Feature Article - May/June 2010

In(centive) Focus

Digital Cameras to Inspire Your Best

By Emily Tipping

With a wide range of styles, price points and features available, digital cameras make a perfect choice for inclusion in incentive and award programs. Whether you're looking for a relatively low-cost point-and-shoot to reward participants in a safety program or you need a fancy-pants DSLR to recognize your top sales rep who is also a budding amateur photographer, you'll find what you need among the top camera brands.

Digital cameras are always popular. While sales of digital cameras—along with sales of everything else—declined in 2009, the market is expected to start growing again this year, according to the Camera and Imaging Products Association. In 2009, the digital camera market saw an 11.6 percent drop in total shipments worldwide compared with 2008, but it is expected to grow 3.8 percent in 2010. The ever-popular DSLR market, which represents a smaller segment of overall units sold, actually saw modest growth in 2009—of 2.3 percent. DSLRs are expected to outpace digital cameras again in 2010, growing at 11.2 percent this year.

As part of the broader electronics category, always among the top-redeeming categories in the incentive and award market, digital cameras are always changing, always evolving. That means you can always tempt your targets—employees, sales reps, partners and customers—with something fresh and new.

"Electronics is one of the highest redeeming items, and digital cameras are included in this category," said Heather Chevreau, Special Markets manager for Fujifilm, based in Tokyo. "Digital cameras appeal to everyone, male or female, young or old, because everyone likes to capture memories, like their vacations, their children and their pets."

Kimberly A. Carrette, manager, Sales, CIG Special Accounts Sales Division for Canon U.S.A. Inc., based in Lake Success, N.Y., agreed that digital cameras have widespread appeal.

"The best thing about using cameras in a program is that everyone is motivated by them," she said.

"Just about everyone is motivated by cameras in some way," agreed Shelly Colla, Premium Incentive Group sales manager for Sony Electronics, based in San Diego. "Whether it's a camera phone for grabbing spontaneous photos or the newest high-end DSLR, taking and sharing photos is a part of our lives more than ever, and cameras are the perfect match for people's on-the-go lifestyles."

The fact that you should include digital cameras as one of your award choices is a no-brainer. Which digital cameras to include, on the other hand, is a whole different story. Read on to learn about the latest and greatest features, and the newest camera introductions, as well as a sprinkling of advice from those in the know.