IMA Announces 2022 Excellence Award Winners

Create Direct, Motivforce, All Star Incentive Marketing, Blackhawk Network, WorkStride, Agência Digi, C.A. Short Company, Tango Card and Uwin Iwin Performance Incentives were recognized for the development of outstanding incentive and recognition programs that improve business performance.

Salt Lake City, Utah – July 13, 2022 – The Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) presented its 2022 Excellence Awards during the IMA Summit Awards ceremony at its annual IMA Summit last night at The Cliff Lodge in Snowbird, Utah. The Excellence Awards recognize the development and delivery of outstanding non-cash incentive programs that motivate employees, win customers and improve sales. 

Excellence Award Winners 

  • Consumer Promotion – Create Direct SRL for Michelin  
  • Dealer/Distributor Incentives – Motivforce for IBM
  • Employee Incentive Program – All Star Incentive Marketing for AmeriGas
  • Gift Cards in an Incentive Program – Blackhawk Network for TapOnIt
  • Innovation and Technology – WorkStride for Humanscale 
  • Merchandise in an Incentive Program – Agência Digi for The Coca-Cola Company
  • Recognition Program – WorkStride for Cleveland Clinic
  • Sales Incentives – C.A. Short Company for Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED
  • Social Responsibility – Tango Card with Charity On Top
  • Travel in an Incentive Program – Uwin Iwin Performance Incentives for Sanlam

Consumer Promotion – Create Direct SRL for Michelin 

Create Direct SRL developed two B2B cashback programs for Michelin to help increase sales and attract and incentivize customers and dealers while building long-term engagement. CLUB PRO by Michelin and WHOLESALE CLUB PRO by Michelin are multi-country programs with automated seasonable sell-out campaigns on the country level and multiple campaign elements for cross-selling and upselling built into the platform. By promoting CLUB PRO by Michelin to customers, dealers are supported in stimulating their own sales and get rewarded with cashback for purchasing Michelin tires. Users and dealers have access to a tool that automatically calculates the cashback/reward potential, and users have a Google Maps-connected map of dealers in their area. Both programs are successful with thousands of invoices entered each month and future implementations are foreseen in more countries. 

Dealer/Distributor Incentives – Motivforce for IBM

Motivforce helped IBM refresh its long-running Know Your IBM (KYI) program to address the ongoing negative impacts of COVID-19 on sales and revenue. KYI must continually stand out in a heavily competitive market where IBM distribution channel business partners are inundated with product training and incentives from hundreds of competitors. Leveraging the increased time available due to decreased sales, through its KYI program IBM encouraged participants to spend time on learning and pivoted to create highly attractive and enticing promotions such as Race to 52 to drive sales of certain products. For 2021, IBM’s B2B resellers participating in the KYI program generated an average of 4.1 times more sales/revenue for IBM compared with like-for-like non-participants.

Employee Incentive Program – All Star Incentive Marketing for AmeriGas 

All Star Incentive Marketing helped AmeriGas develop its Committed to Safety recognition program to engage safety-sensitive workers throughout the company and keep them safe. After a successful six-month pilot with 500 employees in six regions, the program was expanded nationally to 4,000 safety-sensitive employees resulting in a dramatic shift in engagement, participation, safety numbers, and reduced turnover. The program quickly became engrained in the fabric of the company, and a large part of how the company does business. With its own branding and design, the program conveys to the participants that the company cares about each employee and wants to give them a platform to keep them safe, engaged, motivated, and rewarded for what they do. 

Gift Cards in an Incentive Program – Blackhawk Network for TapOnIt

In the early days of COVID-19 when businesses were forced to close, gift cards became a way to support favored local businesses, however, those without online gift card programs couldn’t participate. TapOnIt, a Hispanic-women-owned provider of SaaS-based platforms for organizations to manage their own local gift card incentives, was asked by their local chamber of commerce for help. The idea for The Community Gift Card was developed to replace Chamber Bucks and other paper programs. TapOnIt asked Blackhawk Network to supply tailored experiences, so they provided customized gift cards, card carriers, websites, and experiences directly relevant to the individual participating communities. Through the card tracking capabilities, an issuing chamber can analyze data to determine where and how the cards were spent. To date, 85% of the funds loaded on more than 6,000 cards purchased have been spent in local communities. 

Innovation and Technology – WorkStride for Humanscale

Humanscale asked WorkStride to help re-build and manage their B2B channel partner sales incentive programs. WorkStride provided an AWS-hosted, feature-rich SaaS-based configurable incentive platform. After the launch of a pilot program, Humanscale’s audience has grown to over 2,500 participants across the U.S. and Canada. The backend support and custom logic make claims submission simple because only two data points are needed, making the submission process seamless. This speeds up payout times, creating a better experience for admins and users. The program’s ability to easily scale and pivot to changing market conditions resulted in over 400,000 products sold in 2021, a 10-fold increase when adjusted by population.  

Merchandise in an Incentive Program – Agência Digi for The Coca-Cola Company

Agência Digi created a sales incentive program for Coca-Cola’s launch of their Fanta brand’s new limited-run Misterio flavor. To engage the Fanta sales force and ensure the brand’s positivity and presence at points of sale (POS) throughout Brasil, Agência Digi created a trade marketing and activation campaign with a Halloween theme. Teams were encouraged to dress in Halloween and Fanta-brand colors. To inspire creativity, a Halloween-themed dance contest (similar to those in TikTok videos) and a podcast for horror stories were included. More than 3,508 POS photos from 26 states along with 5,080 consumer photos were received resulting in the distribution of more than $200,000 in merchandise rewards.

