How Would You Feel If...

As people, we don’t appreciate how powerful we are.

We become so accustomed to late nights, groggy mornings, eating whatever we can grab on the way to work or while taking care of the kids.

But it’s not surprising. This is how we grew up -- no one taught us how to shop or eat the right foods. We fall into routines. This is just the way it is.

That is exactly how I felt for years and years until one day when, all of a sudden, I was older. My body stopped doing what it used to. Pizza and wine Fridays turned into pizza, wine, and Tums Fridays. I started asking myself, when did this become okay? When did I stop feeling healthy and happy?

These questions started a personal journey for me. I began asking myself a different question. One burning question that I couldn’t shake:

What would it feel like to be healthy and happy? What if I had better nutrition, better hydration, better sleep… how would it feel?

So I began looking for ways to change my life and what I ate every day. I focused on getting more sleep, getting more exercise, drinking more water. I began to pick up healthy lifestyle brands, trying everything I could. And the more I tried the better I felt.

Each of those times I tried something new and felt better I would think, “How much further can I go, how much better can I feel?” And then it occurred to me --I shouldn’t just be asking myself these questions.

I hate to admit this, but I have to give it to the Millennials. They’re the ones who really established this. They’re the ones want to know who planted their coffee beans and all the ingredients in their lunch. They’re the ones who really began to care about taking the stairs instead of the elevator, biking to work instead of taking the bus.

But this is no longer limited to the Millennial generation. This isn’t just for those fit young people out there. This is a cultural shift. This is an entire movement. Regular people, people you would never imagine, are now saying that they want to be healthy.

They want happiness back in their lives. They just need some help.

That is what myUpside is, a community that empowers members to be healthier and happier while connecting them with purpose-driven brands that meet our high quality standards. We scoured the aisles for healthier products that want to be a part of your life and share your lifestyle.

Members of myUpside are given the tools and encouragement to pursue a better life. We are a healthy lifestyle support system, reminding each other that we are all capable of a better us.

But we didn’t just want to stop there.

With a love of community comes creativity, so myUpside rewards you for your achievements. This ranges from cash and thoughtful gifts to personalized, unforgettable experiences that will motivate you to continue on this journey, and see just how far you can go.

myUpside is here to get you closer to your healthy lifestyle goals. We are here to help inspire you. We are here to help make you an inspiration.

So it’s time to ask yourself one question: If I had better nutrition… better hydration... better sleep… a better direction for where my life ends up next… how would it feel?


Jeff Sampson
CEO and Co-Founder

The Paradox of Consumer Connectivity

To say that consumers have never been more connected is a statement so obvious that it needs no fusillade of facts to defend the point. Similarly, no barrage of stats are needed to convince a marketer that consumers have never been more difficult to connect with.  This "paradox of connectedness" defines just one modern marketing challenge.

The things brand marketers must achieve ("objectives") have not changed. "Grow share," "increase sales," and "launch a new product" remain the fixed stars marketers must know how to reach in order to succeed.  However the choices they have ("strategies") to navigate are so plentiful that they obscure a clear way forward.   

Indeed, if you're a marketer with a desire to experiment, these choices make what you do exciting and interesting. Today's pace of innovation adds more and brighter lights to an already dazzling skyline.  But if you're marketer with a desire to achieve success, all those shiny new ideas can also seem more like light pollution obscuring the stars making them more difficult to see and more difficult to reach.

But even the most disciplined and confident marketer wonders if that focus risks losing opportunity because consumers are just as excited (and distracted) by the shiny pennies. And why shouldn't they be?  Every day, new experiences and device capabilities make magical things happen. (Augmented Reality, anybody?)  

This creates another paralyzing paradox for markers to overcome: Brands trying to co-exist with consumers in these environments sometimes feel the need to be nearly invisible out of fear of alienating people. Ironically, brands have this fear even though it's typically their dollars keeping the lights on and attracting audiences

Good news: Resolving these paradoxes is as easy as ignoring them.  

Consumers will connect with brands when brands abandon the language of "transactions" (coupons, rebates, buy one-get one, etc...) and embrace the language "experiences."  Brands need to be attentive and committed to delivering the things that bring a smile and provide that personalized, little something extra.  When brands show genuine appreciation, consumers will carry them forward.  Sometimes, just saying "thank you" when "thank you" is the right thing to say can work wonders.

