The Perfect Rewards and Incentives Program
Rewards. Incentives. "You dun good" happy-time present joys. Whatever you want to call them, reward items are a huge part of the promotional products industry, especially when included in some kind of incentives program. Motivating behavior with physical rewards is an age-old practice, dating back either to Santa Claus or prehistoric moms who really, really wanted Timmy to get off his CaveBox 360 and clean Saber-tooth Fluffy's Litterbox. Thousands of years and evolutionary steps later, their popularity and effectiveness has not waned. Client looking to motivate patients in a physical therapy facility? Rewards program. Warehouse needs to reduce incidents of employee accidents? Rewards program. Management looking to boost sales performance? Rewards program. You can see where this is going.
So what's the catch? Sadly, planning a rewards program is a little different than most other print or promotional jobs. You aren't just providing forms. You're not just trying to build brand awareness. You're trying to have a direct and measureable impact on human behavior. In some ways, awards programs are as much psychology as they are advertising. Thankfully, the cool thing about psychology (or behavioral psychology, at least) is that it's fairly straightforward and measurable, meaning its ideas are more based off Pavlov than Freud. To succeed with awards programs, all you need are a few sales points, a little knowledge of psychology, and a basic understanding of some great, gift-worthy products.
THE SALES SIDE
There are plenty of valid ways to approach selling rewards programs, but a good core argument to follow is this:
"IT'LL SAVE YOU MONEY"
If you can convince a client that your program will reduce costs, the sale should be a no-brainer. Take a safety incentive program, for example. A reduction in the cost and lost productivity from worker accidents will obviously result in money saved compared to the purchase of products. This money-saving line of reasoning, however, can more or less be applied to any rewards program. Employee retention (cost of searching, training and waiting for employees to get up to speed), sales ("Your sales team will make more if you're willing to spend X on rewards items") and even social media marketing ("Giving away a few dozen gift cards to people who join your Facebook will be more effective and significantly cheaper than that radio campaign you were planning") can all be reduced to "Spend a little, save a lot."