CASE STUDY: Customized Gift Cards Prove to Be a Worthy Sales Incentive for FM Group USA
PROBLEM: FM Group USA, a direct seller of fragrances, wanted to increase revenues from its independent sales distributors.
SOLUTION: Incentivized its sales distributors with the opportunity to win customized Visa gift cards by attaining certain sales goals.
RESULTS: FM Group USA's overall sales have increased since it began offering the gift cards in the summer of last year. In addition, FM Group USA brands the gift cards with its company logo, helping keep the retailer top of mind and creating positive word-of-mouth marketing.
With a business model akin to that of Avon's or Mary Kay's — i.e., independent contractors work with the brand to directly sell its products — FM Group USA sought to increase its revenues by motivating independent sales distributors to move more product. What better way to motivate than to offer an incentive. Beginning in July of 2010, FM Group USA did just that, offering its sales reps the opportunity to win gift cards in exchange for meeting predetermined sales goals. FM Group USA also offers gift cards to new members joining its independent sales force.
Helping FM Group USA in this venture is Incentive CardLab, a provider of customized Visa gift cards. As of press time, FM Group USA had placed eight orders with Incentive CardLab, purchasing a total of 168 gift cards. It also supplied its logo to Incentive CardLab so that each gift card could be printed with it.
"They're a very powerful tool for branding," says Michael Walkowski, CEO/managing director of FM Group USA, whose customized gift cards are branded with the company's logo and select product pictures. "The second benefit is that incentives help people understand how easy it is to make money with our company."
The customized gift cards used by FM Group USA are attractive for a couple of reasons, says Walkowski. First, they help to incentivize the retailer's independent sales reps to sell more product and, second, the positive word-of-mouth they generate help make it easier for FM Group USA to recruit more consumers to become independent sales reps for the company.