November 12, 2013

Boost Your Program Recall Power with Gift Cards

How are your recognition and sales incentive programs performing this year? While the economy continues to place pressure on your company budgets, the impact of putting an emphasis on your rewards programs can boost your employees’ motivation and morale. But, are you choosing the right rewards for your employees?

Nothing replaces a program that is properly structured to reward the appropriate value for the right reasons. Once that is done correctly, the different forms of awards you offer your employees can shape the way they perceive the program, your company, and even partly their gratitude.

Why Choose Gift Cards?

A 2013 study just released by the Incentive Research Foundation showed that 52% of U.S. businesses use gift cards—spending an estimated $22.7 billion a year on them.  More than two thirds of respondents to a 2012 Incentive Magazine Gift Card Usage Study felt that prepaid cards were superior in effectiveness to other merchandise rewards. There are several reasons why the use of gift cards has grown to one of the most popular award and gift item.

  • They are highly customizable with the opportunity for a personal touch, to a greater degree than cash rewards or clothing.
  •  Administration and management of gift cards are easier than other reward options, such as parties or events.
  • E-Gift cards have made awarding and personalizing even easier and faster for recipients to receive and use.

Boost the Recall Factor

You can boost the recall and trophy value of your programs when you give gift cards–each award recipient has an opportunity to make the gift their own. An Incentive Research Foundation study from April 2012 shows that 64% of recipients remember what they used their gift card for and associated the purchase with the giver. A stored value gift card can be whipped out time and again for purchases, gaining visibility amongst family members, friends, and colleagues.

You might ask, can’t cash do that too? Of course it can. However, a cash based benefit or reward lacks an intrinsic value that a non-cash reward carries; cash can often be viewed as expected compensation, whereas gift cards are not. Here are some things to consider:

  • When chosen carefully, gift cards can be tailored or personalized to the recipient’s specific interests and tastes and create an emotional imprint.
  • If you don’t know their tastes well enough, some cool products exist in the market that enable you to give recipients ACCESS to a variety of gift cards that they can choose from.
  • Additionally, organizations can brand and personalize the gift card itself, creating a trophy value.
  • The pleasure or indulgence of making purchases can be tied directly to the company from whom the gift card was rewarded.

The Bottom Line

The emotional imprint, trophy value, and positive associations created by gift card awards all lend themselves to a higher ROI than cash. If you are looking for an easy, customizable way to incentivize or reward employees, gift cards are the perfect option for any company. To learn more about the impact of gift cards or to receive information on starting a recognition program, contact a Marketing Innovators specialist today.

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