Why it’s time to step back from making reward decisions on behalf of your target audience

Choice is the best option. When it came to what kind of reward they would choose, 65 per cent of consumers chose a gift card over other rewards at all values.

Source: 2017 CINT survey on behalf of Hawk Incentives, sample size 1525.

Why it’s time to step back from making reward decisions on behalf of your target audience

Most of us are not always that good at hitting the mark when it comes to choosing gifts for other people, even our nearest and dearest. And if choosing for people we know is difficult, selecting corporate gifts and rewards that will connect our brands with individual employees and consumers can be a much bigger challenge. Especially if we want to create emotional engagement – an essential element if we want to truly recognise, demonstrate appreciation and generate loyalty. An irrelevant or inappropriate reward will have the reverse effect.

The answer, of course, is to offer choice. And there are plenty of ways to do it effectively, depending on your audience, your budget, and your objectives.

An evolving market

Our Bonusbond voucher was the first ever multi-store offering, launched in 1972, by the early 80s pretty much every big retailer was issuing gift vouchers. Now, thanks to the payment technology innovations on which our business was first built in the US, consumers can now purchase gift cards for all kinds of brands in their local supermarket. We also partner with big brand names to produce a growing range of Choice cards, which are multi-brand themed gift cards that are ideal for targeting a particular consumer segment, for example: Kids Choice, Cycle Choice, Spafinder and The Restaurant Choice.

Many of our clients are now opting to incentivise, reward or compensate customers using their own branded prepaid cards – extending the brand experience and delivering choice at the same time. 

Yet some things haven’t changed at all. Whether it arrives digitally or in the post, the delight of receiving a treat to spend is still important. And the ‘trophy value’ of any reward (and the positive association with your brand) will transfer to whatever is purchased with it.

You can please everyone all the time

The current reward market is all about choice. Choice of mechanism, choice of channel, and of course – choice for the recipient. Here’s a quick top-line round-up to help you work out the best choice-based solution for your next reward or incentive programme, with or without targeting and segmentation.

Pure® card

Extend the brand experience with a reward card that’s the closest thing to cash and puts your brand into the recipient’s hand.

  • Available in three variants: universal (open-loop), campaign-based (for example, a ‘Free Fuel’ card), or restricted to our network of 1,600+ retailers/online stores (a more cost-effective option).
  • Ideal for high-volume customer rewards, such as a gift-with-purchase incentive for goods and services.
  • Can be used as a compensation/thank you/goodwill gesture (replacing the need for BACS or cheques).


  • An eCode that can be emailed or printed onto a card (or item!) and posted to the recipient, who can then redeem it online for the reward of their choice.
  • Can be personalised to the recipient, and branded to your programme.
  • Can also be tailored to a more limited range of brands to suit a segmented audience.
  • Provides you with feedback and insight showing where rewards are spent.
  • Ideal for large audiences; for repeatedly issuing regular rewards; and for when a quick turnaround is needed – redemption can happen within hours, especially if the recipient chooses a digital reward and spends it online straight away.

Choice cards

  • ‘Curated content’ cards bringing together retailers/brands around a single theme.
  • Ideal for a specific demographic (such as cyclists), or specialist areas (such as wellbeing).
  • Includes Bonusbond multi-store card, The Restaurant Choice, Spafinder, Cycle Choice, and Kids Choice.
  • Card carriers can be branded to suit your company or programme name.

And if you are looking for something even more specific, we have the UK’s largest range of big-name gift cards, vouchers and digital codes, often at less than face value. These can be ideal where a single brand really will fit the bill, and for people who prefer a traditional approach (or who don’t go online often). Access to our online voucher store is also available as an employee benefit extra, via API, and as part of our online reward catalogue/points platform.

So no matter how diverse your audience is, the only decision you need to make about reward is which mechanism will suit you and the people you want to connect with – and that’s where we come in.

For more detailed information on choosing the right incentives and rewards for your programme and your target audience, please get in touch.

This article was sponsored by BlackHawk.

Associated Supplier

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