By Rich Killian, Executive Vice President, Incentive Gift Certificate Council
Promoting the Trophy Value of Gift Certificates
Gift certificates are a popular choice for consumers seeking an easy, convenient way to
give the gift of choice. Instead of crossing their fingers, hoping that the recipient will like
the gift they've picked out, consumers can give a flexible present that allows users to buy
what they want, when they want.
What some people don't realize is that a gift certificate or "gift card" usage extends
beyond a trip to the department store during the holidays. Businesses utilize gift
certificates and cards to recruit, recognize, and motivate employees; reward workplace
safety; forge relationships with dealers and distributors, build trade show traffic and spur
consumers to buy their products.
Numerous studies point to the efficacy of gift certificates and cards in achieving business
results. They have been shown to increase sales, improve employee performance and
build loyalty, foster teamwork and create new markets, among others.
The fact that gift cards have become so popular for corporate use isn't surprising, based
on the advantages they have over monetary incentives. The cards can be branded,
personalized and customized, and they offer administrative benefits such as usage
tracking and a variety of redemption options.
They also possess "trophy value" that most other cash-based incentive programs can't
touch. Workers who receive a $50 gift card for running a department for three months
without an accident, for example, will not only enjoy receiving the monetary reward, but
will also enjoy the product, meal or service that it affords them. Whereas cash can be
spent quickly on day-to-day items, a gift certificate from a favorite restaurant, store,
online merchant or hotel will be remembered and appreciated for months, and even years,
Gift certificates also stand out on their ability to create "buzz" within the workplace. That