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The Ins and Outs of Shopping for Awards and Recognition Gifts by John D. Powell

Awards and recognition products lift spirits for both the giver and the recipient. Knowing what goes in to buying these morale-building products allows you to get the best merchandise for your specific situation. We spoke to some of the industry's top suppliers in the industry to find out everything you'll need to know about awards and recognition products.

Importance of Rewarding

Gallup's 2013 State of the American Workplace Report found that 70 percent of American workers are not engaged in their work or organization, but recognizing their hard work is one way to make them feel appreciated and encourage them to get more involved.

"The list of reasons why it is important for employers to recognize their employees could go on and on and on," said a marketing manager for a St. Paul, Minnesota-based company. "Higher revenues, reduced turnover and higher productivity are all items pertinent to the success of an organization."

They explained that happy employees often lead to improvements to things like service as well.

"Without a memorable customer experience, an organization would not retain customers," they said. "Engaged employees help create the customer experience an organization needs to thrive in the competitive landscape we live in today."

There are different strategies for motivating employees to keep a business running smoothly. BIC Graphics stressed the effect awards have on long-term motivation.

"There is a difference between short-term motivation and recognition," they said. "Gift cards, team luncheons, cash and travel motivate for short-term goals. Tangible rewards that are kept, and therefore remembered, are tied to psychological well-being."

Awards are one option to encourage workers to keep up the hard work, but recognition gifts are another acceptable route. Sweeda also said pairing a gift with acknowledgement is a great way to reward employees' dedication.

"Acknowledgement is always the first recognition that an employer should exercise, but adding a beautiful gift accentuates the positive reinforcement of great performance for sales delivery, safety, tenure or other service," they said.

What To Look For

With so many awards and recognition products out there, it's possible not to know where to start or what to look for. When shopping around for awards,  pay attention to shapes and artistic designs, as well as handcrafted qualities and decoration methods.

"Both the imprint and the award's inherent design impress recipients," They said.

The look of an award is important, specifically the little features.

"The attention to the small details can separate a good award from a stunning masterpiece," was noted.

Be sure to present the award in a memorable way.

"If an award is shipped to a recipient's home with no mention from their manager or organization for a job well done, it is money wasted," they explained. "The presentation of the award is what creates the lasting memory and a return on the investment."

For recognition and incentive items, it is suggested considering how useful a gift is before giving it.

"A great gift stands out when the recipient uses it in their daily lives, where the impression is in constant sight loud, front and center," they said.

Getting Creative

Awards or recognition gifts are often given to reward success or maybe even for winning a contest. Products can be used in other ways as well.

"Awards can be used as vendor and dealer gifts," said the representative. "Very frequently, these gifts are showcased in lobbies and front desks where customers and employees can admire their beauty, and let's not forget, the company logo too."

Example of when an award was used for external branding.

"A perfect example is a customer of ours used one of our crystal clocks for an event that's theme was about on-time delivery," they explained. "Also, our crystal USBs and keychains can be used for external branding efforts, such as a new purchase of a high-end automobile, like a McLaren."

Here is a final tip for employers considering awards and recognition products.

"Employers shouldn't rely on annual recognition events, but rather be spontaneous and generous in recognizing performance and ingenuity in day-to-day business." 

This article was published on Tuesday 18 November, 2014.
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View Proofs Before Your Order Is Sent Into Production

We realize that promotional products are an investment - and we want you to be happy with the finished product. Supply your own camera ready art and you'll know exactly how the project will turn out. Can't provide camera ready art? Let our team of designers prepare artwork for you and send you a proof prior to the project being completed. For even more peace of mind, allow us to produce an actual pre-production sample at a small fee. If your budget won't allow for that, many times we can provide a virtual sample at no charge.

Promotional Products and Marketing Gifts

Did you know promotional products and merchandise with your logo not only strengthens your relationships with customers and prospects, they actually have a better retention rate than with many traditional advertising ventures. Promotional products, also known as specialty advertising, build brand awareness, help build corporate identity and promote a positive impression of your business. Let our team work with you in selecting the best specialties that fit your corporate identity. When used, specialty advertising products are a valuable tool in solidifying your position in today's competitive marketplace.

Promotional products are also serve as great marketing gifts to leave with potential customers and clients. Let your sales force leave behind promotional products with your name, logo and contact information on them and you will experience the benefit in increased results. In today's competitive marketplace, "desk time", is an essential element in moving through the marketing clutter of emails, phone calls and mailings. what better way to have your prospects and customers think of you than when they use a pad of Post-Its, pen, mousepad, coaster, cup or calendar with your logo constantly presented to them. Research shows companies that use advertising specialties in their marketing mix outperform those that don't use specialty products.

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Corporate and Business Gifts

In today's competitive workplace, employee recognition is an essential element in retaining your valuable workforce. We are able to provide a wide range of gifts designed to foster morale, provide a sense of loyalty and reward performance. Whether you choose crystal awards, electronics or any of our many corporate gifts they will be sure to please and create a sense of success and job security. As with any corporate gift or reward, employees tend to display or use them with pride.

Business gifts are a standard - especially when you want to thank your clients for their time or business. What better way to leave a valuable impression than with a premium gift decorated with your logo or message. Action Advertising offers a comprehensive selection of corporate and promotional gifts designed to show your appreciation to those you select to receive them.

So, whether you are celebrating a milestone of sales or tenure, our selection of corporate gifts will sure to lend an element of class, a feeling of accomplishment and appreciation. Whatever the need from crystal, glass, leather or electronic, we have a special corporate gift to please and fit any budget.

Promotional Company Shirts

Corporate shirts are a great way to reward clients or to increase your exposure to the public. We are pleased to offer a wide range of shirts including embroidered polo's and custom printed shirts. Shirts can provide your business with free advertising - and what company wouldn't want that?

Whether you are seeking to increase team building, present a unified appearance or create a sense of belonging - promotional shirts can help you accomplish your goal.

Even if you need corporate uniforms, Action Advertising is pleased to offer a wide range of uniform programs. We offer many styles in men's as well as ladies cuts. Worried about stains? Let our selection of stain resistant shirts help keep your employees looking their best. Concerned about the environment? Action Advertising offers many "green" products including bamboo which not only is environmentally friendly, but naturally anti-microbial.

Trade Show Giveaway Items, Logo Pens

Tradeshow giveaways can be a source of stress for those planning what to giveway. Let the helpful and knowledgeable staff at Action Advertising help by offering solutions to maximize your budget. With comprehensive sourcing options, we can find products tailored to fit your marketing objective. We can custom print a wide range of proven tradeshow giveaways including pens, bags, key chains, magnets, huggers and more. We also can provide mouse pads, umbrellas, MP3 programs, banners, candy and flash drives.

By far one of our best selling tradeshow giveaways is pens. Chances are, most of the pens on your desk, in your car or at home have a corporate logo on them. These items can be customized with a message that will be seen time and time again by customers, prospects and employees. So whether you are promoting a message of safety, celebration or location - imprinted pens go a very long way in advancing your corporate message because they usually are so well traveled. Action Advertising offers a pen to fit any budget from sleek upscale fountain pens to more economical varieties.

Printed Materials and Graphic Design Services

In addition to promotional products, Action Advertising offers outstanding pricing on a wide range of printed paper items including business cards, brochures, flyers, doorhangers, postcards, catalogs, CD/DVD inserts and much more.

If you need something designed, we have a staff of in-house graphic designers that help with logo design, print campaigns and printed collateral - including banners and auto magnets. Our rates are far more competitive than traditional ad agency rates.

We understand marketing and corporate branding.


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