Perfect Holiday Gifts for Employees, Customers and Channel Members

The passing of Labor Day signals the symbolic end of the summer to many and now we look forward to what lies ahead as September is underway. Fall colors, seasonal Starbucks drinks and Halloween are all fun things that highlight this time of the year, but something that requires a great deal of preparation is also rapidly approaching in the coming months: the December holidays!

Purchasing the perfect gift for every person on your personal list of family members and friends is difficult enough, but figuring out what to give your employees, customers and channel members is a completely different situation. If you operate a relatively small company with a short list of clients, then you may have the appropriate amount of time and knowledge to purchase something tailored to their preferences, which is the ideal option. If you are tasked with gifting for a large corporation, then personalized gifts are virtually impossible.

Thankfully there is a gift available that is easy to distribute to a large audience, cost-effective and allows you to thank your audiences by offering them the freedom of choice!

Gift cards are that gift!

Corporate gift cards come in several different forms. The typical Best Buy or Starbucks card you may think of when you hear the words “gift card” is merely one type.

 “Open loop” cards can be used virtually anywhere major credit cards are accepted, allowing the recipient the freedom to purchase practically anything that their heart desires. MasterCard® is a common issuer of open loop gift cards. This category accounts for 56% to 62% of the market.

“Closed loop” gift cards are issued by a specific retailer, such as Best Buy or Starbucks. Closed loop cards fall into the following categories (ranked from most to least popular): food & beverage, department stores, exclusive online retailers, music and movies, fuel, electronics, sporting goods, apparel, travel, jewelry and accessories.

Both types of gift cards carry low fees and are easy to distribute. Open loop cards can be personalized and branded with your company logo and both will make virtually any person happy! We all love the freedom to choose right?

The gift card industry is not just relevant to businesses during the holiday season though. Corporate incentive and loyalty programs are valuable tools to utilize year-round and can center on distributing rewards and incentives for greatness in sales, performance, safety, loyalty and other achievements. Holiday gift cards are only the beginning.

Below is a profile of gift card intentions among companies who frequently use them as some form of incentive, according to Incentive Magazine:

For more information on how to implement a gift card program to thank employees and customers, optimize channel sales, increase safety or reinforce and reward just about any other positive behavior, please give us a call at 949.476.2788, send us an email at, view our website or check out the relevant links below.

Suggested Gift & Rebate Card Readings:

A Look at Prepaid Cards in Incentive, Rewards, and Recognition Programs

Prepaid Debit Cards Are Effective Incentive and Reward Options

Auto Consumers Love Rebate Cards

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Kristopher Hewkin


JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Multi-Tiered Incentive Reward Programs: Motivating the Masses

In the early 1900’s, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto created a mathematical formula to describe the unequal distribution of wealth in his country, observing that 20% of the people owned 80% of the wealth. Thus, the well-known 80/20 rule was born. Over the years the business world has adopted this adage, stating that 80% of revenue comes from 20% of customers. Today, it is primarily a given that 80% of sales come from 20% of the salespeople. Many businesses have benefited from dramatic improvements in profitability by focusing on the most effective 20% of performers and, for the most part, overlooking the masses.

Turn the theory upside down, and it becomes quite unsettling. The other 20% of your profits are coming from 80% of your workforce.  Top-tier performers are most likely operating at capacity, leaving little room for growth. Therefore, the biggest potential for future growth lies in the remaining 80% of your workforce. Why not motivate this capable tier of employees to become top performers?

The goal of an effective incentive program that targets this middle tier is to set the groundwork for their entrance into the top-tier. Top-tier employees tend to claim most of the incentive program’s attention, leaving future top-tier producers hidden in the crowd and feeling unvalued. Getting the most out of middle-tier performers requires both enabling them and motivating them with the right mix of incentive rewards and recognition programs.

JNR has found that companies can improve the success of their programs dramatically by crafting communication and reward opportunities that can inspire middle and lower-tier performers who strive to improve. By aiming strategically crafted communication at the group of performers who are just slightly under the prescribed target objectives, while pairing that with a second tier reward, corporations can tap into a rich segment that has the ability to significantly impact revenues and overall success.

For more information on creating a multi-tiered incentive reward program to help your company improve profitability, contact us directly at or visit our website at

Kelly Woolsey

Manager, Marketing & Communications

The Importance of Measuring Sales Performance

“Reward employees and profits will follow” was the common belief for performance rewards and recognition programs designed during the millennium.  And then, the recession hit.  As budgets tightened and companies were pressured to demonstrate the ROI for sales incentives, managers have been challenged to come up with better sales performance measurement criteria.

“Over 60% of our client and vendor references have indicated that they do not have a sales performance measurement program in place, but intend to implement one within the next six to 12 months.  Of the 40% that say they do measure sales performance, many of them have limited measurement capabilities,” states

“In this ever-changing and highly competitive business environment, it is essential that any measurement program be able to determine internal performance improvement factors from external company and broader market and environmental factors,” the report continues.

SalesHQ has developed a report that will enable managers to create a business case for investments in employee motivation, sales incentives and recognition programs.  Measurement is essential and needs to be timed exactly as the employee engagement begins as marketing materials are rolled out. Trailing indicators, like performance against quota, are the most commonly used criteria, but companies need to become more sophisticated in the type of measurements they are using to include their ROI for sales training.

A sound sales performance measurement program must not only consider history but provide predictive, actionable metrics to management. Developing a forecasting ability that will indicate trends is important. “The measurement program must be comprehensive, accurate, objective and provide useful information to management,” according to SalesHQ.

Customer loyalty programs are perfect candidates for sales measurement and forecasting. Set goals and measure results. Adjust, re-set goals and measure results. As the sales incentive programs become more well-known within the target audience, add in more performance rewards and measure again.

As you develop your sales incentive programs, you will see exactly how essential the measurement aspect of the program is to the program’s overall success. The better the measurement and goal-setting, the more likely you will be to achieve your desired results.

To read the full SalesHQ article click here

For more information on the benefits of a strategic incentive solution visit our website at



Marilyn Froggatt

Vice President of Sales, JNR Incorporated