Paradox resolved.


Tom Daly
Former Senior Group Director, Global Marketing at The Coca-Cola Company

Discounts Don't Cut It, Millennials Want More

As simultaneously the youngest person in the office and the newest to the company, being an intern has been both exciting and eye opening. My imagination has been stretched, my curiosity sparked and what once was a little far-fetched, seems just short of expected. Not to promise anyone that their wildest dreams will come true, or that mine have, but what is happening here isn’t far off. 

There’s an exciting, mysterious future in store for the users of myUpside. Anyone can wrap their heads around cash back on purchases, but that’s nothing new or exciting, in this case merely a secondary perk. The true benefits are from emotional connections. Taking it to the next level by delivering tailor-made experiences that satisfy your inner child and even dip into the realm of fantasy. This is where it really gets exciting. Being able to see behind the scenes has shown me how it works, but hasn’t given me a full understanding of how it will make people feel. This is for you to discover, because nothing will compare to a truly special experience designed based on your own personal interests.

I don’t want to be just another “consumer,” reflected through my shopping habits. I have interests and hobbies, and to receive a reward in the form of an experience, from one of my favorite brands, that involves my favorite band or sports team, it would make a lasting impression. To me, that would simply be saying “thank you for being who you are,” which is not something I would expect. 

As a 20-something-year-old, I’m part of one of the largest generations yet to come. Which is probably why us millennials have such a desire to be unique, create trends, and veer off the path our parent’s and grandparent’s blazed before us. Due to the convenience of technology, information about anything thinkable is at our fingertips and it makes it easy to settle for nothing less than exactly what we want. We’re spoiled. We go to the best reviewed restaurants thanks to apps like Yelp, we find out about events and celebrities through Facebook and Twitter, and we’re constantly keeping up to date with our friends on Instagram and Snapchat. Thanks to technology we live in a small world, why not make it personal again? That’s what we desire after all, a life full of personal, emotional connections. 

Big companies these days have access to the tools necessary to be as personal as a small business in a community so deeply integrated with technology. After all, the reason these companies are so big and successful is us, the customers, which is why we should accept nothing less than their very best thank you. These are all the brands you already know and love, because going out of your way to shop somewhere you wouldn’t normally, just to get a discount or earn points that may or may not be used, isn’t my idea of spectacular. I would much rather be rewarded with an experience that creates a meaningful memory…and, of course, something I can post pictures of to make my friends jealous! 


Blake Lee
Marketing Intern at Upside Commerce, Inc.

A Consumer Perspective: Kirk Thompson

I’m Kirk Thompson, and I shop… by looking for myUpside.  

I don’t mean just looking for the big discount or the no-one-else-has-this-yet thrill. I mean the true upside of reclaiming shopping – and retail – as fun and practical, as social and individual, as day-to-day and surprising. Good for the wallet, good for the lifestyle, good for the soul. All upside.

Look, you know the flavors of shopping: There’s the “retail hunt” – for the sport of it, the thrill of the discount, the success of “bagging” that impossible-to-find item. There’s the “retail therapy” – the quick rush you get from a splurge, or just a feel-good/feel-great indulgence to lift the moment. All are variations boast an adrenaline theme – a flash of excitement or bargain. What happened to shopping for the pure satisfaction and even delight in finding the items that make up your daily life, that you enjoy most or share with others… and the reward coming with that?  

I like shopping that is more about how we live our daily life (and the occasional indulgence!) – a dash of experience, a dash of somebody who knows me (or the website or app “knows” me), a familiar salesperson, a great price tag… and an occasional surprise that comes with being a “regular.” That’s a great shopping experience. That’s upside!

Shopping has gotten tricky.  More gamification, less actual customer satisfaction. Rewards for all the transactional milestones I log. I like those – but those are everywhere. Literally. Too many retail membership clubs, club numbers, reward schemes, point redemptions to manage (or not). Easy to do if I shop some place frequently;  difficult to keep up with if it’s a place I only visit occasionally. Easy to want to play if rewards are often or achievable in a reasonable time;   difficult to stay interested in if rewards are unattainable, at sky-high point levels, or worse, redeemed in the lottery of a points bidding auction.  

