Feature Article - March/April 2015

Fire Up the Motivation

New Electronics & High-Tech Trends Offer Inspiring Rewards

By Emily Tipping

With each new introduction, with each innovation and with every passing year, the consumer electronics industry seems to have reached the peak of its creativity. But there is always something new on the horizon. From the first introduction of radio and television so long ago to today's increasing interconnectedness, the story of consumer electronics is one of constant innovation and invention, of ever-higher levels of usefulness and functionality. And, there's no denying that because of this, consumer electronics can really get people fired up.

In fact, the CEA Index of Consumer Technology Expectations, which measures consumer expectations about technology spending, reached its highest-ever level for the month of February this year, since the CEA Index began tracking in 2007.

At the recent International CES in Las Vegas, Samsung President and CEO of Consumer Electronics Boo-Keun Yoon spoke of the implications of a fully connected world powered by the Internet of Things. What was once science fiction, he said, has become "science fact."

When it comes to the use of electronics in incentive and reward programs, said Eric Anderson, director of sales for Lake Geneva, Wis.-based PMC, nothing much has really changed. Which isn't to say the dramatic changes that are always taking place in these types of products have had no effect, but rather, that because of the ongoing innovation and invention of this industry, electronics still make up the biggest portion of redemptions.

"Electronics in incentives continues to be a big portion—65 percent to 70 percent of redemptions," Anderson said. "You always want to use aspirational items, or carrots, as part of your program," he added, and electronics are something almost everyone can aspire to.

"Electronics are always popular because they are constantly being updated and improved," said Haig Vartivarian, purchasing manager at Rymax Marketing Services Inc., in Pine Brook, N.J. "Screens are getting larger, devices are becoming more multifunctional, and as consumers continue to become more tech-savvy themselves, the more the incentive industry will see an increased demand for such tech items from their clients."

He added, "Electronics will consistently be in high demand from consumers, as non-cash rewards allow people to attain merchandise and products that they sometimes cannot afford, but through a rewards program they are able to redeem for these high-demand electronic products."

From the hottest wearable technology to new innovations in televisions, tablets, cameras and sound, electronics constantly offers something new and exciting to get your audience fired up, whether you're trying to inspire people to overreach past performance, give sales a big boost or devote themselves anew to wellness and health.