Stoner Bunting Gift Cards Blog

Get Road Trip Ready: Summer Car Care Checklist

Posted by Morgan Chalfant on July 10th, 2017

Be it business or pleasure, if a road trip for you or your team is on the to-do list this summer, Jiffy Lube® wants to make sure your vehicle is good to go. Preventative maintenance will go a long way toward reducing the risk of being stranded roadside with a car full of passengers wanting to know if you’re there yet. Use these car care tips to keep your vehicle ready for whatever your summer brings. Check oil and other essential fluids. Oil, along with other must-have fluids like those for brakes and power steering, are essential for getting to your … Read More

SBGC Welcomes New Team Member

Posted by Kayla Lyon on April 3rd, 2017

Stoner Bunting Gift Cards Appoints Constance Hoffman as Business Development Manager Lancaster, PA., April 3, 2017 – Stoner Bunting Gift Cards (SBGC) welcomes Constance Hoffman as its new Business Development Manager. In her role at Stoner Bunting, Hoffman will be prospecting and closing new business leads using her knowledge of the gift card industry and our SBGC service offerings. Hoffman brings more than twenty years of sales and marketing experience in a range of incentive and gift card industries including Marriott & The Ritz-Carlton Incentives and Gift Cards, and Sears & Kmart Gift Cards. Earlier in her career, Hoffman held … Read More

The Things We Do For Gift Cards

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on February 9th, 2017

Erin Cooks with Chef’d® – Part 2 At the conclusion of our last blog, The Things We Do For Gift Cards: Erin Cooks with Chef’d, you, the people, voted on the dish to prepare for our special blog series featuring one of our newest B2B gift card clients, Chef’d. The winner? Beef Bourguignon! For those of you not familiar with Chef’d, prepare to be amazed. Chef’d  is the only non-subscription meal kit delivery service that lets you cook simple, pre-planned recipes at home without ever having to step foot in the grocery store. In Part 2 of this blog series, … Read More

The Things We Do For Gift Cards: Erin Cooks With Chef’d®

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on November 30th, 2016
Chef'd Gift Card

As most of you know, SBGC recently signed with a new brand, Chef’d®. Not only is this a new client for SBGC, but it’s a new “type” of brand in the B2B bulk gift card space as well. Now, what most of you don’t know, is that I, Erin McCullough, blogger for SBGC and resident “sure, I’ll give it a try…” employee, couldn’t even make toast without burning it up until a few years ago. The combination of this exciting new partnership and pathetic confession of cooking incompetency sparked an idea from my supervisors: let’s have Erin test out a … Read More

Meet The Team: Account Executives

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on October 18th, 2016
SBGC account service team

Simply put, Stoner Bunting Gift Cards would not be what it is without our Account Team. Under the direction of Melissa Shapiro, our Account Executives deliver personalized program management to the large number of clients SBGC serves. But how well do you really know the people behind the phone calls and weekly touch-base agendas? In the below spotlight feature, each team member gets their 15 minutes of fame with a shout out and a glimpse into their experiences here at Stoner Bunting Gift Cards Melissa Shapiro How long have you been with SBGC? Seven years. Where did you grow up? … Read More

Seven Ways To Include Telecommuters In Your Employee Engagement Strategy

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on October 6th, 2016
Employee working remotely graphic

It may not seem like a luxury having your employees in the office every day. But then, your most talented employee is forced to uproot and move away for personal reasons. First comes shock, then confusion. Then the desperate search for answers. Telecommuting isn’t always the most ideal option, but it can go a long way toward preserving valuable employee relationships. How then can business owners or executives maintain employee engagement when talent is located halfway across the country — or even the world? The good news is that solid working relationships don’t have to take place solely in the … Read More

Ready. Set. Score.

Posted by Kayla Lyon on August 23rd, 2016

Fall is just around the corner. It’s time to revamp your sales opportunities to focus on school sports and game days with friends. With these themes in mind, we have all the right opportunities for you! The below brands will help fit the bill for that transition from summer to fall that you’re looking for. Cheers to the changing of the seasons! Gadgets and Gear When you think sports gear, you think Under Armour® – athletes wear it, fans wear it, and for all the techies out there, Under Armour® can help you track your work out progress all while … Read More

Multi-Tasking Mistakes: When The To-Do List Takes Over

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on August 17th, 2016
Multitasking graphic

Multi-tasking. We’ve all heard this word before. And, likely, a good many of you reading this have probably used this phrase as a skill on a resume or in passing at the office. I certainly have. In small offices and on small teams in big corporations, multi-tasking is a way of life; there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get things done without doing it. Despite this fact, I have to break the bad news: multi-tasking isn’t a real skill. I’m sure this statement will be met with some opposition, but in my very humble opinion, it’s true. … Read More

Fulfilling The Gift Cards Needs You Didn’t Know You Needed

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on August 3rd, 2016
Stack of gift cards

As one of the pillars of our services at Stoner Bunting Gift Cards, the Order Management team was the clear choice for our next “Meet the Team” feature. Kelly Martin, department head, and her team members are some of the best in the business. They have an innate ability to keep a great sense of humor even during the Holiday season when the mass orders start pouring in and the long hours begin. Humble and hardworking, it’s time to meet the women behind our order management magic! How long have you been working with Stoner Bunting Gift Cards? How long … Read More

Making Moves: What Have We Learned And What Is The Plan?

