Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Loyalty Cards For Wrinkles

Just a great idea..Combine recurring theme and higher income clientele.

From Wall Street Journal

A New Wrinkle in Rewards Programs

Restylane, Botox Offer
Incentives for Loyal Patients;
Some Raise Ethics Concerns
March 2, 2005; Page D1

Customer-loyalty programs have long been used to encourage frequent airline travel, hotel stays and credit-card use. Now rewards programs are targeting a new area: your face.

The latest "frequent-flier" plan comes from Medicis Pharmaceuticals Corp., maker of the anti-wrinkle skin filler Restylane. The pharmaceutical company has started an online rewards program to spur beauty-minded consumers to get regular treatments. The program, launched last month, is designed to encourage injections every six months by offering gifts that escalate in value with each subsequent appointment -- adding up to $375 after the fourth follow-up visit.

Restylane, which generally costs $500-$750 per treatment, wears off after about six months. So Medicis says the program aims to keep customers on track to maintain their "corrected look."

Medicis joins a small but growing list of pharmaceutical companies using promotions and sales gimmicks to boost lifestyle drugs and medical treatments. Last year, Pfizer Inc. launched a "value card" for its erectile dysfunction drug Viagra, a program that allows patients to get a free refill after the first six prescriptions. Botox maker Allergan Inc.'s marketing partner gives dermatologists "VIP cards" to attract repeat customers with discounts on follow-up visits.

Here's how the Restylane program works: Patients must obtain the syringe box top from their doctor, then fill out a redemption form at with information from the box top and the physician's invoice.

The program has both a carrot and a stick. With each treatment, participants are offered gifts: After the first visit, they get the choice of a $25 gift in the form of either a Visa debit card or a gift coupon for purchases at bookseller Barnes & Noble or Nordstrom department stores. After the fourth follow-up, the gift value peaks at $175.

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