The concept of a “free gift” holds little value in the face of today’s marketing and promotional gimmickry, where the term has become so commonplace that consumers have numbed to the offer of potential freebies.
It’s hardly surprising why; almost all free gifts these days come with caveats—minimum spends, sign-ups, limited-time-offers. It all involves some sort of trade-off, and the consumer of today is wiser than ever, knowing when a marketing ploy is at work.
Simply put, pretty much nothing is truly “free”. But the MyBirthday team want to change that perception.
MyBirthday is a rewards platform that allows patrons to enjoy promotions and rewards across a large list of food outlets during their birth month, and involves a no strings attached redemption method.
Founded by Herriot-Watt undergrad Kingsley Lew (20) along with his friend Nick Lam (23) and a few other university students, MyBirthday comes funded and supported by Mulah Rewards, the Malaysian startup loyalty system that successfully took on AirAsia’s venture in 2015.
Interestingly, the MyBirthday concept began when Kingsley and Nick were interns at Mulah Rewards and working under co-founder Pei Ong.
“We started MyBirthday as an intern project after Pei got inspired by bigger restaurant chains offering birthday deals but no the small ones,” Kingsley said. “He immediately gave me and Nick the responsibility to lead the project and provided the necessary funds, advice and strategy.”
Thus the idea that was MyBirthday became reality.
“We wanted to revolutionise the way birthdays are celebrated,” said Kingsley. “Our purpose is to give those celebrating their birthdays a great deal!”
The premise of MyBirthday’s service is simple.
Users only need to flash their identity (within their birth month, of course) at partner outlets to enjoy rewards. Rewards can range from discounts, free desserts, or anything else the partner outlets decide upon.
Only having started in November 2017, MyBirthday currently operates as a “free tool” for Mulah to engage with F&B merchants and provide them value, in turn receiving provisions and resources such as office space, marketing funds, and industry advice. Beyond this relationship, MyBirthday operates independently from Mulah Rewards.
“At the moment, MyBirthday does not generate revenue from patrons nor does it charge partner outlets,” he said. “The team will only explore potential revenue streams once MyBirthday grows to a substantial size.”
And predictably, it started because of birthday promos.
The idea to begin this venture started with the MyBirthday team looking through the various birthday offers by major food outlets on Facebook.
Observing how these promotions managed to gain substantial traction, Kingsley and his team decided to work to extend this opportunities to smaller restaurants and cafes.
“MyBirthday firstly ensures that its partner outlets are of great quality,” Kingsley explained. “We want them to be attractive enough to use our service.”
Today, Kingsley is proud to mention MyBirthday’s success in acquiring over 100 partners within the Klang Valley since November last year, with the hope of reaching 150 come end of January. So far patrons can enjoy MyBirthday’s rewards at outlets such as Coffea Coffee, Omaya, and Go Thai.
On plans to expand MyBirthday, Kingsley is bullish about future prospects.
He feels that their unique positioning as a stipulation-free rewards system will allow them to experience a healthy growth.
“Our USP lies in providing a no strings attached and seamless redemption method,” he said. “We believe that the majority of customers will have no problem with proving it’s their birthday month.”
“And as for our partner outlets, we feel the project’s value will be further validated as they experience a significant increase in patrons thanks to our platform.”
Kingsley also tells about the strategies MyBirthday is using to expand its reach, with a special emphasis placed on viral marketing.
“To grow our user base, we’ll leverage on digital advertising as well as partnerships with merchants and other parties,” he said. “We believe that we will be able to tap into a bigger pool of customers by using the network of these merchants.”
Noting a major bump in users thanks to a partnership with a student council from a university in the past, MyBirthday is now actively engaging online merchants, specifically those with businesses relating to birthday celebrations (gift shops, bakeries, balloon suppliers, etc).
As for the company itself, Kingsley says that MyBirthday aims to keep up its healthy growth.
“Despite reaching our first milestones, we won’t be slowing down,” he stated. “So to align with our strategy of aggressive growth, we’re on the lookout to recruit and train new members to help grow the business.”
While it’s refreshing to see rewards program that doesn’t necessitate heavy client involvement, it remains to see how far such a concept can go. In the meantime however, you won’t find us complaining. We know what website we’ll be checking out when our birthday months roll around.
- MyBirthday is a rewards platform founded by students-interns that allow patrons to receive discounts, free desserts, and other rewards from F&B outlets during their birth month.
- There’s no need to download any apps, coupons or vouchers; just show your ID and the webpage at the outlet.
- The service is backed and funded by Mulah Rewards (a local loyalty platform) but operates independently from them.
- There are currently close to 150 outlets partnered with MyBirthday throughout the Klang Valley. Users can view participating outlets here.
Feature Image Credit: MyBirthday