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on July 27th, 2016
Person working on laptop

It’s time for a game plan. After reading our previous posts on competition and trends, you should have all of the tools necessary in order to propel your business forward. Have you identified your competitors? Check. Have you identified the trends within your company’s wins and losses? Check. Have you placed your company’s trends within the context of your industry’s trends and provided a gap analysis in an aggregate report? Wondering what a Competitive Tracking Service is? Do not fret – you are about to find out. Knowing your competition and noticing the trends within your company are extremely valuable … Read More

The Not-So-Secret-Anymore World of the Secondary Market

Posted by Kayla Lyon on July 25th, 2016

Too risky. Not profitable enough. Time-consuming and confusing. Doesn’t meet the integrity of our brand standards. Inconsistent. If you are a merchant in the B2B gift card space, chances high you’ve had one of these thoughts while approaching Secondary Market opportunities. Maybe you’ve had several. The Secondary Market is a unique trend that is undoubtedly growing in the gift card world, despite seeming like an extremely unconventional underdog. While its popularity is rising in the consumer market, this new channel has leaked into the B2B world – and has been met with mixed responses. Despite spikes in sales, skeptics of … Read More

Change The Channel

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on May 31st, 2016
Gift card bow graphic

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear someone talk about “gift cards?” If you are like most people, you probably answered with a very basic view of its merits as a quick present, but gift cards actually make up an important part of marketing and revenue for companies both large and small through the B2B channel. As a miniature billboard, gift cards are a quick and easy way to bring in new customers, but in order to make this venture profitable, you need a clear marketing plan and visibility into all the channels involved in the world … Read More

Keep Your Sales Team Engaged And Motivated

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on May 12th, 2016
Sleeping employee graphic

Properly motivating and rewarding your sales team can be a confusing task. Members of your team may all have very different interests and hobbies so a cookie cutter recognition and motivation program will not work. Take a look at four tips specifically for Sales Managers to keep your sales team satisfied. 1. Express interest in their professional development. Most employees are constantly striving to get better, whether it be a higher sales number, more responsibility, or a bigger sales region. Meet with them often to understand what they are looking for as a career path, and lay out measured goals … Read More

Share The Love To Incorporate Volunteers And Incentives/Rewards

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on April 25th, 2016
Team members at event

Many of us have volunteered our time for service organizations, non-profits, schools, universities, churches, and more. Volunteers in general love what they do, and while many of them have very little to give financially, they spend their time, their resources and in some cases, their lives, supporting a cause that is near and dear to their heart. By far and large, volunteers feel supported and appreciated, but sometimes people fall through the cracks or management and volunteer organizers hinder or impede the full potential of their staff. In order to foster a spirit of camaraderie, teamwork and fellowship, it is … Read More

Interview With Propelr: “Don’t Be Scared Of Scrip”

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on February 29th, 2016
Propelr logo

It is safe to say that Propelr has had a few doors slammed in their team’s face. After all, they’re a small team of about a dozen employees connected through Nelnet, a student loan servicer, that tout a pre-paid/scrip hybrid gift card opportunity that might frighten some traditional B2B buyers. Once explained, however, the concept is a great one – and with more and more companies doing all they can to create products that are meaningful AND lucrative, this could truly be where scrip is heading in the future. Last week I had the absolute pleasure of speaking with James … Read More

Office Gifts: The Worst Presents From Employers

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on December 23rd, 2015
Christmas gift of coal image

Office parties are perhaps only slightly less hated than the pathetic, “I-feel-obligated-to-give-you-something-because-we-sit-five-feet-apart-from-each-other-every-day,” gift from your boss. (Side note: this excludes Stoner Bunting’s office parties. Ours are actually great – here’s some photographic evidence). Here’s a tip: keep your expectations low and you might be less disappointed with this year’s gift. Maybe. Is it even possible to sink lower than a re-gifted candle? We really hope not. Maybe it’s the fact that you know there was precisely zero effort put into the gift, or maybe it’s just that obligatory gifts are no fun. Either way, you know you’re not getting what … Read More

3 Housekeeping Tips For Managers In 2016

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on December 17th, 2015
Business meeting with team members

The New Year brings new budgets, new challenges, and new goals. With the hustle and bustle of the holidays quickly ending, now is the time for managers to take inventory of their employee rewards and ensure they are fully stocked and ready to incentivize great work in 2016. Starting a new year also brings a certain level of opaqueness as it pertains to what you should do first and what you need to do to ensure 2016 starts off on a productive foot. We have put together 3 housekeeping tips for managers to use to ensure that you are ready … Read More

A Productive 2016 Starts With Staff Input

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on December 11th, 2015
Image of employee celebrating

