Special Report: Motivating the Salesforce: Show highlights motivational products

Just about anything that can be used to motivate a salesforce will be on display at next month's Motivational Marketing Expo, to be held September 7-9 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.The show, formerly the Canadian Premium, Incentive, Travel and Business...

Just about anything that can be used to motivate a salesforce will be on display at next month’s Motivational Marketing Expo, to be held September 7-9 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

The show, formerly the Canadian Premium, Incentive, Travel and Business Gift Expo, has been renamed in an attempt to shed the ‘trinkets and trash’ image of the motivational industry, say show organizers.

In keeping with the idea that motivational products can and should be integrated into a company’s sales and marketing strategy, Strategy asked a cross-section of this year’s exhibitors to describe an interesting or unusual product they were bringing to the show and explain how it might be used to motivate a salesforce.

Their responses appear below.

Fine art bronze sculptures

Description: Original works of art by contemporary Canadian artists are cast in bronze, aluminum, pewter or silver using the ‘lost wax’ process, a casting method that creates the finest reproductions available. The sculptures are issued in limited or open editions and are available from stock or custom-designed.

Clients: Consumers Gas; General Motors of Canada; Glaxo Canada; Molson Breweries of Canada; Nestle Canada; Royal Bank of Canada; Wood Gundy.

Motivational application: Sculptures can be used as awards for professional accomplishments or to commemorate a company’s anniversary or the completion of a special project.

Contact: A.B.I. Art Bronzes International, 14 Armstrong Ave., Georgetown, Ont. L7G 4R9 Tel: (905) 457-9501 FAX: (905) 877-0205.

Customized weekly planner

Description: Each page of this 144-page pocket planner can be customized with a company’s logo or artwork promoting specific products. The planners are plastic coil bound and lie flat when opened. Ribbon bookmarkers and leather or vinyl cases are optional.

Clients: Canada Trust; NB Tel; Maritime Tel & Tel.

Motivational application: Each page can be customized with motivational phrases espousing a company’s philosophy with respect to customer service, quality or selling.

Contact: Atlantic Day Appointment Calendars, 174 Shore Dr., Bedford, N.S. B4A 2E5 Tel: (902) 422-5284 FAX: (902) 835-5669.

Bubble watch

Description: The face of the Bubble Watch is covered in a dome or ‘bubble’. The bubble is filled air-tight with a non-toxic liquid. A miniature plastic replica product or character floats free inside. The watch is customized five ways: the dial is silk screened with unlimited colors; the floating miniature can be anything the customer wants; the strap is imprinted with a logo or design; and both the packaging and insert card can be fully customized with coupons or a company message.

Motivational application: Cadbury Beverages used the Bubble Watch in conjunction with the Flintstones movie license. The watch was featured as an on-pack, mail-in, self-liquidating offer and appeared on Orange Crush as well as a specially-created flavor, Bedrock Berry. As well as a consumer offer, the watch was part of a dealer-loader package and was used to create awareness of the cross-licensing program by being given away at staff events.

Contact: Aware Group of Companies, 29 Sackville St., Toronto, Ont. M5A 3E1 Tel: (416) 368-6494 FAX: (416) 368-5538.

Customized watches

Description: Bulova customized watches are crafted with the same accuracy as the company’s fine timepieces. Companies may choose from medallion and highlight medallion dials, silk screening and imprinting.

Motivational application: One Fortune 500 company celebrating its 25th anniversary set sales quotas by month for its salesforce. At the end of the year, each member of the sales team received Bulova’s Time ‘n Ice watches customized with the company’s logo. Five-point diamonds were set on the outside bezel of the watch, one for each month (to a maximum of 12) that the sales quota was achieved. Sales rose 22% over the previous year.

Contact: Bulova Watch Company, 105 Bartley Dr., Toronto, Ont. M4A 1C8. Tel: (416) 751-7151 FAX: (416) 751-4763.

Chocolate gift boxes

Description: Available in three sizes, both the box and chocolates can be imprinted with a company logo. Each box has a foil liner and the components can be color-coordinated to reflect a company’s corporate colors. Packaging ranges from inexpensive items to executive gifts.

Clients: Air Canada; Kodak Canada; Molson Breweries; Novotel; CIBC; Scotiabank; Canadian Pacific Hotels and Resorts; Apple Canada; Bank of Montreal; Merrill Lynch; Royal Bank of Canada.

Motivational application: Miniature drums were used by one company to inspire a ‘drum up’ business campaign.

Contact: Canadian Calibre, 25 Royal Crest Court, Unit 3, Markham, Ont. L3R 9X4 Tel: (905) 470-2888 FAX: (905) 470-9722.

Customized silk ties

Description: Companies can promote their logos, product lines and upcoming promotions on silk ties. Unlike casual wear, silk ties provide exposure in the office and other professional environments.

Clients: AC Delco, Pizza Pizza

Motivational application: AC Delco provided ties to salespeople working at the company’s exhibit at a major industry trade show. The ties featured a colorful geometric design which doubled as a stage for the company’s AC and the Delcos singing logo characters.

