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Rewards & Recognition (September 2010)

News Briefs

Rideau Hires Kevin J. Cronin as Executive VP

Rideau Recognition Solutions has announced the appointment of Kevin J. Cronin as Executive Vice President of Client Strategy, Solutions and Implementation. Cronin is currently President of Recognition Professionals International. His role at Rideau is expected to strongly support the company's growth while bringing the buyer viewpoint to the provider landscape. "Kevin's experience as a practitioner, provider and consultant will help Rideau continue to grow our global presence and enhance our client offering," says Peter Hart, Rideau President and CEO. As a Certified Recognition Professional, Cronin has worked with an array of multinationals on strategy and execution and will play a vital role in supporting several large North American clients Rideau has recently signed. With over 15 years of experience in the recognition field, Cronin was most recently Senior Vice President of Recognition & Rewards at Bank of America and was responsible for the strategy and execution of all the Bank's recognition & rewards programs, which covered over 200,000 employees. "I am delighted to join the Rideau team at this critical juncture in our growth and look forward to helping our clients inspire greatness through our comprehensive and tailored recognition and rewards solutions," says Cronin. For more information, go to @@http://rideau.com/news/former-bank-america-executive-joins-rideau

Swarovski

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Rymax Announces Exclusive Partnership with Michael Kors

Rymax Marketing Services, Inc., the Largest Manufacturer's Representative in the Incentive Industry, is proud to announce an exclusive partnership with Michael Kors USA Inc., a leading designer of luxury accessories and sportswear. Rymax will offer the latest Michael Kors (MMK) handbag styles, watches and additional luxury accessories that will complement the line. "Rymax is excited about the addition of Michael Kors to our portfolio of exclusive brands," says Paula Ambrozic, Director of Strategic Relations and Compliance at Rymax. "We're confident that this iconic brand, with the highest standard of quality, will make for popular reward redemptions among our clients' program demographics and serve as a great option for holiday redemptions in our upcoming season and beyond." For more information, go to @@http://www.rymaxinc.com/news.html

Canon

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Excellence In Motivation Named to 'CMI 25'

Excellence In Motivation (EIM) has been named to the 2010 CMI 25 list, an exclusive directory of the largest and most influential full-service meeting and incentive travel management companies focused on the corporate market. Now in its fourth year, the CMI 25 list is compiled by Corporate Meetings & Incentives magazine and published in its September issue. "We are pleased to be named to the CMI 25 list for the third year in a row," says Bob Miller, President and CEO of EIM. "It is a credit to our workforce that in this challenging environment we continue to be recognized as a leader in the incentive industry." The magazine's editors select CMI 25 companies based on several factors, including the number of meetings and incentive travel programs managed in 2009 and the total number of room nights represented by those meetings and incentives. They also evaluate the number of full-time employees at each company, as well as the percentage of the company's revenues that come from organizing corporate meetings and incentives, versus association meetings or other sources. For more information about EIM, visit @@http://www.eim-inc.com/.

Marriott Individual Incentives

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Amazon's New Strategy: Trade AMEX Reward Points for Merch

Amazon and American Express announced yesterday that AMEX cardholders can now use their Membership Rewards points to pay for all or part of Amazon.com purchases. For the incentive industry, this means the "retail threat" represented by Amazon's brief foray into incentives has reemerged; in effect, Amazon is back, but instead of working through resellers it's selling direct. So far it only involves AMEX personal cardholders and Small Business cardmembers with account numbers beginning 3745 or 3743. Some Corporate cardholders are also technically eligible for the Membership Rewards program, so there is the possibility that points accumulated by Business/Corporate cardholders might be used to purchase incentive-related items, but only if the company chooses to retain those points. The other key issue here is whether industry companies that currently handle the fulfillment of purchases made with Membership Rewards points will see some of that business siphoned off if those items are now purchased directly through Amazon. Stay tuned…

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HR.com Partners with Paramax

HR.com, the largest online social community dedicated to human resources, is now offering reward points to its 192,000 members with the help of its new partner, Paramax. The goal is to recognize members who contribute best practices, peer advice and other learning to build HR.com into the profession's leading authority on the Web. Initially, rewards will be used to improve member contributions to the community site and recognize the many experts who already post. Phase 2 of the program will enable members to redeem their reward points for HR.com products, prizes, discounts of suppliers and much more. Through its partnership with Paramax, HR.com members will now be able to collect points for items such as:

