IMA Announces 2023 Excellence Award Winners

Dash Solutions, Motivforce, HMI Performance Incentives, Merit Incentives, SB Collectiv & Fiserv, Digi, and C.A. Short Company, were recognized for the development of outstanding incentive and recognition programs that improve business performance.

BOSTON – July 18, 2023 – The Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) presented its 2023 Excellence Awards during the IMA Summit Awards ceremony at its annual IMA Summit earlier this week at The Westin Copley Place, Boston, Massachusetts.

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 – Dash Solutions for Milwaukee Tool 
  • Dealer/Distributor Incentives – Motivforce for Lenovo
  • Employee Incentive Program – HMI Performance Incentives
  • Gift Cards in an Incentive Program – Merit Incentives for Kantar
  • Innovation and Technology – SB Collectiv & Fiserv for Krispy Kreme
  • Merchandise in an Incentive Program – Digi for Nestlé
  • Recognition Program – C.A. Short Company for Armorous
  • Sales Incentives – HMI Performance Incentives for Pure Storage Inc.
  • Social Responsibility – HMI Performance Incentives

Consumer Promotion – Dash Solutions for Milwaukee Tool

The Milwaukee Trials program, powered by Dash Solutions, revolutionized consumer engagement for Milwaukee Tool. By offering strategic seeding promotions on a secure and personalized platform, the program drove loyalty and revenue.  A  saw blade, only useful when owned alongside the entire power saw, served as a compelling reward. Dash Solutions’ close collaboration with Milwaukee Tool resulted in a flawlessly executed program that addressed previous challenges, prevented fraudulent behavior, and maintained the brand’s visual standards. The active promo period in 2023 saw a 125% increase in registrations from 2022, totaling 17,600 registrations, providing valuable consumer data and demonstrating high program engagement. Dash Solutions’ impressive performance and exceptional user experience have garnered praise from consumers and the  Milwaukee Tool leadership team.

Dealer/Distributor Incentives – Motivforce for Lenovo

In 2022, Lenovo realigned its sales strategy and global partner framework to focus on selling end-to-end solutions across three business units. Lenovo selected its Lenovo Expert Achievers Program (LEAP), developed and managed by Motivforce, as its primary channel-loyalty program. Originally designed for server sales, LEAP was seamlessly adapted to incorporate PC sales and services. LEAP’s flexibility and scope (100 markets) readily supported Lenovo’s global and regional goals of driving channel partner behavior. Innovative new activities were introduced including an exciting F1 Racetrack and spin-to-win gamification campaign; new product learning; and alliance partner promotions. In 2022, reseller firms participating in LEAP generated 13 times more sales revenue than similar firms not in LEAP. Further, LEAP participants represent 14% of Lenovo’s distribution channel, but they delivered 50% of Lenovo’s total non-direct sales revenue.

Employee Incentive Program – HMI Performance Incentives

HMI Performance Incentives launched its own employee rewards program that aims to foster a culture of growth and development while incentivizing employees to achieve their full potential. The program is fully operated on HMI’s OnDemand platform. It focuses on promoting continuous learning through training in industry knowledge, products, business acumen, and business skills. It also creates a sense of engagement and excitement through health challenges, surprise rewards, and points gifting. The reward choices are abundant, including merchandise awards, live event tickets, live travel bookings, rental cars, and gift cards that can be used in 42 million retailers and venues worldwide. The program resulted in a 99% enrollment rate, 82% engagement rate, and positive employee feedback. The company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives raised double the funds compared to the previous year, making a meaningful impact on communities.

Gift Cards in an Incentive Program – Merit Incentives for Kantar

Kantar, a global market research company, faced challenges in manually incentivizing their survey panelists across multiple countries. They needed an efficient solution to offer a seamless user experience while incentivizing panelists in various currencies. Merit Incentives provided a customized multilingual rewards and incentives marketplace, offering panelists a choice of over 5,000 brands from 150+ countries. The objectives were to deliver an end-to-end solution, automate the incentivizing process and provide customizable platforms for Kantar Program Managers. The implementation process was seamless and efficient, with quick setup and minimal disruption to business operations. Key achievements included different integrations, innovative features like magic links and personalized gift card templates, and the digitalization of manual procedures. The results were impressive, with over 40,000 orders fulfilled across 30 countries in a six month period.

