The Appreci app is the modern greeting card, creating a convenient and useful way to show gratitude for daily acts of kindness.
Expressions of gratitude are displayed for a variety of reasons: babysitting the kids, shouting Uber Eats for a friend, or thanking a staff member for putting in extra hours before a deadline.
Studies have found that those who write and personally deliver a letter of gratitude to someone have seen higher happiness scores, with benefits lasting up to a month.
Craig Mair, Managing Director of Appreci, tells BeanScene that while it’s important to demonstrate gratitude, the way it’s being communicated is changing, with Hallmark cards a thing ofthe past.
“We make 30,000 decisions a day. You get to the end of the day and the last thing you want to do is to send a greeting card to someone. It doesn’t fit into the flow of life,” Craig says.
What does, however, are electronic expressions of thanks. One such company tapping into this market is Appreci, with an app that provides a platform to send tokens of gratitude to friends, family, and co- workers, all from the palm of your hand. With Appreci, people can send a “thanks” to someone and it can be redeemed for a coffee or two at a growing network of participating cafés across the country, such as Pablo & Rusty’s Coffee Roasters and Di Bella flagship cafés.
“Appreci sits on your phone, it’s free to download, and easy to use. Right there, in the moment that you’re grateful for something, you can send someone a token of thanks in a couple of clicks. The receiver instantly receives a notification and can go to an activated café to grab a cup of coffee.”
The app contributes to the idea of the gratitude economy, where people yearn to feel and connect with others on a deeper level. “Consumer behaviour is shifting. Experiences are going to be replaced with things that make us feel,” Craig says.
“You can make someone feel really, really happy by sending them a gesture of gratitude which, in a very natural way, is a cup of coffee. It’s something that we all enjoy every day. It binds us across nationalities and geographies, and symbolises the value of being recognised and appreciated.”
Another aspect of the gratitude economy is a conscious attempt to drive users away from their screens to have more face-to-face interaction.
“We work hard to minimise time on the screen, to push people out to the coffee shop to connect with a friend. Using the technology as a vehicle to transmit something is innately human,” Craig says.
By giving through Appreci instead of a gift card, recipients have more flexibility regarding their drink choices. The monetary value is also separated from the reward. Rather, the true gift lies in the sender’s gratitude.
“It’s about meaning and purpose, not about the dollars. You would never hand a co-worker a few $2 coins to thank them for working hard over the weekend – that would be awkward. Sending an Appreci focuses on the intent of gratitude, not the cost of the action,” Craig says.
For cafés, there are no upfront costs to participate in the program and join the growing network. They just need to sign up online and then they will receive a QR code to display on the counter. Recipients of an Appreci can then come into the café to redeem their coffee or tea.
“We’re not asking cafés to discount their prices. We pay industry average and even a little more,” Craig says.
“We drive grateful consumers to your door. People who come in to grab a cup of coffee are much more likely to walk out with a higher spend.”
In the medium to long-term, Appreci hopes to provide targeted marketing services by driving consumers towards coffee shops for promotions or during non-peak hours. Appreci also hopes to provide data on consumer behaviour trends to coffee shops. Appreci is on track to gain 120,000 daily users by March 2020, with more than 100 activated cafés. The goal is to activate every café in Australia so that Appreci can be redeemed anywhere by anyone in their favourite coffee shop.
“Coffee is an international symbol of human connectivity. It doesn’t matter what language you speak. It doesn’t matter which part of the world you’re from, you know that if you sit down with someone you’ve never met before over a cup of coffee, you can connect with them instantly,” Craig says.