As 2015 comes to a close, it’s time to begin looking forward to 2016. A New Year means new challenges and new opportunities. The early months of 2016 are a good time to sit down with staff members for a performance review. But, don’t stop at evaluating their work. As a manager, this is your chance to gain valuable feedback from staff and give your team ownership in developing company goals for the year. A sit down with each employee can provide valuable insight into how the company is doing from a staff perspective. It can also help outline work … Read More

3 Tips For Using Social Media To Hire Effectively

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on November 3rd, 2015
Social reach graphic

Talented people looking for jobs in the 21st Century are more likely to offer you a link to their website than they are a résumé. It’s all just part of doing business in the digital age. In many ways, online innovation has made life easier for human resources professionals, but it has also presented new and unexpected challenges. One of these has been the new ways in which employees are recruited, screened and ultimately hired. Nowhere has this process changed more dramatically than the in the area of social media. Employers looking for new faces to join their team will … Read More

2 Blondes Go To Vegas….

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on October 22nd, 2015
Julie and Kayla photo

The week of October 26th our two resident tall blondes, otherwise known as Stoner Bunting Gift Cards Sales Executives, will be heading to Las Vegas for the Money 20/20 Conference. They will be two of the 10,000 plus attendees from 75 countries visiting Sin City to partake in the largest global event focused on payments and financial services innovation. While there, Julie and Kayla will be taking time to meet with some of our many partners that are also making the trip. Let’s learn a little bit more about our favorite tall blondes. Julie Fulton: Julie started working with us … Read More

Tying In Trends: Turning Wins And Losses Into Lessons

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on October 19th, 2015
Trend spotting graphic

As our last post centered on the world of competition, it’s only natural that we now focus on how you can stay competitive in your industry. There are several ways that people can rise to the top, and it is very important to take note of what you are seeing around you. Identifying these trends in your industry is the simplest way to not only figure out where your company is going, but also to figure out how to get where you want your company to go. “What’s trending,” is not just a phrase used by twitter obsessed millennials, but … Read More

Rising To The Top

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on October 8th, 2015
Competition graphic

We were born competitors. From crying for our parents’ attention, yelling louder than our siblings, and negotiating bedtime, we’ve been competing to be number one since the early days of childhood. Even our popular culture media is flooded with features that ask “who wore it better?” right after reporting on opening weekend box office numbers as if they were NFL statistics. No matter how you look at it, competition is all around us, and if you don’t jump on board with knowing your competitors and how to compete, you may get lost in the shuffle. To fully understand the importance … Read More

3 Creative Ways To Give Employees A Gift Card

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on September 28th, 2015
Gift card bow graphic

When you hand someone a gift card, it can appear very transactional. Think about on your birthday, you receive a package, oblong in shape, wrapped beautifully and sitting on your coffee table. On top of that package is a small 3”x3” envelope. Which one are you more excited to open? Chances are the gift card could have a high monetary value than the package, despite its smaller size. However, the presentation of the gift card fell short. Here are some creative ideas to add more flare to your gift cards and make the gift card receiving experience, a memorable one. … Read More

3 Out Of The Box Ideas To Motivate Employees

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on September 18th, 2015
Think outside the box graphic

It goes without saying that the live of an HR Manager/Facilitator/Do-Everything-er is a thankless job. Tasked with anything from putting out fires to thinking of the next theme for the holiday party, the HR department is tasked with a variety of tactics. Creativity is always required with the slim chance of someone offering any sort of idea of their own. Everything falls on your shoulders. Are you struggling for new ideas on how to motivate your employees? We previously wrote about some new ‘fun’ ideas that can help motivate employees, but what are some very unique and creative concepts to … Read More

Meet Kim Hartranft: Matchmaker

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on August 25th, 2015
Kim Hartranft headshot

You’ve heard about Jim, but have you heard about Kim? Kim Hartranft is a Senior Sales Executive at Stoner Bunting Gift Cards and has been with the company, serving in various positions, for almost 20 years. We interviewed her and she shared with us about her experience at Stoner Bunting, how she’s seen the industry change during her time, and how one of her college jobs led to her meeting the infamous carrot top workout guru, Richard Simmons. WILD CARD QUESTIONS: 1. If you could get a gift card to any store, which store would it be? As a family, … Read More

Miniature Billboards: The Power Of Branding Your Gift Cards

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on August 18th, 2015
Branding graphic

The power of using wholesale gift cards as part of a company’s overall branding and advertising strategy is often overlooked. Big companies are willing to hire advertising agencies to handle their traditional creative work – everything from print ad campaigns to logo re-designs. And this work is done throughout the entirety of the year, with new campaigns being launched consistently. The reason they are willing to invest into this type of advertising is because they know the importance of how their audience perceives them. Many times, potential customers come into contact with a company first not in a brick-and-mortar store … Read More

The Perfect Pair: Sunglass Hut & Stoner Bunting Gift Cards

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on August 11th, 2015
Sunglass Hut logo

