A trifecta of incentive reward options for your B2B Loyalty and Incentive program

Incentive Reward options that will drive true loyalty to your brand

Incentive rewards can be tactical offers on top of the standard B2B Loyalty and Incentive program value that can drive critical business areas and shape customer behaviour. Rewards that inspire peak performance are the heart of any great incentives strategy, but choosing the suitable incentive reward for your B2B Loyalty and Incentive program can be tricky. 

When it comes to picking the right incentive reward for an incentive program, there are different factors you need to keep in mind. Choosing the wrong incentive reward could be fatal to the success of a program if your channel isn’t motivated by the offer, which could be detrimental to your sales or new acquisition numbers. 

So, how do you make sure you choose the right incentive reward? You can start with our thoughts on the different reward options and which work best for your reward and incentive program.


Merchandise Incentive Reward – A Timeless Classic

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Merchandise incentive reward is the most commonly used incentive reward option in the market. A proven winner in most reward programs, it gives you a wide range of options to play with. Merchandise incentive reward options can be tailored to any demographic, so your target audience gets a reward selection that suits them and their business. For many of our programs, we provide tailored merchandise catalogues relating to our client’s business needs that can be reinvested into their business. 

Merchandise has substantial “trophy value” since the receiver can show it off to others as a measure of their success. If the reward is commonly desirable, you can imagine the impact that reward will have on a customer’s loyalty. From a marketing perspective, it’s invaluable. 


Considerations

You can only put so many items in an incentive reward catalogue. Not every catalogue will have something for everyone, which means you risk a small part of your team or channel being put off by the rewards on offer.

Merchandise incentive reward is the perfect starting point for B2B rewards and incentive programs, as they are the easiest to source and add to the program offer. This also means that competitors may be doing something similar with the merchandise for their incentive reward program. Without this being a significant difference, you might not get the “cut through” you were hoping for.


Branded Cash – Easy and Flexible 

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Branded Cash incentive reward gives program participants flexibility to get what they want. It offers something no other reward can: your brand in the wallet of customers like a pocket billboard. Every time they pull the card out to use, your brand’s staring them in the face. It’s instant, easy, cost-effective brand awareness for your program and company. 

We believe the biggest advantage for reward winners is the range of choices. They control where they would like to spend the hard earnt reward. Prepaid Visa can be used anywhere: in-store, online and overseas. This is perhaps one of its strongest points for participants and is hard to match in any other reward.

Branded Cash can fit into any program design, either as a single-load gift card or ongoing recognition via a reloadable card. This flexibility in the reward mechanism means that finding the Branded Cash that complements the overall outcomes of a program is easier to achieve and easily communicated to your target audience.


Considerations

Unlike merchandise incentive reward options, there’s no cost benefit (like wholesale prices) for Branded Cash. The cash value is the amount you have to contribute to the program budget. This can impact in a couple of ways: the total reward opportunity value for a customer would be less than merchandise, as a points balance doesn’t stretch as far. This can create a perception of value. Or, if a program has a fixed budget, you can reward fewer customers due to budget constraints, or you blow out the budget in overperformance. 

When you include Visa Prepaid cards that aren’t branded, you lose the opportunity for any trophy value, and the rewards are no longer separable from daily expenses like fuel or groceries. If the reward is just being used for everyday expenses like filling up a car, your reward won’t create a connection, and you haven’t achieved any severability for the day-to-day.


Incentive Travel – Aspirational Reward 

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Incentive Travel is more aspirational than any other reward. Travel has a strong value proposition, and the status that comes with earning a place on a trip is far greater than any other reward. Offering a holiday to Queenstown or New York puts your program at the forefront of a customer’s thinking: “What do I need to do to get a place on that trip!?!”

Incentive Travel is generally reserved for the top moist performers of the program, and this shared drive and qualification builds a community of like-minded, successful customers associated with your brand.

Incentive Travel builds your brand by simple association. Word of mouth from a travel incentive can spread like wildfire. And, if you deliver an itinerary true to your brand, more and more of your target audience will strive to achieve. Put another way, travel gives you a powerful tool to grow your sales channels. 


Considerations

If you’ve ever offered travel incentives as a reward, you’ll know that only a fortunate few will make it under your budget. This can alienate customers who put in the work to succeed but fail to book their spot in the top 20 or 30. If this happens repeatedly, “I’ve got to make this!” turns to “Why bother?” and you might start to see negative changes in behaviour.

Budget is always an issue when not considered in the planning phase. You will need to estimate the program’s success before you see the program’s results. This makes it a risky proposition. This “budget from the outset” sets travel apart from other rewards, all of which can usually be self-funded out of actual or incremental sales. 


Choose the lot for guaranteed success! 

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Putting all your money on a single reward selection can impact the outcomes of an incentive program. Rewards shouldn’t be about the “absolute best” but which ones are best for the participants in this particular program. 

Your reward offers should evolve over time as the target audience or business requirements change. If you are kicking off a program for the first time, starting with a mix of rewards that gives a wider choice can help determine which rewards drive a behaviour change. A stagnant reward can be just as much an obstacle to a program as any design that doesn’t match your intended outcomes.



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