly in the app.

General Mills views the program as a win/win scenario with consumers, KC Glaser, senior manager of e-commerce, loyalty, and rewards at the No. 33 consumer goods company, told CGT. Their goal in launching Good Rewards is to help consumers — who are confronted today with a challenging grocery environment — by providing access to their products across all brands.

“From a General Mills perspective, we get to build relationships with these consumers and learn their behavior by diving into this data-rich experience,” he said. “As a result, we’re growing our first-party data library, and we gain category exclusivity, allowing us to own our categories within the app.”

This first-party data will enable General Mills to deliver deeper personalization, as well as raise brand awareness. “When consumers hear General Mills, they typically think one brand or category,” Glaser noted. “We want to remind them that we have so many beloved brands and that each and every one of these brands can earn them rewards.”

[See also: How General Mills Is Extending its Data & Analytics Prowess]

General Mills’ longtime Box Tops for Education program, which also encompasses all of its brands, will remain separate from Good Rewards, with each carrying different business objectives, Glaser said. Founded in 1996, Box Tops enables consumers to earn cash for schools by scanning store receipts with the Box Tops mobile app, or by clipping the box labels and mailing them in.

School earnings have totaled more than $945 million, according to the Box Tops website, and the program is a strong driver of impact as the company thinks about giving back to schools, said Glaser, while Good Rewards is complementary by offering savings to consumers.

With that said, “We do envision a not-so-distant future in which the two programs are helping each other from both an acquisition and an impact perspective,” he noted.  

Fetch Rewards works directly with CPGs, including E.J. Gallo and Reckitt, to provide consumers access to rewards with their purchases. With the partnership, Glaser said General Mills can focus less on user acquisition by leveraging its high-growth platform and built-in audience of 15-plus million monthly active users, and more on user experience.

“Fetch is building a rewards app like no other,” he noted. “It is a high-growth platform with a unique offering for manufacturers.”

This article first appeared on the site of sister publication CGT.

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