Premium Incentive Products - Inspiration for Motivation Newsletter Features

Feature Story

September 2018


Hinda Asks: How Does Reward Delivery Affect the Reward Experience?

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Hinda Incentives released a final report on a study designed to learn how the reward delivery experience affects the perceptions of employees, customers and channel partners. The qualitative research, commissioned by Hinda and conducted by an independent group, sought to determine if the reward packaging of an item shipped to the home affected perceptions of the reward and the sponsoring organization.

Multiple focus groups were conducted, with participants recruited and placed in groups based on their experience with sales incentives, employee recognition and consumer loyalty programs. Participants opened different packages and were asked their perceptions of the packaging, the value of an award that might be inside and their thoughts about the program sponsor.

"Fierce competition for both customers and employees means companies must look at each and every touch point to differentiate themselves and create a lasting and positive image with the people most important to their business," said Hinda President Mike Donnelly, discussing the importance of the study. "By understanding how each aspect of the reward delivery experience shapes attitudes, we can reinforce the sponsor's brand message and show their appreciation."

The study revealed some surprisingly consistent feedback on the significant impact that relatively small, inexpensive enhancements have on recipient perceptions:

  • Use of a white packaging box stood out as something special, making recipients feel a greater sense of appreciation than receiving an item in a standard brown box.
  • Thank you goes a long way. Sealing the box with tape imprinted with "Thank You" rather than plain packaging tape had participants saying such things as, "This company really appreciates me," and "The thank you tape shows they are making an extra effort to tell me my contributions matter."

"Every reward delivered to your home should be a celebration," said Benito Bustamante, director of fulfillment for Hinda. "It's a way to communicate the importance and value of the person receiving it. We want to make every delivery a celebration in a box."

The study found participants felt even more valued when their item was wrapped in tissue paper. Small things like this demonstrate an extra human touch in packaging that participants felt recognized them as special.

However, the study did reveal that there may be a point of diminishing returns for investments in custom packaging. When focus group participants opened an outer box to discover a gift-wrapped package inside, they were more likely to criticize details of the way it was wrapped, rather than feeling surprised and delighted.