New Products and Gift Cards Debut at The Motivation Show

By Oct 04, 2006

For the takers, The Motivation Show, held last week in Chicago, had plenty to offer and lots of incentives to lure people into exhibit booths including baby kangaroos, back massages, women with water spouting from the tops of their heads and fingertips and 1988 NFL Hall of Famer Mike Ditka, who was on hand to sign autographs on mini footballs. In addition to all the come ons, exhibitors had plenty of new offerings. Here’s a sampling from the show floor.

  • Godiva has given its Gold Ballotin line a contemporary makeover with new packaging (not as shiny) and new product. Truffles are included in Ballotins from 36 pieces ($38) to 140 pieces ($135).
  • Omaha Steaks, challenged to develop a lower-priced line that doesn’t need to be shipped in dry ice, like the majority of its products, debuted a line of gourmet nut and coffee gift packages. The line includes a 16-ounce tin of “Colossal Cashews” for $15.99, the Peanut Snack Pack of honey roasted peanuts, hot and spicy peanuts and a tropical mix for $18 and a Tri-fold Triple Tower Gift Box that includes double dipped chocolate covered almonds, colossal cashews, honey roasted peanuts, tropical mix, crème brule coffee and breakfast blend coffee. “We’re looking to accommodate more people with the lower prices points,” said Joe Meyers, national account manager, for Omaha Steaks.
  • L.L. Bean debuted its gift card (made from corn) three weeks ago, primarily for consumers, but it is also available for corporate incentives. The card can be valued at any denomination over $25 and can be redeemed online, by phone or in-store.
  • Barnes & Noble is out with two new looks for the holiday season for its gift card line and has debuted occasion specific cards for such events as birthdays and congratulatory job promotions.
  • Harry & David has created a corporate gift box for Spa Finder that includes a box of six Harry & David truffles paired with a Spa Finder gift certificate. Last May, at the Incentive Show in New York City, Harry & David was onsite showing off its new offering: a customizable gift box that has an opening to insert a business card or gift card along with a compartment to include one of Harry & David’s confections, such as truffles, chocolates, candies, nuts or other treats. Spa Finder is Harry & David’s first customer under the new gift box offering. Reps at the booth were mum on who the next partner may be, but said that contracts are in the works. “A lot of people use gift cards as an add on,” said Laura Campbell, VP-gift certificate division for Spa Finder. “[The gift box] has more of a gifty feel to it than just a gift certificate.” Spa Finder plans to partner with other brands to incorporate gifts with its gift certificates. It also plans to launch a line of spa products with Avon and will likely include some of those products in the gift box, Campbell said. “Our goal is to capitalize on really great brands that fit with the spa lifestyle and Harry and David is our first step into that,” she said.
  • Bath & Body Works is out with new gift sets including one for the holidays: the Santa Baby Bag puts 2-ounce bottles of body lotion, body splash and bubble bath into a red basket. The new everyday gift sets range in price from $7 to $26.
  • The Incentive Co., a Sausalito, CA-based company, has licensed the rights to the Travelocity name for gift cards and incentive programs. The hotel gift cards are launching next month in 1,500 Safeway stores with access to 30,000 hotels in all major chains in 57 countries. The cards can be valued at up to $25, $50, $100 with up to $400 used per booking. The cards can be redeemed at Travelocityincentives.com.
  • American Express Incentive Services introduced two new prepaid cards, the Persona Options Card and the Celebrate Card. The Persona Card is an everyday shopping card that can be accepted at more than 60 retail establishments. The Celebrate Card is designed to celebrate employee achievement through service anniversary and safety programs. The card is accepted at more than 110 retail and specialty merchandise establishments.