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.

Up and Coming Luxury Travel Hotspots: Vietnam and Cambodia

Luxury travel is something that is difficult to define due to the fact that it is both subjective and constantly evolving. Something that most experts in the industry can agree on is that seeing the world with a luxurious spin is about creating a memory that people will cherish and look back on with fondly for the rest of their lives.

While luxury travelers of yesteryear were easily impressed by glitz and glamour, today’s consumers take a more sophisticated approach with an interest in authentic experiences and gaining intimate insights and a deeper connection with the culture of the destination. Many luxury travelers gravitate toward immersing themselves in cultures that the common traveler has not had an opportunity to see.

With this development in mind, it is not surprising that Vietnam and Cambodia are rapidly becoming highly sought after destinations for high-end travelers. The unique combination of lavish hotels and authentic experiences make these regions tough to beat.

These countries have set their focus on developing tourism with newly constructed boutique hotels, activities and tours. Vietnam has even agreed to invest $6 billion in Cambodia’s domestic companies which will likely be used in the improvement of roads and therefore better accessibility to tourist hotspots. Southeast Asian tourism is no longer dominated by Thailand and Malaysia, as has been the case in the past.

Economic Reform

Economic reform in Vietnam has also created a new upper class that can afford the products sold in Ho Chi Minh City’s designer boutiques. Retailers such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana are now receiving business from local residents in addition to tourists. This newly acquired supplement in local business ensures that they can stay profitable during the off-season when tourist spending is down.

Improved Infrastructure

The development of roads in the provinces of Cambodia and Vietnam were a crucial first step in bringing life to tourism in both countries. Increased safety, convenient flight patterns and ease of overland transportation have been other key factors in drawing more tourists to the region.

Places to See

Cambodia’s Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument ever built. It is historic, architecturally astounding and naturally beautiful. This site is at the top of the list when most world travelers are determining itineraries. If you are not familiar with Angkor Wat, I would recommend checking out this video captured by National Geographic.

Ha Long Bay includes 1,600 islands and islets forming a spectacular seascape with limestone pillars. The majority of the islands are uninhabited and unaffected by human presence. The following link will give you an idea of the beauty.

Song Saa Private Island is located on Koh Quen and Koh Bong, two small bordering islands in the Koh Rong archipelago, and just a 30 minute boat ride from Sihanoukville or one hour flight from Siem Reap. This Island boasts world-class beaches, luxury hotels, seven ocean view villas with private seashores, snorkeling and kayaking opportunities and nighttime boat cruises.

Song Saa Resort borders the warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand and is still largely undeveloped and open. This is a great place if you are looking for peace and quiet.

The Central Coast of Vietnam is also becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia due to world-class resorts, golf courses and improved accessibility via newly expanding plane routes from China, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong..

If you are looking for more information on traveling to Vietnam or Cambodia for a travel incentive to reward customers, advertisers, employees or dealers, please send us an email at

For more information on incentive travel, please click here to read: “The Scientific and Managerial Support of Incentive Travel.”

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.

America’s Top CEO’s Reveal How They Motivate Employees


The number one “secret” to success according to the CEO’s of the top companies in America: Motivate your people.

Forbes Magazine surveyed a wide variety of leaders from their 2013 “America’s Best Small Companies” list, and rewarding, motivating, and engaging employees was a dominant response.

Anyone interested in improving the performance of their most valuable resource (their employees), should listen, process, and learn from these innovative individuals.

Don Bailey of Questor (QCOR) Pharmaceuticals, Behrooz Adbi of InvenSense (INVN), Mike Fifer of Sturm, Ruger (RGR), and Steve Frederickson of Portfolio Recovery Associated (PRAA) were just a few of those surveyed.

Bailey feels that the key to motivating employees is to treat them as equals, listen to and respect them, and understand their personalities.

Stressing the importance of clearly communicating the vision and empowering the team to successfully work towards a common goal is what makes the team of InvenSense excel, according to Adbi.

More strategic in nature, Fifer utilizes profit sharing, 15% of pretax profits every quarter, as a way to inspire his team. Employees are naturally more concerned with performing well when they know they will directly benefit financially. More than 30% of pay now comes from this profit sharing initiative and a culture of innovation has been created.

Portfolio Recover Associated CEO Frederickson believes the best way to drive performance is to challenge employees with difficult tasks and see how they respond. With appropriate resources, close monitoring and reporting, and fair rewards in place, he feels unbelievable results can be achieved due to the fierce competition that ensues.

Incorporating some of these ideas into the culture and inter-workings of your company could yield dramatic improvements. The companies listed are some of the most admired in the world and their ability to optimize the performance of people was key to their success.

For more tips on how to engage your employees, increase productivity, generate sales, and improve employee retention and loyalty, please feel free to send me an email at today or visit our website at

Comment below if you’d like to add some insight or strike up a conversation on this topic.

Written by Kristopher Hewkin

Stack Your Deck to Always Come up Aces

Life is full of risky decisions.  From the type of cereal you eat every morning to the next car you park in your garage, every choice involves risk.  While a bad cereal can do little more than ruin your day, the wrong car can induce feelings of regret and remorse for years.

Businesses also face these decisions, and success is predicated on the ability to evaluate and select options that afford the least amount of risk.  Particularly in today’s recovering economy, managers must weigh their options carefully and be wary of placing their company in the position of taking on great risk.

One decision that doesn’t require hours of critical thought is whether businesses should motivate and reward their employees, dealers and best customers.  Human capital is an invaluable asset for any business, and cultivating a culture of recognition, rewards, and gratitude is essential to ensure future revenue growth.

Once you understand this rationale, the question then becomes how do I accomplish this?  Gold stars were fun in grade school and pay bumps were always welcome in minimum-wage high school jobs, but seasoned professionals need a little more to feel appreciated and respected…

Go the extra mile by giving noncash incentives such as travel, debit cards, merchandise and promotional items.

There are many firms that offer these services, and selecting one purely based on the lowest price puts you at great risk of turning your positive idea into a negative experience.

When it comes time to make a decision about who to partner with to create your noncash incentive programs, banish the thought of putting your company at risk.  With JNR, we will put your mind at ease by eliminating this risk through the following:

  •  33 Years of Expertise – We don’t make mistakes.  Our programs are simply the best in the business.
  •  Price Guarantees – You know up front what everything will cost.  No hidden costs, no surprises.
  •  Client Satisfaction – Our client list reads like a “Who’s Who” of the Fortune 500, and includes major automotive, construction, technology and healthcare firms.

Tough decisions loaded with risk keep our plates constantly full.  Now you can make an easy choice that won’t keep you up at night: keep your company’s revenues growing by utilizing custom, noncash incentive programs from JNR.

For more information on Travel Incentive Programs; Full-Service Marketing, Advertising and Communications Services; Debit and Reward Cards; Promotional Products and Merchandise, Meetings and Events; or how to take the risk out of running a business… call us at: 949-476-2688, or visit us online at:

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