The greatest measure of any successful corporate incentive programme directed at your key clients or dealers is long-term loyalty.
Two factors in creating this type of programme are: 1) making it unique and 2) offering the right mix of rewards.
Incentives that reward clients for transactions can be easily replicated by your competitors. Research also shows that purely transaction-based programmes do not build enduring loyalty, as customers switch to other suppliers as soon as their reward is received.
Instead, aim to build client relationships at multiple levels. Create common interests, values, language and bonds – similar to those of a sporting or lifestyle club.
You can achieve this through networking opportunities, interaction and regular information exchange between the company and its client or dealer base.
In relation to the rewards mix, the popularity of self-development rewards has increased as well as the emergence of “name your own reward”.
This is where participants are given a certain value and select the reward they would like, without any limitations.
Examples might include paying school fees, assisting with mortgage repayments, or personal training programmes.
Travel, however, remains one of the greatest motivators for corporate incentives and is one of the more tax-effective options, especially where business forms part of the itinerary.
When individualising your programme and its rewards, start by getting to know your participants first. Understanding everything from their professional needs to their personal interests is the fundamental platform of any successful programme.