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TCMPiCash vs. Cachet: Why premium gifts deliver a higher ROI than money



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The Official TCMPi Blog

Of all the gifts that corporations give to their employees, perhaps the most controversial is cash – money, moola, bucks, green stuff.

Why? Because, as proponents will tell you, it’s very easy to give but, according to nay-sayers, it’s got no emotional value and is a poor driver of performance or loyalty. (I presume unless it’s really, really big bucks.)

On one hand, cash is entirely discretionary to the recipients; they can spend it any way they want. (Unfortunately in this economy, that often means paying on existing bills.) On the other hand, merchandise (especially brand name products) carries far more emotional appeal which tends to last much longer than that of money.

In an attempt to shine an informed light on whether corporations should give cash or merchandise, the Incentive Research Foundation conducted research into the cash vs. cachet conundrum. According to IRF President Melissa Van Dyke “Our research review showed that non-cash’s influence over people can often be more powerful – and as such more profitable – than cash alternatives.”

So what’s a company to do?

Pick the gift that pleases the most – and the longest.

The fact is that recognition gifts are an expense and as such must be examined by the financial magnifying glass. So it is important that companies choose gifts that deliver a return on the investment while also creating goodwill among recipients. The fact that premium products are highly desirable and very memorable over a long period of time makes them the choice of more and more companies.

The long-held belief that employees prefer cash is simply no longer true. Offering highly sought-after name brand gifts results in instant and long-lived appreciation that leads to better performance and enhanced relationships.

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