Blood donation 26.01.15

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With numbers of young donors falling, the NHS needs new ways to connect to its supply base. Time for a shot in the arm, says Studio Output ...

Giving blood is one of the most positive things we can do, but the UK relies on just 4 per cent of citizens who do so regularly. Some 200,000 new donors are needed each year, and the number of young donors is dropping. Stocks are often perilously low – on average, there is only supply for seven days' regular use.

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The app uses a timeline, counters and targets in a similar way to a fitness tracker

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) has made great efforts to improve the donation process, with a smartphone app, online booking and SMS reminders. It also runs fantastic campaigns, temporarily boosting donor numbers, yet it struggles to incentivise recruits to keep going.

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The logo and colour palette build on current NHSBT imagery

Of course, in an ideal world the only reward required for donating would be a sense of achievement and wellbeing. Currently, only landmark donations are acknowledged with understated certificates and badges. But the pace of today's world means people often expect recognition of their actions. Could we make blood the ultimate social currency?


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Studio Output


Image above: Social media is used to give rewards and recognition

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The pace of today's world means people often expect recognition of their actions

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We're proposing a new sub-brand to sit within the NHSBT family. Life Blood functions like a fitness-tracking app, recording donations and collecting "counters" that contribute to your "blood count". These can be saved up for big-ticket experiences, or cashed in quicker for exclusive merchandise and everyday items. The app would be available to all donors, but geared towards younger users, encouraging them over the early hurdles.

To make this possible, we'll need commercial partners who understand the corporate social responsibility (CSR) value of a visible association with a strong and positive brand. We read a lot about how the best brands "surprise and delight" their users.

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Commercial partners can boost their CSR ratings by offering rewards and forging a visible connection with the brand

By setting a target reward, Life Blood can delight new donors. Saving up for tickets to a sporting event would be even more attractive if Puma provided access to the players afterwards. And, as users build up their blood count, the app can surprise them with everyday rewards – such as a free sandwich from Pret A Manger if they've posted about the benefits of giving blood.

Also, by linking the back end of the app to the booking system, quieter periods can be made more attractive by boosting the amount of counters earned, developing a kind of "exchange rate" based on demand.

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