Recognition Program – WorkStride for Cleveland Clinic

During COVID-19 the Cleveland Clinic decided to expand their Caregiver Celebrations program strategically and geographically for their growing global workforce of 60,000 employees. They partnered with WorkStride to enhance the program. New award types relevant to the times, such as a COVID Heroes Award, Caregiver Philanthropy and Teaching Recognition, were added. The program was expanded to include patients so they too could recognize their caregivers. These coveted recognitions are an important part of daily life at Cleveland Clinic as they inspire competition among individuals and institutes by using gamified leaderboards and other widgets to display program data in a fun and visually appealing way. Additionally, more relevant and inclusive e-cards were added as a result of an internal inclusivity push. This provided a revamp for a highly utilized award type (e-cards) and increased the number issued by 127% in 2021. 

Sales Incentives – C.A. Short Company for Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED 

C.A. Short Company helped enhance Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED’s local incentives with the addition of a points program. To maximize Coca-Cola UNITED’s business objectives, it is imperative for local sales centers to have incremental beverage displays in stores year-round. In-store beverage displays were incentivized using a points-based program, as well as campaign-specific awards, to drive over-the-top execution and key marketing programs throughout the year. The points program contributed to a record year for Coca-Cola UNITED while maximizing employee morale, engagement, motivation, and participation across sales centers. This led to volume and revenue growth, more cases on display, increased market share, and more sales of new product lines.

Social Responsibility – Tango Card with Charity On Top 

Tango Card wanted to respond to emerging social justice issues by adding new donation options to its catalog. Through a partnership with Charity On Top, they were able to quickly add donation options for organizations like Equal Justice Initiative, the NAACP, and GLAAD. Emails from Tango Card’s CEO emphasized the importance of improving our world for everyone and offered a $25 Reward Link for each employee to donate to the organization of their choice. Next came outreach to customers highlighting the three donation options that were now available. After a 13-month period, the donation option was one of Tango Card’s top six most popular rewards, making it the most popular not-for-profit donation option ever offered. 

Travel in an Incentive Program – Uwin Iwin Performance Incentives for Sanlam 

After delaying the international incentive travel trip for their top sales executives for over two years due to COVID-19, Sanlam challenged Uwin Iwin, working in conjunction with Walthers DMC, to develop and facilitate an in-country travel incentive trip that would match or exceed the canceled trip to Russia. They combined two top South African legendary hospitality offerings, Rovos Rail and Haywards Grand Safari Company for a luxury tented experience in the heart of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. The park combines inland estuaries and lakes as well as a marine park along the Indian Ocean within the world’s biggest wetland reserve. To maintain COVID-19 protocols, the full group was divided into three smaller groups sent out on back-to-back trips over three weeks. Not only were they successful in overcoming early concerns about a “glamping” trip; participants gave the experience a 97% satisfaction rating. 

View all of the IMA Summit Award winners on the IMA website.

Note: Awards ceremony photos available upon request. 

Judges and Sponsors 
Special thanks to the Excellence Award judges who give their time and support to make it possible to recognize and honor the outstanding work of IMA members. 

Judges – Jim Atten, VP business development, Telos Gifting; Shelly Colla, national sales manager, Sony Electronics, Inc.; Brian Dodds, CRP, IP, VP channel sales, WorkStride; Mike Donnelly, CPIM, president, Hinda Incentives; Ly Dorn, VP, business leader - merchant solutions, GiftNow; Karen Gray, CRP, PMP, director, project management, O.C. Tanner; Lisa Grimaldi, editor, Incentive and Incentives & Destinations, Northstar Meetings Group; Stephanie Harris, president, Incentive Research Foundation; John Hornbogen, CPIM, director, B2B sales & partnerships, Gift Solutions, Fiserv; Tim Houlihan, founder, BehaviorAlchemy; Christine Mitchell, director, gift card program, Panera Bread; Tracy Ng, program manager, Delta Gift Cards; Lore Rincon, sales manager, Continental Premium Corporation; R Scott Russell, CRP, VP, engagement strategies, C.A. Short Company; Armineh Sarkissian, senior manager, brand marketing - gift cards, Dine Brands Global (Applebee's and IHOP); and Lincoln Smith, IP, chief strategy officer, HMI Performance Incentives.

About IMA

The Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) connects members from leading companies across the marketplace to create a unified voice and growth for the incentive industry. IMA is the umbrella organization for the Incentive & Engagement Solution Providers (IESP), Incentive Gift Card Council (IGCC), Incentive Merchandise To Reward & Appreciate (IMRA), Incentive Travel Council (ITC), Recognition Professionals International (RPI), IMA Europe, IMA Brasil and IMA Middle East & Africa. IMA members have the expertise, leading brands, and services to help companies improve their business with reward, recognition, loyalty, and engagement programs.

Contact: Ione Terrio • • 952-928-4649

July 12, 2022

IMA Summit Awards

Congratulations To All Our Winners!

These awards were created to recognize outstanding incentive professionals, companies, and programs. Recipients are those who have excelled in and made a significant contribution to the IMA, industry, and incentive community. Recipients are honored each year during the Awards Ceremony at the IMA Summit.

View All Winners