Contact: Dimi Enterprises, 43 Keys Ave., Ajax, Ont. L1T 3R3 Tel: (905) 427-1221 FAX: (905) 427-3188.

Gas grills

Description: The Ducane 2004s gas grill features flame and smoke-free cooking using a patented design. The grill captures 100% of meat juices, eliminating the need for a grease holder. The Ducane gas grill comes with a five-year warranty and is not sold through mass merchandisers.

Clients: Ford Motor Co. of Canada; General Motors of Canada; Chrysler Canada; Molson Breweries; Labatt Breweries of Canada.

Motivational application: Sales incentive programs.

Contact: Ducane, a division of J.B. Olver Enterprises, 2 Airpark Place, Unit 4, Guelph, Ont. N1H 6H8. Tel: (519) 837-3600 FAX: (519) 837-3203.

Three-dimensional pewter miniatures

Description: Three-dimensional miniatures of a company’s product, logo or corporate symbols are reproduced in hand-buffed pewter.

Clients: McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada; United Distillers; Chrysler Canada; Ford Motor Co. of Canada; Canadair Bombardier; UPS Worldwide; C.P. Rail; the National Hockey League.

Motivational application: McDonald’s Restaurants managers use a collectible series of McDonald’s characters to reward staff achievement.

Contact: Executive Promotions, 4670 Ste. Catherine St. West, Ste. 100, Montreal, Que. H3Z 1S5 Tel: (800) 263-3932 FAX: (514) 939-3594.

Engraved wine bottles

Description: Corporate messages or logos can be engraved on bottles of wine from a client’s own collection or selected European wines from the supplier.

Clients: AMF Technotransport; Casino Montreal.

Motivational application: Engraved wine bottles can be provided to sales staff as a souvenir of a corporate meeting.

Contact: FDL Amerique, 383 Place Desmarest, Ile Bizard, Que. H9C 2G8 Tel: (514) 626-2425 FAX: (514) 626-0949.

Custom-made temporary tattoos

Description: Any design, logo or slogan can be reproduced as a temporary tattoo. Tattoos can be printed using pantone colors, four-color process inks and glow-in-the-dark inks. The tattoos are applied with water, last three or four days and can be removed at any time using baby oil.

Clients: Paramount Pictures; Molson Breweries; Coca-Cola Canada; Sony Music; the National Hockey League.

Motivational application: Temporary tattoos can be used to create a team spirit at company events.

Contact: GameDay Custom Tattoo Company, 471 Kensington Ave., Ottawa, Ont. K1Z 6H1 Tel: (613) 729-7464 FAX: (613) 729-4131.

Customized biodegradable pen

Description: The Green Pen is the world’s first pen manufactured from cornstarch-derived material. The pen’s main feature is that it is completely biodegradable. It also features four printable surfaces, a good quality refill and safety-ventilated cap. The Green Pen is available in 18 color combinations in a round or square barrel, and is refillable. The refill is available in all standard colors and sizes.

Clients: World Wildlife Fund; Novamont.

Motivational application. The Green Pen was chosen as the official pen of the Earth Summit in Rio, where it was imprinted and distributed to all attendees. The product was also used by Novamont to promote its environment-safe products.

Contact: The Green Pen Company, 107-1760 Marine Drive, West Vancouver, B.C. V7V 1J4 Tel: (604) 926-7787 FAX: (604) 922-2116

Battery-powered vehicles

Description: Peg Perego vehicles are realistic, high-quality miniatures of the real thing, right down to their drum brakes. Pretend engines, headlights, taillights, rack-and-pinion steering, rear coil spring suspension, even a built-in fm radio is featured in the top-of-the-line model.

Clients: Companies in the communications, automotive, computer and financial services categories.

Motivational application: A major confectionery manufacturer used two models as incentives for its dealer network. Vehicles were distributed to dealers who reached a certain level of orders within a specified period. To introduce the promotion, a picnic was held for sales staff and their families at which several vehicles were made available for children to use. Dealers were motivated by their children’s desire for their own cars.

Contact: Jonathan Huston Inc., 33 Alliance Blvd., Unit 9, Barrie, Ont. L4M 5K2 Tel: (705) 733-3907 FAX: (705) 733-3908.

Laser-engraved and inlaid artwork

Description: Using a patented process, finely detailed pen-and-ink illustrations or native art is laser engraved and inlaid on glass or solid-surface materials.

Motivational application: Custom art can be created to reinforce a theme of a company’s annual sales meeting. The art is then presented to outstanding achievers.

Contact: LaserCor, 1664 Kohler Rd., Cayuga, Ont. N0A 1E0 Tel: (905) 772-0420 FAX: (905) 772-0422.

Customized watch

Description: The Signature Watch has a customizable face that can preserve a person’s signature, visual or message. The watch features a precision Japanese quartz movement in a water-resistant gold-plated brass case. It comes in a gift box.

Motivational application: Watches imprinted with a company’s logo or conference slogan can be distributed as a conference souvenir.

Contact: Matsuda Canada Company, 552 Gordon Baker Rd., Willowdale, Ont. M2H 3B4 Tel: (416) 496-2183 FAX: (416) 496-0211.