News flash: it’s sunny in the summertime. And that makes us grateful that we have the opportunity to work alongside our partner, Sunglass Hut. They are a stand out business for a number of reasons – one, they have some of the coolest shades around (seriously – go see for yourself), and secondly, they are the largest specialty sunglass store in the world. From Armani Exchange to Versace, Sunglass Hut carries the most stylish brands in the fashion industry. With over 1,800 locations and a product offering of the hottest in haute couture sunglasses, Sunglass Hut is a brand with … Read More

Easy Ways To Prevent Negativity In Your Workplace

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on July 31st, 2015
Workplace negativity graphic

Unfortunately, there’s no “fast-forward” or “mute” button for the Debbie Downer or Negative Norman working in your office. But while it’s not always possible to eliminate negativity in the workplace entirely, there are steps you can take as a company leader or department manager to professionally keep the peace among your many employees. These three simple tips are bound to help you maintain a safe level of harmony among the troops in your workplace: View Conflict From Multiple Perspectives Part of being a manager or higher-up is dealing with the dreaded interoffice conflict. When an employee approaches you with a … Read More

Reaching The Summit: Maximizing Your Time At Industry Conferences & Trade Shows

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on July 14th, 2015
Hello badge image

We’ve already discussed the importance of attending summits, trade shows, seminars, conferences, or whatever you want to call them. When you sell wholesale gift cards or work with employee recognition programs, you know how difficult it can be to gain leads in the traditional ways – after all, many people are uneducated on gift card companies and employee incentive programs. Chances are, before you began work for the industry, you had no clue what it was either. However, summits are an important part of working in the incentive marketing industry. Here, we’ve outlined the practical steps that you can take … Read More

2015 Ima Summit: What You Need To Know And Why You Should Go

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on July 9th, 2015
IMA logo

We’re a few weeks away from the annual IMA Summit, taking place from July 26th – 28th, in Nashville, Tennessee. Attending summits and conferences is an important part of being involved in any industry. So, what exactly is the IMA and what does it do? I’M IMA Here’s a brief overview of the IMA: the acronym stands for the Incentive Marketing Association, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to, “advocate[ing] for and promot[ing] the use of incentives and recognition to improve business performance.” IMA does this in various ways – through events, seminars, research, and of course, summits. The IMA … Read More

It’s All In The Cards: Getting To Know Jim Roosa

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on June 30th, 2015
Jim Roosa headshot

Jim Roosa is the Vice President and Managing Director of Stoner Bunting Gift Cards. He began working with the company over two decades ago and has proven himself to be a real maverick in the gift card world. We interviewed him for a company profile to learn more about his work at Stoner Bunting, what keeps him here, and how he became such a snappy dresser. We didn’t shy away from the hard hitting questions. WILD CARD QUESTIONS: 1. Are you a cat or a dog person? Dog. I’m totally tolerant of cats, but we just don’t have many in … Read More

How To Use E-Gift Cards To Reward Millennials

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on June 24th, 2015
Millennial employee graphic

The millennial generation is one with such a strong stigma against them that they rival the Baby Boomers. Lazy, self-appointed, know it all; all of these adjectives used by many to describe the typical millennial. While some millennials are blazing their own trail with becoming an entrepreneur, most millennials are entering the workforce, with unyielding passion, excitement, curiosity, and of course opinions. Similar to most new hires out of college, they enter your organization with a myriad of aspirational ideas on how they can do their part, help the company succeed, and of course, grow in their career. It is … Read More

You Aren’t Alone In Gift Cards

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on June 10th, 2015
Employee needing help image

We know – it’s not your job. Maybe you work in marketing, sales, or on the financial side of things at the office. But somehow, you ended up managing gift card sales. And trust us when we say that we know it can be overwhelming. The channels that gift cards go through to reach the customer are lengthy – order processing, payment of orders, payment receipt confirmation, activation, fulfillment – and that’s not even the end of the process. Chances are, you didn’t even know that the business of bulk gift cards existed until it suddenly became your responsibility. This … Read More

Scrip Vs. Script

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on June 4th, 2015

Settling the Debate Once and For All If you have kids in elementary school, it’s likely that you’ve been roped into hawking coupon books or tickets to a sub-par chicken dinner as part of a school fundraiser. And while it may sometimes be unpleasant trying to get your kids to actually do the selling (we’re looking at you, parents, who just buy all of your kids’ stuff to avoid the hassle of doing the fundraising) it’s an integral part of helping school programs become successful. Going Off Script One of the programs that have helped propel fundraising into the future … Read More

Partner Feature: Scrip

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on June 3rd, 2015

Great Lakes Scrip Center has been a leader in gift card fundraising since its inception. From their beginning, the motto of “Fundraising While You Shop®” has shaped the way they do business. They help schools, churches, and other non-profits earn money for their organizations by purchasing items they need – like groceries, gas, and clothes – with gift cards instead of credit or debit cards. Every time a person uses a gift card they purchase through Great Lakes Scrip Center, they earn money for their organization. And by the way, their name really is Scrip, not Script (more on that … Read More

3 Employee Incentive Ideas For Small Businesses

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on May 14th, 2015
Small business team members

