Show the Love
Adam Stone: Go after the business, sounds cliché [but it's true]. I hear many distributors walking away from the award business. They're often scared of the detail involved, [such as] making a mistake with names. Moreover, the [turnaround] times are quick and you run the risk of missing an event or in-hands date. Remember, the quantities can be low, but the margins are high.
AV: My advice would be to listen to the customers, find out their goals for their programs and build out innovative solutions that fit their necessities. In the gift card area, keep a narrow selection of cards. Don't try to offer too many cards because fulfillment issues may arise.
PM: With the job market down and employee morale at many companies low, are you seeing an upswing in sales for companies wanting to retain good employees, or is the award/recognition segment down?
BH: While corporate budgets have been reduced or eliminated when it comes to awards/recognition, there are companies that have a reputation for keeping employees happy and motivated. They have embraced this segment and use awards/recognition to improve company morale and productivity.
MA: Recognition-type pieces are growing as a market segment, I believe that this is in response of companies wanting to recruit and retain top talent.
AV: The negative downswing in the economy actually helped gift cards since companies looked for new ways to incentivize and reward employees.
AS: It goes with out saying people like to be recognized for their efforts. No matter the price point, people are always pleased to receive a gift. The current work force is comprised of what many call the "trophy generation." They (and I), need an award and/or recognition for every little thing done in the work world. Awards are the perfect option. They're offered in all sizes and price points and are easily displayed for everyone else to see.