Customized single-use camera

Description: Using a patented process, a company logo or advertising artwork can be printed on the front of The Postcard Camera. The single-use camera has the look and feel of a regular point-and-shoot camera and takes quality photos. Available in flash and non-flash models, The Postcard Camera features a wrist strap and optical viewfinder and is loaded with 24-exposure, brand name, 400 speed film.

Clients: Amex Canada; Coca-Cola Canada; United Airlines.

Motivational application: A client could provide cameras to its salesforce with instructions to document its annual sales conference. The resulting photos could be used in the production of a souvenir company yearbook.

Contact: Provincial Products, 3035 Wharton Way, Mississauga, Ont. L4X 2B4 Tel: (905) 629-3737 FAX: (905) 629-1982.

Proof coin sets

Description: All six Canadian circulation coins as well as the 1969-94 commemorative silver dollar are produced with frosted relief on brilliant fields. The coins are presented in a hinged frame inside a black leather display case lined with red satin on which a company logo or name can be hot stamped. The spine of each case is stamped with the year of issue. The proof set is just one of dozens of sets, series and individual coins sold by the Mint.

Clients: Xerox Canada; Royal Bank of Canada.

Motivational application: A company invites its salesforce for a weekend treasure hunt in Bermuda. The organizing committee buries coins in the sand. Each salesperson is provided a metal detector to locate the buried treasures. The person finding the most money wins $5,000 worth of gold Maple Leaf coins.

Contact: David Sirianni, Royal Canadian Mint, 320 Sussex Dr., Ottawa, Ont. K1A 0G8 Tel: (613) 993-1478 FAX: (613) 954-0601.

Lead crystal products

Description: J.G. Durand custom crystal stemware, barware and covered boxes, available in classic and contemporary designs, can be customized with a company’s logo or corporate message.

Clients: Mary Kay Cosmetics; Star City Realty.

Motivational application: May be used as an employee appreciation, in lieu of a raise.

Contact: Samaco Trading Company, 55E East Beaver Creek Rd., Richmond Hill, Ont. L4B 1E8 Tel: (905) 731-3232 FAX: (905) 731-0872.

Sony electronics products

Description: Sony radios, cassette players and recorders, cordless phones, answering machines, tvs, compact disc players, video cassette recorders, hi-fis and monitors/ receivers.

Clients: Maybelline/Yardley Canada; Clairol; Ford Motor Company of Canada; Quaker Oats Co. of Canada; Amex Canada; Bell Canada; Petro Canada; Neilson Cadbury.

Motivational application: Clairol devised a merchandising contest for its salesforce in which representatives earned points for displays. The points were totalled and applied towards Sony products.

Contact: SMG Special Markets Group, 2700 Matheson Blvd. E., West Tower, Mississauga, Ont. L4W 4V9 Tel: (905) 238-8422 FAX: (905) 238-0223.

Customized watercolor prints

Description: Unique Signature Prints are personalized watercolor prints by Canadian artist Sharon Bright. Each print has a focal point where the recipient’s name is hand painted. The prints come in eight styles and three sizes. They are framed in wood and ready to hang. The artist can also produce an original watercolor for a specific company and have limited prints produced.

Clients: Chrysler of Canada; Midland Walwyn Capital; Pepsi-Cola Canada; Canada Trust; Switzerland Cheese.

Motivational application: Companies have used the prints as a reward for the salesforce, as gifts for clients and as promotion awards.

Contact: Unique Signature Prints, 28 Pennock Cres., Unionville, Ont. L3R 3M4 Tel: (905) 470-9164/477-5046 FAX: (905) 470-9164.

NFL accessories

Description: Made from genuine NFL football leather, all accessories carry the Wilson nfl logo and may be customized with a company or special event logo. Items include coasters, key holders, luggage tags, memo pads, portfolios, attache cases and even a football leather golf bag.

Motivational application: ‘Your key to the Super Bowl’ program is launched by giving each participant a personalized nfl key holder. Sales people then earn points toward various nfl accessories based on performance during a specified period. The program promotion is superimposed on a football field with pictures of the various accessories at different yard markers. The top producer earns a Super Bowl football and two tickets to the game, including airfare and accommodation.

Contact: Wilson Sports Equipment Canada, Premium/Incentive Sales Division, 250 Shields Ct., Ste. 5, Markham, Ont. L3R 9W7 Tel: (416) 543-4244 FAX: (800) 265-5753.

Waterproof binoculars

Description: TASCO Offshore waterproof binoculars can be used at sporting events or concerts, but are especially good for boaters. They contain a built-in compass and distance measuring device. They offer superb resolution and come with a carrying case and strap.

Clients: Nestle Canada; Kraft General Foods Canada; The Toronto-Dominion Bank.

Motivational application: Companies that use incentive travel to sun spots can provide their salesforce the binoculars as a take-along premium. Can be used in team activities such as whale watching.

Contact: World Class Promo, 86 Abbeywood Trail, Don Mills, Ont. M3B 3B5 Tel: (416) 447-7337 FAX: (416) 446-0482.