The Importance of Incentive Program Themes

One of the most important steps in planning a sales incentive program that often doesn’t get enough credit is the theme. The theme of an incentive program is the hook that catches the interest of your audience and initiates engagement. Because of how important the theme is to the program’s overall success, it is essential that it is unique to your program, demographically relevant, and can go the distance. Let’s take a look at the development process that delivers successful themes to the most intricate, cyclical programs at Brightspot!

Brainstorming Sales Contest Themes

First, we select a team to complete an initial theme brainstorm on their own, focusing on ideas that fit the program type and audience demographic. During this time, individuals will research themes based on the program type and target demographic.

Since theme requirements will differ based on the program type, this is the first thing we will consider. For incentive travel programs, themes will tend to be more destination specific. Because these programs have shorter run times, the messaging will need to be clear and concise while keeping the trip top of mind and motivation high.

Incentive rewards and training programs require more depth due to their longer run times. Additionally, these programs are likely to be more complex as they may include phases, qualifications, point structures, and/or various prizes. This means we will need to consider themes that are intricate enough to fit the program’s needs and facilitate engagement throughout the duration of the program.

Next, we are looking for themes that will appeal to the target demographic. We will keep the audience front-of-mind throughout the entire brainstorm process, as it is an integral part of designing an effective incentive program.

In programs that focus on a younger demographic, theme options could include music festivals, video games, and popular movie franchises. For more mature demographics, we might recommend universal themes like sporting events (i.e., the Rose Bowl) or activate the nostalgia effect with classic music artists or trends from the past.


Which Spiff Program Themes Have Legs?

Once the team is done collecting ideas, we will come together, present our findings, and dive a bit deeper.

Here, we will focus on asking the most important question: “Which themes have legs?” This means we are trying to determine if a theme fits into all phases of the program, has relevant promotional items, and provides plenty of material for creative design (print and digital).

It is not uncommon that a lot of initially promising ideas are discarded in this phase. For example, someone once presented a camping theme during a team brainstorm for an upcoming program. While camping checks the promotional item and the creative design boxes, it did not check the most important box for this specific program: fitting into the program phases. This program had very distinct phases, or tiers, that camping did not cater to. So, in this instance, camping did not have the legs to carry this program and was thus discarded in this phase.

choosing an incentive program theme
Is this Theme Trendy?

Next, we will determine which themes are going to be entertaining to the end-user. Again, the main objective of having a program theme is to increase engagement. If the theme is not trendy or relevant, the theme will not be as effective.

In some instances, we will dig deeper into the demographic question. Just because a theme is relevant to one demographic does not mean it is relevant to all. Therefore, we must understand the target demographics in order to narrow the list down to options that will resonate and drive optimal engagement.

Final Selection and Execution

Here is where you come in: selecting the final program theme!

In this phase, we put together a presentation with pictures, theme words to use in copy/collateral, promotional item ideas, art designs, and more! All you must do is select your favorite theme, and we will take care of the rest.

As you can see, narrowing down the program theme options is an extensive process. Brightspot thinks through every detail and brings it to life with in-house designers and dedicated planners.

Whether you are looking to start an incentive rewards program, incentive travel program, or even an incentive training program, we are here to help with every detail. Drop us a line and see what bright ideas we have waiting for you!

Jessica Beghtel

Author Jessica Beghtel

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