Using ethical decisions to promote customer engagement, the supplier of healthy snacklets to office workers has an interesting method for making us become philanthropists, simply because the option not to be is almost so pointless as to not be considered.

The idea of referral codes isn’t new. Normally you get a discount for you and the referee and indeed that’s no different here. The twist comes with the fact the referrer has to make an ethical decision at the point of claiming their reward. You can either get £1 off your next Graze box, or you can donate £1 to the Graze school of farming, a charity designed to teach students how to grow, maintain and harvest fruit from their own trees (

The way Graze is being clever is that a £1 discount off a £3.50 item is likely so insignificant  to the health conscious middle class office workers that buy Graze’s products, that they might as well make themselves feel good that day by donating it. Graze gets a new customer and a donation to their charity; the new customer gets a free box and the existing customer gets a little injection of feel-goodness from their deed.


Of course that’s not the end to Graze’s gains. Being seen as an ethical brand has tangible benefits. The customer feels good every time they order, as they know they aren’t destroying the planet each time they eat a brazil nut. The brain’s chemical reward system equals more orders for the company.

There’s a certain intangible kick most people get from doing something good and Graze oozes this through every pore. It’s packaging is fully recyclable, it’s products all come from sustainable sources and are good for you (even chocolate buttons have benefits – apparently). All this adds up to a very appetising alternative to a Hobnob.

They aren’t the only ethical based brand of course; the Pret’s and the M&S of this world have their own eco-creds; but this novel approach to referrals helps drive and fund their own eco agenda, and gives users an easy option to donate to a charity that doesn’t involve guilt tripping or any other of the unpleasant psychological warfare tactics charity’s sometimes employ to make you empty your wallet.

Oh, and feel free to use my referral code: 4L1LP7V