What Drives a Reward Buyer to Change Vendors?

I know that when I start looking for a new vendor, it’s either because I’m pretty sure I can get a better deal somewhere else, or I’ve hit the point of frustration. I think that’s true across the board, for individuals and organizations. But when we asked ourselves what makes people approach Hawk Incentives when they’re already working with an incentive program solutions provider, making assumptions wasn’t going to cut it. We wanted to get at the real answers, for two key reasons:

  1. To find out what potential clients might be expecting from us, and
  2. To make sure we don’t do something to send our current clients on a search for a new vendor.


To get these answers, we went straight to the source, conducting in-depth interviews with senior-level reward program managers and reward buyers. And we learned some interesting things:

  • Reward selection is a huge consideration: many of our respondents contract with multiple vendors to get the broad reward selection they want. (It’s worth noting, though, that this group is more than likely spending more in both time and money by approaching the problem in this way. Hawk Incentives is the only reward program vendor that offers a full suite of more than 700 reward types, including many proprietary rewards that we designed and patented.)
  • They’re DIYers: self-service online ordering portals are a big plus, particularly those with no minimum ordering requirements
  • Customization is a must: rewards program managers are seeing the added ROI associated with custom-branded rewards and delivery vehicles
  • They want a strategic partner: while respondents cite end-to-end execution as crucial, they expect vendors to be more than order-takers. Program managers are looking to their vendors for expertise in the areas of reward selection, compliance and best practices.


Learn more about our research findings by downloading our ebook, “The Top 5 Reward Buyer Wishes.”



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