Feature Article - March/April 2014


Engage Your Program Participants With Electronics Incentives

By Emily Tipping

Let's play a little game. Think about your home for a second and count up the number of electronics you have in there. That's everything from the big stuff like TVs and stereos to the little stuff like iPods and tablets.

Are you still counting?

Now, take a second and think back to—oh, let's say 1984 or so. Can you remember your home at the time? How many electronics did you have at that point? One TV maybe? A stereo? A computer? Gaming system, maybe? Certainly not a smartphone or tablet.

The veritable explosion of electronics goods over the past several decades doesn't seem that vast until you take a step back and think of all the things you didn't grow up with. Amazing to think of the sheer number of people who likely feel life on earth would be virtually impossible without their doodads and gadgets, and yet, for most of them, those doodads and gadgets are relatively recent acquisitions.

It's the thing that keeps electronics at the top of the incentive merchandise "favorites" list. Technology is constantly evolving. Constantly improving. And there's always something new on the horizon to entice the early adopters. Something that will eventually become part of the mainstream.

"It is no secret that electronics are the products participants want in incentive programs," said Billie Reise, director of marketing for Incentive Concepts. "Technology changes so rapidly, it is difficult—and expensive—for the average consumer to keep 'current.' Programs that offer the latest and greatest in technology experience the greatest success because these items are not always something participants would be able to spend money to purchase; however, participants strive to earn these items through the various incentive programs where they receive the product as a gift."

At the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, some of the hot breakout items creating a stir included wearable technology, as well as embedding wireless into things to make them work better. But tried-and-true products also feature continual improvement—enough that your phone from a few years ago might not seem so smart anymore, and that iPod you got back in 2007 looks a little clunky.

That's why including electronics as a part of your incentive and rewards program is such a no-brainer. They appeal to people of all ages, all backgrounds, and all kinds of life experience. There really is something for everyone.

"Consumer electronics continues to remain strong," said Eric Anderson, director of sales for PMC. "…People are trained that there will be a bigger, better, more versatile option, and we all want the latest, greatest model."

Carey Berg of Vivitar/Sakar agreed. "They are fun, useful, and we live in a technology-focused society," he said. "They are always changing and people want the latest and greatest."

If there is any product that will make a majority of your program participants say "Wow!", it's electronics.

"That wow factor comes through the premium brochure catalog—those products just jump off the page for them," said Jeff Davis, senior vice president of sales for D&H Distributing. "They see those things and say, 'Wow, that's cool,' or 'That's something that would be useful.' People always want the latest TV, the greatest gadgets, the newest technology—things they can put in their homes and show off when friends and family come over."