The humble gift card is making a bit of a resurgence. But just how can it be used? We spoke to Anthony Mortimer, Business Incentives Manager, House of
The humble gift card is making a bit of a resurgence. But just how can it be used? We spoke to Anthony Mortimer, Business Incentives Manager, House of Fraser for Business who believes that gift cards can be used in 3 key areas of every business. That means everyone benefits, not just sales, or HR, or marketing. We asked him to list some of the reasons gift cards stand out in the areas of employee engagement, marketing and sales promotion, and apology.
Effective communication is the obvious way to drive engagement – keep employees informed of the rewards available and the ease with which they can be accessed. The gift cards on offer must reflect the needs and aspirations of an increasingly diverse workforce. With a diverse workforce, it may be more effective to ensure there is a choice of brands available, and continue to ask employees for feedback on how they would like to see the offer develop.
It’s also essential to drive continued engagement by keeping the offer fresh – regularly examine the offer, research the workforce, develop and commit to ongoing communication through every channel available from posters in communal areas to the intranet, email and staff magazines.
Marketing and sales promotion
It’s imperative, when selecting a gift card for a consumer promotion that brands are complimentary, and that the consumer really feels they’re being rewarded. Some key considerations come into play – is the price point of the brand too high, if the consumer can’t buy anything without adding significantly with their own money there’s the potential to alienate; is it easy to spend – can the consumer redeem online or do they have to travel miles to a store; and, finally, are the brands compatible. Get all those elements right and everyone wins, but get it wrong and both brands potentially suffer. House of Fraser is ideal for consumer incentives – it’s clearly a strong aspirational brand that offers something for everyone, whether the reward is £5 or £500, and gift cards can be spent online and instore.
The priority here is to ensure you give a gift card brand that is easy to spend (online and in-store), and which represents a genuine treat – something that the recipient will view as aspirational and will be remembered for all the right reasons. The value must also be considered – the recipient must be able to spend their gift card without having to add their own money at the point of purchase; they may well choose to do that, but it should be their decision to ‘trade-up’.
If you’re worried about age – perhaps you’;ve heard that millennials hate gift cards – don’t!
“It’s easy to make impaired business decisions based upon individually held assumptions. This is particularly true when it comes to our personal beliefs about generational attitudes, and how those views influence employee reward strategy. Are the expectations and desires of baby boomers and Gen Z so far apart that an employer needs to incur the expense of individually tailoring their reward offering? In short the answer is no, it isn’t necessary to rigidly segment the type of reward based upon age, however there are subtle differentials and expectations when it comes to the delivery of that reward.
The gift card market is ideally placed to fulfil that expectation because technology in the sector facilitates immediacy – whether that is through electronic delivery of an eGift card to a PC or mobile device. The ability to receive the reward and spend straight away, gives that instant gratification which is so immensely important to Gen X, Y and Z. Gift cards can beloaded and reloaded with value remotely by the employer, without the need for the recipient to become involved with the process. Equally, eGift cards can be sent directly to the recipient via email, so the award can be made, delivered and spent within a matter of hours.”