"We're thrilled to work with HR.com," says Jeff Dalton, CEO of Paramax. "We look forward to driving user behaviors for more social networks." For more information go to: @@http://www.hr.com/ or @@http://www.pmx.com/

FutureShow

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Charming Shoppes Launches Virtual Gift Cards for B2B Market

Charming Shoppes, Inc., a leading multi-brand apparel retailer specializing in women's plus-size apparel, recently announced it has launched Virtual Gift Cards in the Business to Business (B2B) Market. This new digital capability enables companies to order bulk e-gift cards through a secure encrypted link. E-gift card recipients click on a link that takes them to a landing page where an e-gift card can be printed out and taken to any Lane Bryant, Cacique, Lane Bryant Outlet, Fashion Bug or Catherines store or redeemed online at Charming Shoppes brand's websites. With the assistance of GiftCard Partners, Charming Shoppes has partnered with RevTrax, an expert in the digital delivery of bulk gift cards, to offer this new functionality. The ordering process for these new virtual gift cards mirrors the current corporate gift card process for Charming Shoppes where partners can visit a secure ordering portal via a unique username and password that allows them to submit and confirm bulk gift card orders.  For more information about Charming Shoppes and its brands, visit @@http://www.charmingshoppes.com/

Maui Jim

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MoShow Giveaway Promotes Maui Jim Gift Card Program

At this year's Motivation Show in Chicago, Maui Jim will be promoting its recently-launched Gift Card program by distributing 2,000 special sell sheets to attendees at the entrance to the Exhibit Hall. Each sheet will have a card sample with a number on the back of it, and 30 lucky recipients will win one of 30 Maui Jim Gift Cards – twenty $250 gift cards and ten $150 gift cards. All they have to do is stop by Booth #5008 and speak to a Maui Jim rep. If their number matches the winners list, they'll be handed their Gift Card on the spot. With only 2,000 numbers being distributed, odds of winning are extremely good, so be sure to look for the sell sheets at this year's Show! Maui Jim Gift Cards are available in any denomination from $25–$500 for incentive and reward programs. Recipients can select their own style, frame and lens color, redeem their Gift Card at @@http://www.mauijim.com/, and their order will ship within two to three business days. "This is a convenient, fun program that lets recipients easily choose their favorite pair of Maui Jim sunglasses, and we now have some of the best pricing and value in the industry by offering up to 50% off of the face value." Says Corporate Gifts Sales Manager Brett Hatch. "And if a company really wants to make the gift card special, they can add a custom case and cloth with their logo on it." For more information on program details and ordering, contact your Maui Jim rep or call (800) 614-6790.

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Insights from ESM Rewards & Recognition e-News

Engagement Event Returns $2 for Every Dollar Spent

The Enterprise Engagement Alliance (EEA) recently announced that research measuring the return on investment (ROI) of an annual meeting of healthcare insurance brokers that stressed training, relationship-building and networking opportunities found the sponsoring company enjoyed a return of almost $2 for every $1 invested in the program. Initial results reported in March revealed that the program had a profound impact on the way brokers thought and felt about the company, its products and its people. Part 1 of the report, The 'ROI in Channel Partner' Conferences – A Case Study, noted that the annual gathering translated into higher sales, performance and engagement among those who attended. Part 2 of the report examines the actual change in sales of Allsante, Inc.* products among program participants, summarizing the ROI the company achieved from the event. EEA analysis of the methodologies and findings reveals that Allsante earned significant ROI from its annual event. "After all variables were accounted for, a highly credible and conservative estimate of 190% ROI was arrived at," says Allan Schweyer, Chairman of the EEA. "In other words, the company enjoyed a return of almost $2 for every $1 it invested in the first six months following the event, and our researchers say it's likely that the returns, if calculated after another six months have passed, will be even greater." Parts 1 and 2 of the study, The 'ROI in Channel Partner' Conferences – A Case Study, can be downloaded at @@http://www.enterpriseengagement.org/

* The company in this report is referred to as "Allsante, Inc." at the firm's request, due to competitive reasons.