When you own a small business, your employees are even more vital than if you were a large corporation. These employees typically wear numerous hats, know your business inside and out, are willing to invest extra time to help out when needed, and ultimately are committed to your success. These employees are invaluable. Keeping these employees feeling involved and appreciated is a struggle in itself for a small business. Small businesses do not have the cash flow of a larger organization that can purchase lavish gifts, give extra vacation, or provide large bonuses for their top performers. A small business … Read More

The Numbers Don’t Lie: Quantifying Employee Engagement

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on April 21st, 2015
Team business meeting image

In the past, employee engagement wasn’t a priority for driving the bottom line. In the 1980s, for example, companies focused on product quality and management processes. In the 1990s, there was a shift to Six Sigma programs and web-based processes like Knowledge Management. However, what many companies now realize is that the most profound investment returns come from recognition programs for employees. According to Gallup surveys, organizations with high levels of employee engagement showed 27 percent higher profits, 50 percent higher sales, 50 percent higher customer loyalty and 38 percent above-average productivity. Companies with unhappy employees have greater absenteeism and … Read More

3 Reasons Gift Cards Are Better Than Cash

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on April 10th, 2015
Germs on money image

While money may not grow on trees, microbes actually do grow on money. And that’s just one of several reasons why giving gift cards is more appealing than giving cash. Here are three more: • Gift cards can be replaced. Lost or stolen gift cards? No problem. In most situations, gift card issuers can deactivate the missing card and a new one can be substituted. You certainly can’t do that with cash. When that $100 bill is gone—it’s gone. • Gift cards are guilt-free. Most of the time, when people receive cash as a gift—even for a specific item—they often … Read More

4 Ways Turnover Affects Profitability

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on March 26th, 2015
Watering money plant image

We can’t do it all alone. In order to build a large, healthy, and sustainable business, you need to have quality employees. These employees are motivated, engaged in the company’s success, as well as passionate to continue to grow their craft. Some of your most valued employees could be those who have been with you for a very long time, as well as those who haven’t been with you a long time but are your hardest workers. Losing one of these valued assets could set your business back substantially. Here are 4 ways that turnover can affect your profitability. 4 … Read More

Ready To Grow Your Company’s Bulk Gift Card Program???

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on March 18th, 2015
Man watering tree image

If your company is looking to expand their gift card program, it is important to take an honest look at your current bulk gift card program by conducting a thorough assessment. First, take stock of all of the current programs that your company is participating in that are a good brand fit and are yielding high volume sales, overspend and/or incremental customers. Next, focus on possible missed opportunities and identify the buyers and programs your brand is not yet a part of, but should warrant further analysis. These may include some of the selling categories listed below. Be sure to … Read More

5 Ways To Use Gift Cards To Motivate Your Sales Team

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on February 26th, 2015
Gift cards with gold bows

While some may be skeptical about using a quasi-financial reward to incentivize a sales team already operating with financial incentives in place, gift cards don’t have to be strictly financial. Here are five tactful ways gift cards can be used to motivate your sales team. 1. Personalize it. Tailoring the gift card to fit your salesperson’s personality is a great way to underscore your appreciation of them. A gift card for Destination Maternity® or Motherhood Maternity® is the perfect overture to a salesman with an expecting wife. For the saleswoman-athlete, an UnderArmour® gift card might be a great way to … Read More

5 Employee Incentive Ideas On A Budget

Posted by Stoner Bunting Gift Cards on February 4th, 2015
Coffee cups image

Let’s face it, budgets are tight. Each year, the amount of money allocated for employee incentive programs continues to decrease. But conversely, the quest to retain your top talent becomes more and more difficult. Who does the C-Suite seek for answers when one of their top performers leave? The HR Department, who is armed with dwindling budgets and increasing benefit costs. However, we are here to help offer 5 employee incentive ideas that any business can offer with a limited budget. 1. Dress code: Gone are the days where employees were bound by dress codes that required an entire new … Read More

Announcing The Stoner Bunting Gift Cards Ebook!

Posted by Joe Terranova on January 22nd, 2015
SBGC eBook Employee Incentives

Stoner Bunting Gift Cards is excited to announce our first-ever eBook! Need some employee incentive ideas to spice up your employee recognition program, or perhaps a customer loyalty program? Then take a peek at our new eBook, designed to help you revamp your employee rewards program. Whether it be handing out bulk gift cards in employee performance reviews, or simply giving someone a pat on the back, this eBook will make you rethink how you structure your program. Here is a small slice of what you can expect to find: Warning Signs of a Disengaged Employee: When employees become increasingly … Read More

5 Ways Businesses Benefit from an Engaged Employee

Posted by Kayla Lyon on January 8th, 2015
Image of employee celebrating

Every employer wants to retain his or her employees. Long term employees have exceptional benefits, including the fact they already know your business, require less training, and the reduced turnover helps your bottom line.  Your long-term employees help train the newer staff, pick up the slack during the busy seasons, as well as know all of the minor details of your business. Just imagine if one of your most tenured employees left today; do you really know all of the details for their customers? Could you train your new staff to pick up the position with little hiccups? But unfortunately, … Read More