Innovation and Technology – SB Collectiv & Fiserv for Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme Fundraising was created in 1955 to provide a way for qualifying community organizations to raise funds for their worthwhile causes, including schools, religious groups, sports teams, and charitable organizations. In 2020, Krispy Kreme had to quickly pivot, as many companies did, to meet the needs of their fundraising customers. Krispy Kreme engaged SB Collectiv and Transaction Wireless/Fiserv to strategize, develop and launch a full online fundraising program, utilizing Krispy Kreme’s digital gift card, to deliver a virtual dozen doughnuts to customers participating in the fundraiser. Three years later, the program is as successful as it was when it first launched and has generated over 14,000 new orders for Krispy Kreme with a percentage
of the proceeds going to participating organizations.

Merchandise in an Incentive Program – Digi for Nestlé

Vença is an incentive program conducted by Nestlé in partnership with Digi. Vença provides a hub of solutions where participants can find information on all campaigns of the various brands of the Nestlé Group. On the platform, developed by Digi exclusively for the project, people are informed about everything that is going on in the brand’s universe. During 2022, the program offered 71 incentive campaigns inviting participants to take photos of their creative POS executions and upload them. Company leaders, managers, and local business units judged the photos and the winners earned reward points. Over 4,100 participants submitted more than a million photos. The average engagement of all participating audiences on the platform was over 80%. More than 2.3 million points were distributed during the year.

Recognition Program – C.A. Short Company for Armorous

As a former security guard, Eric Hanson, Armorous CEO, wanted to do things differently for his own security organization. He wanted to put people over profit to create a culture that people love to work for. Armorous is changing an industry that is known for an average turnover of 300% by putting value back into what its employees do, how they are treated, and how they are recognized and acknowledged. In just one year, Armorous has increased employee tenure by 163%. Working with C.A. Short Company they created a flexible program that begins in an employee’s first 30 days of employment, then continues to reward and recognize employees for reaching every major milestone with Armorous. Along with increased tenure, employee engagement, and customer satisfaction have also increased.

Sales Incentives – HMI Performance Incentives for Pure Storage Inc.

Pure Storage Inc. has launched the third year of its Pure VIP Rewards program, which aims to recognize its top channel partners across 40 countries. The program design focuses on three objectives: driving partner retention and revenue, recognizing and inspiring brand loyalty, and providing a high-end reward and recognition experience across all regions. Partners who achieve VIP status from sales activity will retain the status and be eligible for substantial benefits. The program uses uniquely positioned tactics to maximize its impact. The program has achieved beyond expectations, with an average open rate of 60% and a Net Promoter Score of 85%, 60 points higher than the industry average.

Social Responsibility – HMI Performance Incentives

HMI Performance Incentives, a leader in incentive loyalty solutions, successfully integrated corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives into its travel programs. By partnering with clients and stakeholders, HMI promoted philanthropy and community impact. Optional CSR events, such as beach cleanups and charity projects enhanced the travel experience and fostered stronger relationships. HMI shared CSR best practices through blog posts, engaging its client community and industry partners. The initiative received positive feedback, with participants calling it the “most successful and memorable” trip. Notably, HMI’s initiatives made a significant impact, doubling funds raised for organizations compared to the previous year. These efforts contributed to sustainable development and addressed social and environmental issues, benefiting communities worldwide. HMI’s incorporation of CSR initiatives elevated its programs, creating a more meaningful experience for all involved while giving back to those in need.

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

Note: Awards ceremony photos are 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, Wolfe, LLC; Paul Bellantone, HALO Branded Solutions; Jim Bittner, Centricity; Robert Brimmer, Ulta Beauty; David Cox, Motivforce; Kevin Cronin, CRP; Johane Desjardins, Vibe SMG, Inc.; Mike Donnelly, CPIM, Hinda Incentives; Brian Galonek, CPIM, All Star Incentive Marketing; Debbie Ghillino, The Incentive Company; Karen Gray, CRP, PMP, O.C. Tanner; Lisa Grimaldi, Northstar Meetings Group; Chris Harrison, KleerWest, LLC; Andrew Johnson, Diggecard; Marlene Johnson, Dash Solutions; Bill Martocci, CPIM, Carlisle Sales & Marketing; Amanda Nipper, Inspire Brands; Lore Rincon, Continental Premium Corporation; Sean Roark, CPIM, PromoPros/IncentPros; Armineh Sarkissian, Dine Brands Global (Applebee’s and IHOP); and Hollis Thornton, CPIM, TOTUS.  

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 Coalition (IGCC), Incentive Merchandise To Reward & Appreciate (IMRA), Incentive Travel Council (ITC), Recognition Professionals International (RPI), IMA Europe, IMA Brasil and IMA Middle East, Africa & Asia Pacific. 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

Excellence Awards Sponsor

July 18, 2023

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