The holidays have come and gone, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to stop gifting. We’ve compiled a resource to show you how organizations reward with merchandise and what type of merchandise recipients actually want.

How companies reward with merchandise:

Here are the top ways companies use gifts and merchandise to reward and thank employees, distributors, and customers year-round. How does your company compare?

  1. Reward a top performer
  2. Reward for reaching sales goals
  3. Customer gifts
  4. Recognize a team
  5. Service anniversary
  6. Discretionary recognition
  7. Other goal-based rewards
  8. Other gifts (to speakers for example)
why companies gift

Source: The Incentive Manufacturers and Representatives Alliance and Incentive Research Foundation- Small Business Merchandise Market Study of companies between $11 million and $50 million in annual sales.

Here’s the type of merchandise recipients actually want.

In 2016, we reported on the hottest merchandise trends, and many are still going strong today. We will continue to see growth with wellness items, new tech, merchandise bars, socially conscious products, and memory merchandise. (For more information on these, read this blog: Five Merchandise Trends.)

According to an IRF Pulse study, electronics, luggage, watches, and jewelry are still the most popular product categories and brand names attract the most attention. See the chart below for more details.

merchandise product categories

Is there more to incentives than gifts?

All that being said, it’s important to keep in mind that people are motivated by different things and in different ways. Sometimes tangible rewards will be the right answer and sometimes just a heartfelt “thank you” will do. That’s why developing a strategic incentive program with clearly defined goals is the first step in optimizing engagement with employees, your sales team, and channel partners, if applicable. Gifts and merchandise are just part of the equation when it comes to recognition programs, but they are very powerful when used in the right way.

Let the gifting begin!

Let’s Thrive.

Need help with your merchandise strategy?

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