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As fall approaches start planning Awards and Recognition programs…

Are you leaving GUARANTEED REPEAT BUSINESS on the table?
Awards & Recognition is the 7th largest product category in the industry, contributing over $260million to overall annual industry sales. Recognition items such as awards, trophies and engraved luxury writing instruments are typically displayed on desks, walls, shelves, mantels and therefore have fewer impressions per month (223 impressions/month) BUT these products are kept around for a very long time AND generate the most favorable impression from recipients.
There is a difference between short term motivation and recognition. Gift cards, team luncheons, cash and travel motivate for short term goals. Tangible rewards that are kept (and therefore remembered) are tied to psychological well-being. Companies that recognize or otherwise engage employees see increased job performance and reduced turnover – in turn making a company more successful.

Recognition & Incentives are considered a top category for distributors in terms of PROFITABILITY! For example, the average order size for a low-cost pen is 1500 pcs and the average sale is $385 net. The average order size for a standard mug is 152 pcs and the average sale is $222 net. The average order size for awards is 12 pcs and the average sale is $863 net. See the difference?
Most companies have existing incentive, appreciation or recognition programs already in place and the average repeat/life cycle of a program is 5 years. If you're not selling awards to your existing customers, who is? Let's do the math…

Average sales value per order………………………………..$863

Average potential distributor profit per order………………..$518

Average potential number of orders per month…………………3

Potential Profit per year………………………………………$18,648

Potential Profit per repeat order/life cycle of 5 years…………$93,240

If you're not selling awards/recognition/incentives to your customers, who is? Protect your existing business by increasing your network within your client's company. Your marketing or communications contact may not be in charge of employee retention and recognition. Ask existing contacts to make an introduction.
What additional departments could be appropriate targets for your inquiry?

The following departments are all potential targets:

• Human Resources – Service, Attendance, Retirement, Training, Promotions, Wellness Programs

• Corporate/C-Suite – Significant Milestones, New Buildings, Acquisitions, Holiday Gifts
• Finance – Budget Performance, Inventory Control, Cost/Savings Initiatives

• Sales – Annual Performance, Sales Incentives, Clubs, Networking Communities, Customer Gifts

• Marketing/PR – Trade Shows, Meetings, New Product Launches, Project Completions, Events, Brand Advocate Programs, Contest Prizes

• Operations – Cost Improvement Programs, Efficiency/Safety/Process Improvements

How do you help your customer build an Employee Recognition Program? There are three components of a comprehensive program to enhance employee engagement:

1) Day to Day Recognition – informal, frequent and ongoing. Thank you notes/emails, public praise. This would include the largest number of recipients.

2) Informal Recognition – singles out individuals and teams for progress. Low cost items as rewards.

3) Formal Recognition – a structured program linked to organizational values and goals. Public recognition on an annual basis. A select few employees are awarded. Higher cost/value items for prestige.

Questions to ASK your Customer:
What is the desired objective?
How many pieces do you project needing – quantities, award frequency, etc
One award or multiple tiers?
Theme or logo?
Where do you anticipate recipients keeping the award?
Is a functional award appropriate or perhaps just to be displayed?
Is the award specialized to a particular person's interests or generic?
Recipient's level in the organization?
What is the budget?
Is this a new program that is being initiated (and intended to repeat or grow next year) or is this an existing award program and they are just shopping for the actual items.

So think outside the box when it comes to recognition and incentive items. Norwood & BIC Graphic’s 2013 Gift Collection is a good resource for a broad range of programs and gift ideas. From the practical to the luxurious, Norwood & BIC Graphic’s iconic brands such as Jaffa®, Sheaffer®, Atchison®, Koozie® and Triumph® can help you build just the right program for each one of your customers.

~Margit Fawbush

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