Feature Article - January/February 2019

Home Sweet Home

Housewares & Home Goods to Motivate Your Best

By Emily Tipping

We sleep there and wake there. Cook there and eat there. Entertain our friends and family, or spend time alone looking out the window. Some of us even work there. Yet how often do we take a step back and look around our homes with complete satisfaction.

There's always something more to be done. (For me of late, it's cleaning the basement, but soon I'll be moving on to an attempt at a bathroom remodel.) But even with everything on our to-do lists, most of us can look around and find the things that make our houses into homes. The coffee maker on the counter. The ice cream maker in the pantry. Décor and more.

There are many ways incentives and rewards professionals can help their target audiences improve these crucial centers of their lives—from kitchen goods to better ways to clean, from tools to help make improvements to outdoor amenities like firepits. When it comes to stuff for the home, there really is something for everyone.

Indeed, Warren Weaver, director of national sales for Zane's Inc., which offers products in this category to the incentive market, cited its appeal across all demographics as one of the reasons why home goods and housewares make such an attractive incentive or reward. "It's an ever-changing product mix for something we all use every day," he said.

Steve Izykowski, Hamilton Beach Brands, cited the way manufacturers are continually innovating. "I think the industry continues to bring new, innovative ways to make entertaining easier, more fun or different—all in the comforts of your own home. That is very appealing."

"These are everyday-use products," added Eric Anderson, PMC. "But what we are seeing more and more is 'need' categories being replaced with 'want' items. Products that fit in with an evolving and fast-changing lifestyle. We are seeing more and more growth in step-up models or unique categories.

"The basics, such as a 12-cup coffee maker or two-slice toaster, still redeem, but not to the volume they once did," he added. "We are seeing growth in the higher-end multifunction models: Breville and Delonghi coffee makers that make lattes and cappuccinos, or unique items like Casos' Sous Vide cooking stick. The Wine Coolers have become extremely popular."

According to Megan Shea, director of loyalty programs for Links Unlimited, home goods and housewares make an effective reward because they allow recipients "access to the hottest items at retail—everything from Cuisinart Air Fryers to Instant Pots to Nespressos."

In addition to selecting an item that can be utilized in everyday life, these products offer access to great price points, which allow reward program participants to select a product that they would not normally buy for themselves.

So let's take a tour around the house and have a look at some of the newest and most reliable items you might consider adding to your incentive program. Where to begin? The kitchen, of course.