5 Must Reads for Every HR Professional

Posted by Kayla Lyon on December 18th, 2014

Exceptional HR professionals add tremendous value to a company. The best of them understand that a business has no greater asset than its staff. Thus, building healthy relationships with employees not only reduces turnover, it allows companies to retain top talent and attract the industry’s best and brightest. The following books and websites should be at the top of the list for every human resources pro. They offer timeless wisdom and priceless lessons from a variety of experts in the field. 1001 Ways to Reward Employees. By Bob Nelson, Ph.D. Now in its second edition and 58th printing, Bob Nelson’s … Read More

5 Ways to Use Gift Cards to Motivate Your Sales Team

Posted by Kayla Lyon on December 12th, 2014

While some may be skeptical about using a quasi-financial reward to incentivize a sales team already operating with financial incentives in place, gift cards don’t have to be strictly financial. Here are five tactful ways gift cards can be used to motivate your sales team. Personalize it. Tailoring the gift card to fit your salesperson’s personality is a great way to underscore your appreciation of them. A gift card for Destination Maternity® or Motherhood and Maternity® is the perfect overture to a salesman with an expecting wife. For the saleswoman-athlete, an UnderArmour® gift card might be a great way to … Read More

What It Takes to Keep Your Best Talent

Posted by Kayla Lyon on December 4th, 2014

As the economy continues to emerge from the recession and the labor market starts to reignite, employers are finding the onus is on them to ensure their rising stars don’t go looking for greener pastures. It’s not easy. A CareerBuilder survey released in January found that one in five U.S. workers were planning to change jobs this year. This kind of heavy brain drain can cripple a company. The study showed that while 59 percent of employers were satisfied with their jobs, it marked a 7 percent reduction in job satisfaction from 2013. For the dissatisfied, salary issues and lack … Read More

Physical or eGift Cards: Which is Right for Your Business?

Posted by Kayla Lyon on November 20th, 2014

Your company’s culture says a lot about how you operate and what you do. Some businesses cultivate a work-family type of environment, others have a global virtual workforce and still others operate on the “Results Oriented Work Environment” (ROWE) model. Gift and eGift cards can be quite useful when it comes to introducing incentives or rewards into your corporate culture, whether it’s through wellness programs, recognition programs or performance reviews. What kinds of cards are given depends a lot on how your business operates. Understanding the key differences between physical gift cards and eGift cards can help you determine which … Read More

How to Use Gift Cards in Employees’ Performance Review

Posted by Kayla Lyon on November 6th, 2014

Most of your employees want at least two things from their job: they want to get paid, and they want to be recognized for the good work they do. Performance reviews are a great way to address both needs. Incorporating gift cards into the performance review may seem like no big deal, but it is possible to have the gesture backfire. Here are three tips to successfully integrating gift cards into your performance reviews. Reward exceptional performance, not basic duties. One of the biggest mistakes employers can make is rewarding basic job responsibilities like showing up on time, staying safe … Read More

Five Ways to Improve Small Business Customer Retention

Posted by Kayla Lyon on October 23rd, 2014

A staggering 68 percent of customers walk away from a business because they are unhappy with the services they received. Lack of vision, lack of enthusiasm and lack of promotion all play into poor customer service. Here are five tips to make sure your customers or clients stay happy and keep coming back. Underpromise and overdeliver. Perhaps the most important key to retaining customers is ensuring that the customer’s expectations are managed well from the outset. Whether you’re a retailer or a service company, the best way to guarantee your customers keep coming back is to make sure they understand … Read More

The Benefits of Choices in Your Employee Recognition Program

Posted by Kayla Lyon on October 9th, 2014

Choose any two successful employees, and you’ll find two dramatically different paths to success. They each have their own set of strengths and weaknesses, so why should the program you’ve established to recognize their hard work be anything less than exciting? Recognizing each employee in a unique way sends the message that their accomplishments are appreciated on their own terms. They may have reached a universal benchmark or a goal to which many others were aspiring, but they did it in their own unique way, while overcoming their own unique challenges and circumstances. That is a highly personal achievement, and … Read More

How Will Mobile Affect the Gift Card Industry?

Posted by Kayla Lyon on September 25th, 2014

Over the past decade, U.S. households have seen a dramatic rise in the number of people using their cell phones to access the Internet. Mobile online connectivity is a fact of life in the 21st Century. Increasingly, this connectivity has led to innovations in more than just the spread of information. The way companies market, the way people shop, and, increasingly, the way people purchase are all changing thanks to the digital revolution. Transfer from Cash to Digital Where cash used to be king, financial transactions these days are done with a username and a password. While credit or debit … Read More

The do’s and don’ts of employee gifting

Posted by Kayla Lyon on September 11th, 2014

Employee gifting is not reserved for the holiday season, as gift giving can happen for birthdays, anniversaries and employee recognition. It is human nature for people to read into the gifts they receive from other co-workers and choosing thoughtful gifts can help build strong working relationships. These are some do’s and don’ts that will help you avoid that awkward gift giving moment or accidentally embarrass someone with a inappropriate gift. Do’s: Ask your co-workers: If you are unsure what to get someone, ask your peers if they know of anything your gift recipient might enjoy, or any ‘insider’ information. Plan … Read More

