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August 2013

IMA Recognizes Five Firms for Successful Incentives

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Five companies, each facing challenges to engage and motivate employees and sales teams, creatively used incentive campaigns to achieve successful results, winning the Incentive Marketing Association's 2013 Circle of Excellence Awards, presented in July at the association's 13th Annual Executive Summit in Denver.

This year's award winners include Aurum Holdings Ltd., Leicester, United Kingdom; IGC America Inc., New York; Neopost USA, Milford Conn.; PureLatexBLISS, Atlanta; and Bankwest, Perth, Australia.

Launched in 2000, the Circle of Excellence Awards identifies and recognizes outstanding examples of successful customer and employee incentive programs designed to help drive business. Both the company and the incentive marketing partner are recognized.

"Now more than ever, we need to position incentive programs as effective business tools to drive business," said IMA Executive Director Karen Renk. "IMA's Circle of Excellence Award does just that by honoring organizations for effectively designing and implementing incentive programs to motivate their employees and win customers."

Here is a summary of the four winning programs and their successful results:

  • Jewelry retailer Aurum runs "brilliant" campaign to boost holiday sales: Aurum, the U.K.'s largest luxury jeweler, teamed with Grass Roots Projectlink to develop an employee incentive campaign aimed at increasing high-margin merchandise sales over the Christmas season. The four-month campaign, titled "Brilliance," awarded sales team member points redeemable for awards, and participants were entered into drawings for a new car, luxury vacation and other top prizes. The campaign, with 95 percent of employees earning points, resulted in a 3.3 percent year-over-year sales gain.
  • Chance to win a Fiat builds excitement, big sales outcome: IGC America and its Amazing Clubs incentive partner launched a year-long sales campaign for its independent representatives around the theme "Sales to Drive Life is Best When Driven," offering representatives multiple entries in a contest to win a new Fiat 500 auto. Quarterly campaign updates, success stories and encouragement kept interest high throughout the year. The results: Overall sales revenue increased by 86 percent, with sales transactions up 95 percent over 2011 levels.
  • Postage "Meter Hunter" program delivers impressive results: Neopost USA, a major supplier of postage meters and other mailing equipment, worked with All Star Incentive Marketing to create the "Meter Hunter" program. The program involved its independent dealers, who were tasked with searching for and identifying users of competitive postage meters in order to increase its database of potential customers. Dealers earned redeemable reward points for each competitive user "hunted." With 65 percent participation, Neopost increased its potential customer database by 20 percent and takeaway sales generated $20 million.
  • Mattress maker not lying down on training incentive: Pure LatexBLISS turned to its marketing partner Incentive Team to develop a state-of-the-art training portal for retail mattress dealer sales associates and managers, where none before existed. The program included 22 video learning modules, covering product features and benefits, and how to best sell the product. Participants earned redeemable reward points plus additional points for their sales efforts. With 67 percent dealer participation, participating dealers enjoyed a 94 percent increase in year-over-year sales.
  • Employee "heroes" create positive banking experience: Bankwest of Perth, Australia, worked with incentive counselor Accumulate to create the "Bankwest Heroes" employee incentive program to make banking a more positive experience for customers and employees alike. The program combined tangible rewards and opportunities to publically recognize employees, share success stories and celebrate achievements. Of more than 5,000 employees, 82 percent participated in the program, and 65 percent earned reward points, with 67 percent receiving recognition nominations.

Past Circle of Excellence Award winners have included noted companies such as GE Financial Services, GlaxoSmithKline, Kohler, Kraft Foods, Purina, Microsoft Corp. and Sprint Communications. The growing archive of Circle of Excellence Award case studies illustrates the power of incentives, setting even higher standards for the incentive marketplace. Judging criteria includes overall success in meeting program objectives, program originality/creativity, appropriate incentive selection, perceived value of the incentive, and effectiveness of communication strategy and promotional materials.

More information about IMA and the incentive marketplace is available at