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April 14, 2015

Americas: Today’s Incentive Challenges

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A new report from the Incentive Research Foundation draws on previous and upcoming research to identify "10 Trends for Merchandise and Gift Card Programs in 2015."

Most interesting is the convergence of a few trends that have have implications on companies’ overall incentive programs. First is the idea of the “new luxury environment.” IRF reminds us that a “sensitivity to extravagance” guided incentive program decision-makers throughout the recession and early recovery, at which time IRF polling revealed very practical choices—housewares and apparel—at the top of the list for merchandise reward programs.

The latest IRF Pulse survey shows that sensitivity to extravagance is back down to pre-recession levels, along with a strong shift to electronics and open gift cards as program choices. Although electronics equaled luxury in the past, the report states, many electronics (iPads, Fitbits) are considered closer to necessities today. Likewise, an open gift card “straddles the fence” between luxury and necessity, as recipients can use them for daily financial obligations or special splurges.

Read more at MeetingsNet.com...

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