5 Tips to inspire and retain your workforce

Posted by Kayla Lyon on August 28th, 2014

With good quality talent being in such shortage today, organizations need to work harder than ever to ensure that this talent remains within the organization and doesn’t have a reason to leave. The difference between a motivated and happy employee and a disengaged employee can make the difference between excellent work and sub-par work. Here are 5 tips to keep your team inspired and retain your talent long term: Give them visibility: Employees want to be recognized and placing them on a project that has high visibility is one way to keep them inspired to perform great work. This visibility … Read More

4 Retention Tips for Sales Managers

Posted by Kayla Lyon on August 14th, 2014

Every Sales Manager knows that a strong sales person is someone that you want to keep for a long time. The relationships that they build take years to develop and many times, sales are made on relationships alone. Keeping your sales team engaged and motivated are tactics paramount to maintaining a strong team and ensuring that the individuals front and center to your clients are in a positive mindset. If the people in daily communication with your clients are unhappy, this will show through to your clients. Here are 4 customer retention tips specifically for Sales Managers to keep your … Read More

5 Essential Items You Must have in Your Employee Recognition Program

Posted by Kayla Lyon on July 31st, 2014

A well constructed and organized employee recognition program will allow you to reward employees on time for the work they deserve, while providing them rewards they will actually enjoy. There are several elements that you should make sure that you have integrated into your employee recognition program so that you can maximize its effectiveness and give employees something to strive towards. Celebration Calendar: It is a smart practice to have a calendar celebrating upcoming birthdays, employee events, and anniversaries so everyone in the office is aware of these occasions and can celebrate together. Buy-in and participation of senior management: Employees … Read More

Stoner Bunting Group Hug

Posted by Kayla Lyon on July 23rd, 2014

“Above all, success in business requires two things: a winning competitive strategy, and superb organizational execution. Distrust is the enemy of both.” I submit that while high trust won’t necessarily rescue a poor strategy, low trust will almost always derail a good one.” ― Stephen M.R. Covey, The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything  Last week, Stoner Bunting Advertising and Stoner Bunting Gift Cards gathered for our annual Group Hug. What is a Group Hug you ask?   In the words of our team: “We spend every other day of the year focused on our own clients … Read More

How do you buy gift cards in bulk?

Posted by Kayla Lyon on July 17th, 2014

Gift cards are increasingly becoming a popular method of employee recognition. They offer a flexible reward option that allows employees to use the gift card on the items that they are most interested in. But employers do not have to make the trek to the local grocery store or destination in order to purchase the gift card. Purchasing gift cards in bulk offers numerous benefits for the organization including quicker service, no wasted gas, and a variety of options. However, you have to be sure to select a partner to purchase your bulk gift cards that offers the selection you … Read More

Top trends in employee recognition programs

Posted by Kayla Lyon on July 1st, 2014

With great talent becoming harder and harder to attract and maintain, employee recognition remains on the forefront of importance for organizations of all sizes. Staying on top of the latest employee recognition program trends can help you retain your best talent. Here are some of the top trends in the employee recognition world. Social good continues to grow: While many employees choose to donate their rewards and personal finances to making a difference, many employers are allowing them to give back while on the job. Several organizations like GlobalGiving and CharityChoice allow your employees to have a hand in a … Read More

7 Signs of a Disengaged Employee

Posted by Kayla Lyon on June 19th, 2014

You want your business to operate effectively so you can obtain your monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals. With deadlines and lean staffing being a cornerstone of business today, you need to be able to get the most out of your team in order to produce great results. If you have an employee who is disengaged, this employee could be producing poor results or even infecting other employees with their drone of negativity. Here are 7 of the signs of a disengaged employee so you can either turn them around, or eliminate them from your team. An increase in absences or … Read More

3 ways to make employee recognition EASY

Posted by Kayla Lyon on June 5th, 2014

With more and more organizations operating with a lean or ‘skeleton’ crew due to budgetary restraints, holding onto your existing talent is more important now than it ever has been. With an increasing list of responsibilities, the last thing managers have time for is developing ideas for employee recognition. We have put together three employee recognition tips to help managers easily provide recognition and continue to appreciate the hard work their employees do on a daily basis.   Create a strategy: You wouldn’t be launching a new product or service without a concrete plan of exactly what, when and how … Read More

Most Use Gift Cards for Necessities, Not Indulgences

Posted by Kayla Lyon on August 13th, 2013

According to the Retail Gift Card Association (RGCA)’s Consumer Gift Card Attitudes Survey, the majority of consumers in the United States currently use gift cards on necessities, rather than an indulgence. The RGCA is a trade association of diverse, closed loop gift card retailers committed to promoting the use of gift cards. Key Findings from the Survey: 30.6% of respondents would purchase an indulgence, something they would not normally buy 69.4% said they would spend the gift card on something they needed, or put it towards a larger purchase 88.5% redeem a retail gift card within 6 months of receiving … Read More

