Feature Article - March/April 2016

High-Powered Motivation

Electronics Incentives to Inspire Peak Performance

By Emily Tipping

The consumer electronics category continues to enjoy perpetual popularity in the world of incentives and rewards—and with good reason. Let's face it, these products—whether a tablet for gaming a TV for viewing, cameras for catching the action or headphones for jamming out to our favorite tunes—are fun. They're also increasingly functional, with greater capabilities of interconnecting with one another and intermingling in our daily lives. What's more, there's always something new or up-and-coming to inspire program participants. And the good news is, with price points coming down on some of the most coveted items, your ability to amp up your program by incorporating electronics has never been greater.

When it comes to the popularity of electronics, Shelly Colla, national sales manager of Sony North America's Premium Incentive Group, said it never really changes. "It's universal," she said. "It appeals to everybody in all price points. You can create a program to fit any budget."

Your program participants will be attracted to new and updated items they've been longing for. But even your tech-savvy early adopters will find someone to motivate them among your electronics selection. "Someone can always use an extra pair of headphones, a Bluetooth speaker, a camera—whether it's for them or for sharing with family and friends," Colla said. "All the way around it's a win with the product. There's always something quicker, smaller and faster."

Haig Vartivarian, purchasing manager for Rymax Marketing Services Inc., agreed. "Electronics are always popular in incentives and rewards because they are constantly being updated and improved," he said. "Screens are getting larger, devices are becoming more multifunctional, and wearables are integrating into the function of people's lives," he said. "Products are also becoming so advanced that they are able to learn the user's behavior and automatically customize settings to simplify daily life. Such advances in technology have enabled the incentive industry to offer the latest and greatest electronic products to sustain consumer engagement."

What's more, said Eric Anderson, director of sales with PMC, "…the people redeeming now are more tech-savvy than years ago." Across every demographic, he said, "they're more comfortable with it, and we're becoming such a connected world," with the capabilities of modern electronics, from smart TVs to smart watches, you can do a lot more.

"This year's CES (Consumer Electronics Show) unveiled several innovative products across various categories including streaming devices, 3-D printers, drones and enhanced televisions," Vartivarian said. "Fitness trackers also made a statement, as many electronic manufacturers have partnered with leading fashion brands to elevate wearables into trendy fashion accessories. Other advancements include smart home devices that integrate into people's homes. …Additionally, we say 4K televisions, such as LG's OLEDs, which took the spotlight at CES by winning several awards."

A Better View

Anderson said that for the past year at PMC, high-def television has been the top redeemer. "Far and away, high-def television is redeeming ahead of everything else," he said. "Then it was tablets, cameras and GPS." He added that while these numbers were just for PMC's sales, "… I think that's going to be indicative of the market overall.

"In the high-def arena," he added, "smaller screens have been driven by bulk promotional offers, while larger screens are the individual redemptions."

Colla said that 4K TV—ultra-high-def television—is reaching more accessible and affordable price points, and consequently is becoming increasingly popular. "It's becoming more affordable, there's more content out there, and you can plug any source into it, and it'll upscale," she said. "You can get a 55-inch 4K TV for about $1,500, and it's ultra-thin and beautiful. As an industry, for consumer electronics, whether premium incentive or general, it's a huge category with year-over-year growth."

Anderson agreed, adding that this is a trend that will continue to project into this year. "Smart TV is still going to be the category of choice," he said, "but you're going to see price points drop on the UHD models, so that's going to be the next up-and-coming category in HDTV. Somebody putting a program together now should plant a few of those in there, because they'll be the 'want' item."

Available through PMC, Samsung's 40-inch LED 4K Ultra HD Curved Smart TV lets you immerse yourself in the action and make any seat the best seat in the house. Smart TV technology lets you access your favorite TV shows, apps and social media in one easy-to-browse navigation experience. Plus, the 4K UHD screen lets you enjoy incredible picture crispness and dramatic detail with four times the resolution of full HD.

You can get all your electronics interconnected with the Klipsch RP-Hub1 HD Control Center, available through Rymax. Winner of the Innovation Award at the 2016 CES, the Klipsch HD Control Center lets you create your own dedicated network. With wireless Bluetooth capabilities, you can stream your favorite content from any mobile phone, tablet or computer. The included remote control allows you to easily change inputs, adjust volume and modify listening preferences, such as virtual surround sound or voice enhance. The HD Control Center also features Klipsch's award-winning Reference Premiere acoustics platform, creating a truly immersive home theater experience.