New Research Reveals the Importance of Rewarding Experiences

Ric Neely, Marketing Director, Hinda Incentives

Whether you’re receiving a reward for outstanding performance from your company or being recognized by a vendor as a valued partner, it should feel special. The reward should make you feel appreciated and honored for your contributions or loyalty, and reinforce the emotional bond you have with those presenting it. That’s why organizations devote enormous amounts of time finding just the right awards to appeal to their salespeople and channel partners while reflecting the quality and image people would expect of the company’s brand.

But all of that effort, and the goodwill it could generate with award recipients, can vanish because of a poor reward delivery experience. According to recognition experts, the best way to provide a reward is in person and preferably in front of their peers. Think Oscar night and the red carpet filled with stars, or music’s biggest night, the Grammy Awards. But in an increasingly remote business world where most people seldom engage face-to-face with their manager, making a reward experience a memorable event becomes harder and harder. Today, most rewards are shipped directly to the participant’s home and more often in a plain brown box filled with Styrofoam peanuts.

A recent study sponsored by Hinda Incentives sought to learn just how important the reward delivery experience was for people receiving an item at their home. The idea was to determine if an enhanced reward delivery experience would make a difference in the recipients’ perceptions of the sender. What surprised researchers, however, was the enormous impact small, relatively inexpensive enhancements made to award recipients.

A white box stood out as something special compared to a standard brown box. As one participant said, “This (the white box) is different than my normal Amazon purchase deliveries. Amazon isn’t a reward”.

Just sealing the box with tape imprinted with “Thank You” had participants saying:

  • “This company really appreciates me.”
  • “They value me as a customer.”
  • “The thank you tape shows they are making an extra effort to tell me my contributions matter.”

“We have always believed little things make big differences,” says Hinda President, Mike Donnelly. “But even we were surprised at how consistently people tied small details to a brand really appreciating and caring about them. They made them feel a stronger bond with the sponsoring company.”

According to Hinda Director of Fulfillment Benito Bustamante, “Every reward delivered to your home should be a celebration. It’s not just a box with something in it. It’s a way to communicate the importance and value of the person receiving it. We want to make every delivery a celebration in a box.”

The research punctuated Benito’s sentiment finding participants felt even more valued when their item was wrapped in tissue paper. This not only made the delivery a celebration, but demonstrated the human touch people feel recognizes them as special.

Full results of the research and an executive review will be available later this month. Visit and subscribe to their blog to receive a copy as soon as it is released.

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