I plead guilty to enjoying a cold beer or two, and I’ve watched with amazement as the decade-long bull market in the craft beer industry shows no signs of abating.
The Incentive Marketing Association announced the five winners of the Circle of Excellence Awards today. The awards, which recognize the success of standout incentive campaigns, went to Volkswagen of America, Inc., Scottrade and IBM Corp. among others. The winners will be recognized at The Motivation Show in Chicago next week. <br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> • Volkswagen's "IQS 2008 Challenge," a collaboration with Touchstone Group Associates that started back in 2008, LLC centered on improving its J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study (IQS) rankings by focusing on revitalizing its dealer-customer communications. Volkswagen was able to raise its IQS rank by 32 points in 2008 and by another 16 points in 2009.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> • Scottrade set out with Anderson Performance Improvement Co. to create a peer recognition program for its staffers who go "Above and Beyond." In 2008, participation was at 95.2 percent participation. Employee retention also increased and the online investment firm was named one of the"100 Best Places to Work" this year by Fortune and Computerworld Magazines.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> • IBM partnered with Cievents and Merscient to deliver to its worldwide sales team a product and knowledge training manual that offered an array of travel and merchandise incentives for successful completion. Training participation rose 143 percent over 2007, and sales dollars increased 39 percent from 2007 to 2008.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Seven Network TV Operations' "Network 7 Olympic Millionaires" promotion and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group’s "ANZ Elite" reward and recognition program both earned honorable mentions.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> This year's winners were set apart from the competition by "a variety of creative techniques," according to Karen Renk, CAE, IMA executive director. "This year's field of Circle of Excellence award entries was the largest and most competitive in the award's ten year history."<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Past winners of the Circle of Excellence Awards include GE Financial Services, Glaxo Smith Kline, Kohler and Kraft Foods. <br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> <a href="http://www.incentivemag.com" target="_blank">— Nielsen Business Media</a>