Harco

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In the Next Issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine

The September/October issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine will be out soon! Here's a look at what you'll find inside:

Is Engagement Your Silver Bullet?

William Schiemann, CEO of Metrus Group, notes that many firms exhibit some decline in employee engagement – and it costs them dearly. Research demonstrates that when engagement plummets, customer service, quality and productivity also drop, while costs and employee turnover rise. A recent cross-industry study conducted by Metrus Group found performance differences of nearly 10% between organizations where employee engagement was high and those with low-engagement operations. Many employers thought that with unemployment hovering at 10%, people would be delighted just to have a paycheck. And they were correct – up to a point. Many employees are delighted to have a paycheck, but it doesn't mean they're satisfied, committed or even engaged with the organization. To make sure you get your copy of Engagement Strategies Magazine, go to @@http://www.enterpriseengagement.org/account/login/ and update your subscription today!

Fire Light Group

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Can CSR Clear Up the Industry's Image Problem?

Caught up in the backlash against the major corporations whose questionable business practices helped precipitate the current economic crisis, the image of meetings and incentive trips in the general media has largely been one of excess and irresponsibility – right up there with exorbitant bonuses, private jets and company limos on the list of things people think of when they hear the words "corporate greed." So how does the industry fight that perception? Many ideas have been proposed, but one seems to offer more promise than the others – find ways to "humanize" meetings and incentives, make them less about money and excess and more about people and service. The recent rise of Corporate Social Responsibility offers that opportunity...

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GAP Focuses Resources on Employees with High Potential

For GAP Inc. and its stores, engagement is part of the definition of a high-performing employee. "We think of a high-performing employee as one who is very engaged," notes Marko Satarain, the company's Director of Talent Management. "If they're engaged they'll produce more and stay longer. So there's a business imperative as to why we would want to hire and retain a high-performing or highly engaged employee. If an employee is engaged, we know their productivity levels will be higher than the norm, they'll stay with us longer and it will actually influence and inspire their contemporaries or counterparts to perform better as well." Read more in the next issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine – coming soon.

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News From Selling Communications Inc.

Whitepaper Connects Engagement with Economic Recovery

One of the greatest opportunities to increase corporate profits – and subsequently boost the economy – lies in motivating workforces to improve performance, drive greater customer engagement and ultimately increase revenue, according to a new report from the Enterprise Engagement Alliance (EEA) and the Human Capital Institute (HCI). The Enterprise Engagement Alliance is a coalition of companies and associations dedicated to promoting the importance of engagement, founded  last year by the Human Capital Institute, Peppers & Rogers Group, 1to1® Media and Selling Communications, Inc. Entitled The Economics of Engagement, the report provides a comprehensive analysis of research in the field of Enterprise Engagement and offers how-to information on benchmarking tools that can quantitatively measure the benefits of employee and customer engagement. These measurement tools are critical to demonstrate the bottom-line impact of enterprise engagement, both to corporations and to the economy as a whole, using financial language that senior executives, investors and economists are accustomed to. "One of the most encouraging findings of this report is the revelation that vast reserves of overall performance potential are essentially hiding in plain sight," says Bruce Bolger of the Enterprise Engagement Alliance. "Engaging the people that companies deal with on a day-to-day basis – both internally and externally – in a comprehensive, compelling and connected way will create a result that is more than just the sum of its parts. Naturally, as with any such investment, the return needs to be demonstrated to decision makers, and there's a growing body of evidence in the engagement arena that does just that." For a copy of the report, click here

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About Selling Communications Inc.

Selling Communications, Inc. is a fully integrated, target marketing, media and technology agency that improves results for clients by focusing on the people who matter most. We can help your business grow and save you money by targeting key prospects, getting their permission and strategically integrating your marketing and sales communications with the specific audiences most likely to affect your business performance.

Take advantage of these SCI services to improve your business development:

For more information on Selling Communications, its products and services, contact Jim Kilmetis at 914-591-7600, ext. 229 or send an e-mail to jkilmetis@sellingcommunications.com.

Tapping new customers, and keeping those you already have, costs less than you'd imagine...

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EGR International Inc.

Marriott Bloomington-Normal

McBassi

Canon