Which is why when shopping breaks that mold – offers you the ease of doing what you always do, shopping where you like to shop for the things you like to buy, and finds a way to offer you a bit of reward, a bit of occasional surprise, a treat, an experience – more than just the free-with-purchase offers… well…that’s upside. myUpside.

myUpside is where a rewards program meets actual shopping. A surprise, a delight, an experience, a moment – something that matters to me, based on what I buy and where I buy.  With myUpside, the retailers that carry the brands I like are what matters – not just the individual products. Where I buy all those things is the change from all those usual ways of earning points, redeeming for freebies or discounts. I like where I shop – and the people I shop with – and it seems only natural that the reward comes from that – instead of just buying lots of one specific item!

And there’s the crux of myUpside: It’s the great idea that a reward can be a moment that makes shopping better, that makes daily life better, that capitalizes on what I buy, and matches my interests with a moment of something extra.

That’s why I shop with myUpside in mind: Extras always make a difference. Extras take great purchases and great retailers to the next level. Bottom line: When a shopping trip becomes an unforgettable experience, that’s pure upside.


Kirk Thompson, Former CMO / SVP Marketing & Head of Culinary - IHOP

Welcome to myUpside!

Hi and welcome to myUpside! Everyone at myUpside is thrilled to bring you a completely new twist on rewards. We’re consumers just like you. We want high quality, value for what we pay, and we want to feel connected to our favorite brands - just like we connect with each other.

We share – it’s who we are. Whether with friends, family, or community - we share the activities, interests, opinions, and passions that define our lifestyle. We realized that our favorite brands are an integral part of that lifestyle. Why not invite our favorite brands to participate in our very own community? In marketing speak it is called a coalition - brands, retailers, and consumers organized for common goal and benefit. Could we create a coalition of brands and retailers who represent and embody the lifestyles which are so important to us? Would it be possible? Yes. myUpside is the first branded coalition rewards program in the world. But why stop there?

My heart has always been touched by the anonymous individuals who would visit the local retailers in our community and pay off the layaway balances so that struggling families could enjoy a bountiful Christmas. We want to bring that same emotional impact and surprise to as many people possible throughout the year. And just like Santa, we want to know what is special to you so that we can literally make your wishes come true. We do this by using data collected from sources that you approve. Most rewards programs make money by selling data – we will never sell your data. You’ve probably heard that before. We have a different perspective. You are a member of our coalition. Our purpose is to protect you and delight you. Selling your data does neither.

You are a member of our coalition. Our purpose is to protect you and delight you.

By using your data and our technology, we can deliver personalized experiences sponsored by your favorite brands. Experiences which involve celebrities and personalities from music, sports, food, and film – some of the things we truly love. Everyone is unique. Every experience is unique. All designed to show you gratitude from your favorite brands and retailers for your purchases, celebrate your achievements, inspire your goals, and amplify your lifestyle. How do we do it? Let’s just say the more we know about you the easier it is for us to make it happen. How often? Well, we must keep a few secrets. And yes, as a reward program we also provide 2% cash back on your purchases.

myUpside is a gigantic undertaking which will put smiles on peoples’ faces all around the world. We are starting with food & beverages and have plans to add sporting, outdoors, apparel, pet, children’s, home, casual restaurant, and more. We can’t do it alone. We are working with many beloved brands and respected retailers to make this happen. We want to work with you too. Let us know the brands and retailers you’d like to see in myUpside. Let us know your ideas for experiences that would blow folks away. When we were all young we viewed the world with imagination and wonder – we want to be a constant reminder of that.

When we were all young we viewed the world with imagination and wonder – we want to be a constant reminder of that.

myUpside rolls out in Illinois and Wisconsin. We’ll have a relatively small but high-quality list of brands initially as we get the program up and running. The list of potential experiences for our members is simply amazing. We are based in Seattle but chose the Midwest as our initial market based on the incredible small and mid-sized retailers who revere their shoppers. We will add more retail locations and brands in the months to follow. For those of you outside our initial rollout, we can’t wait to bring myUpside to you. Please reach out and tell us how we’re doing! Contact us at #ALLUPSIDE

Jeff Sampson, co-founder and CEO
Upside Commerce, Inc.