Incentive Scene for 2024: Quality Merchandise Among Top Trends

I was heartened to read the recently released annual signature study by our friends at the Incentive Research Foundation. Their “IRF 2024 Trends Report” offers some interesting insight beneficial to incentive program administrators.


The good news: incentives and recognition continue to be important tools for organizations. Leadership sees their value, employees are motivated by them, and the industry is positioned for a successful year.


However, given the current economic climate, incentive professionals are balancing the need to create transformative programs with the reality of inflation and budget constraints. 


Here are the top trends for incentive, reward and recognition programs in 2024.


Increasing Importance of Incentives to Motivate Today’s Workforce: Incentive and recognition programs are considered a key to culture building and are instrumental in bringing together and motivating a more dispersed workforce.


Inflation Continues, and Budgets are Affected: While incentive program budgets are increasing, prices are often rising at a faster pace. Budgets are often increased to maintain a program, and do not indicate incentive program growth.


Artificial Intelligence is Increasing Efficiency and Impact: With transformative potential, AI can be used to enable greater personalization in rewards and shift towards true individualization, tailoring travel experiences and merchandise rewards to specific employees.


The Workforce is Getting Younger and Priorities are Shifting: Programs that utilize points and spiffs align with younger workers’ preference for frequent, authentic recognition.


There’s also been increasing interest in and spending for quality, branded merchandise in reward and recognition programs, a specialty of ours here at All Star Incentive Marketing.  


“Tangible rewards make a lasting impact, and program owners are using merchandise to accomplish many of their goals,” the report states. Imprinted company swag can increase engagement and pride in working for the company, specifically quality brand-name merchandise. Luxury gifts, electronics, and other ‘splurges’ generate lasting memories.”.


Our experts at All Star Incentive Marketing can help you create a comprehensive, well-designed incentive recognition and reward program that features a full line of quality branded products – from apparel to electronics, together with a wide array of gear suitable for custom imprinting. Contact us to learn more and get a free, no-obligation demo.

Brian Galonek


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