Two recent publications, the 2013 Incentive Market Study (Incentive Federation, Inc.) and the 2013 Colloquy Loyalty Census, present a number of very interesting facts and observations about the recognition, incentive, and loyalty market. Among the more salient of those facts are:
- 74% of U.S. businesses use non-cash rewards to recognize and reward key audiences, and
- on average, U.S. individuals and households are enrolled in more than 20 loyalty programs.
Clearly, incentive, employee recognition or loyalty program has become a well-established and essential feature of U.S. commerce – for both the sponsor and the program participant. But that (fairly obvious) observation led me to a couple of questions that bear further examination:
1 – What are those businesses in the 26% that don’t sponsor recognition and incentive programs giving up?
2 – How does the program sponsor make his/her program stand out from all those competing programs in which their customers and/or employees are participating?
The answer to the first question is – a lot! As we point out in the Best Practices pages of our website, employee recognition and incentive programs are uniquely suited vehicles for communicating in a meaningful way with your employees and best customers – and for obtaining critical data from them via key performance indicators. So, if you’re part of the 26%, you may want to reconsider and examine the possible benefits of offering your own recognition or incentive program.
And the answer to the second question lies largely in the same Best Practices to which I refer above. The best programs:
- create a value proposition that truly resonates with the participant,
- award/recognize their participants frequently and consistently,
- continuously analyze results and make appropriate adjustments, and above all
- they communicate, communicate, communicate (to borrow from a popular real estate mantra).
If your program does these things well, it will become differentially valuable to your participant – and thus separate itself from those competitor offerings found in your participant’s portfolio of programs.
We invite you contact us if we can help on either of these fronts.