The American Workforce: Most Not Engaged

Posted by Kayla Lyon on July 3rd, 2013

According to a recent study by Gallup, a shocking 70% of American employees aren’t working to their full potential. Gallup’s study, entitled State of the American Workplace: 2010-2012 Report, provides insights into the three types of employees in the American workforce. Gallup estimates that actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. $450 billion to $550 billion in lost productivity per year. Keeping this in mind, we advise that companies focus on implementing a gift card incentive program to motivate these disengaged employees. Gallup Defines 3 Types of Employees: ENGAGED (30%): These employees work with passion, and feel a profound connection to … Read More

Trust: A Visible Asset for Stoner Bunting Gift Cards

Posted by Kayla Lyon on June 27th, 2013

This past week, Stoner Bunting Gift Cards and Stoner Bunting Advertising came together for the annual agency meeting, otherwise known as the Group Hug. For the second year in a row, the focus of the day was TRUST. This was a day of sharing, looking at past performance, future strategic goals, and team building. At Stoner Bunting Gift Cards, our mission is to be a trusted partner with our buyers and clients, and our actions are focused on making this part of our culture. As we proceed in business with our clients and partners, we keep trust as our core … Read More

Loyalty Memberships Up, Activity Down

Posted by Kayla Lyon on June 6th, 2013

In a world where loyalty programs are a dime a dozen, how does a company make theirs stand out from the rest? A recent article from CNBC has reported that loyalty program memberships are up 27 percent from 2010, to a total 2.65 billion in 2012, according to the 2013 Colloquy Loyalty Census. CNBC did the math to conclude that 2.65 billion memberships is equal to an average of 21.9 memberships per household, up from 18.4. That significant increase in number of memberships does not, however, paint the full picture; while the total number of program memberships has increased, consumers … Read More

How to Be a Best-In-Class Company

Posted by Kayla Lyon on May 23rd, 2013

In a recent press release, the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) reported that Best-In-Class companies are more likely to use non-cash rewards to motivate employees. The IRF partnered with Aberdeen Group to conduct a survey of 312 end-user organizations in order to determine how to most effectively manage sales performance. Best-In-Class companies (those in the top 20%) had higher customer retention rates, higher year-over-year increase in the number of sales reps achieving quota, and a much larger increase in deal size/contract value than industry average or “laggard” firms (those comprising the bottom 30%). It is no secret that having a formal … Read More

Benefits of Prepaid Cards in Direct Marketing Campaigns

Posted by Kayla Lyon on May 9th, 2013

Recently, a White Paper from First Data examined how companies can use prepaid incentives in direct marketing campaigns to produce optimum sales results. First Data found that using prepaid incentive cards generates average response rates that are 4 to 7 times higher than traditional direct mail promotions involving incentives such as coupons. For example, in a direct mail promotion using prepaid cards, a large convenience and petroleum retailer with 800 stores wanted to drive trial visitation and purchases at a new location. A compelling prepaid incentive card offer was mailed to local households. This campaign resulted in a 13.4% response … Read More

Mobile Payments to Exceed $1 Trillion by 2015

Posted by Kayla Lyon on April 25th, 2013
Firstdata Privacy

The rising growth of mobile payments brings some baggage along with it, namely the issue of security. According to a recent study by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), data and identity protection are the biggest concern among consumers today. The FTC’s study affirms that 42% of consumers are hesitant to try mobile payments due to worries about system security. Among the security concerns in the FTC report is the presence of billing scams, in which third parties add payments to users’ mobile bills without their consent; this is called “cramming.” The FTC indicates that many consumers are neither aware of … Read More

Making a Difference on Earth Day

Posted by Kayla Lyon on April 17th, 2013

Stoner Bunting’s Environmentally Friendly Clients Every year on April 22, more than one billion people take part in Earth Day. This Monday, we remind ourselves to take better care of our environment and the wildlife that inhabits it. Here’s how Stoner Bunting’s clients are helping the environment. Will you be doing your part this Monday? The CharityChoice gift card is environmentally friendly in more ways than one. The gift cards come in eco-friendly options, including physical gift cards made of biodegradable material, as well as eCerts. CharityChoice gift cards are perfect because the recipient can designate the gift card funds … Read More

Gamification: The Science of Fun in Loyalty Programs

Posted by Kayla Lyon on April 10th, 2013

Understanding the behavior of consumers is of the utmost importance when designing a customer loyalty program, and gamification techniques provide a structured way to measure and predict consumer behavior. According to Richard Combs, a solutions consultant at First Data, important elements of motivation in a gamified customer loyalty program include: Points Systems: The points system or score tracker lets customers view the announcement of achievements and track the accumulation of points. Points are assigned to a visit, certain buying behaviors, or the purchase of specific products. Combs says that a key benefit of this approach is the ability to register, … Read More

Spring Into Wellness Incentives

Posted by Kayla Lyon on March 28th, 2013

Before over-indulging on Easter candy, think about the state of your company’s wellness incentives. It is no secret that healthy workers have more energy, are more productive, and deliver greater ROI. Over the past several years, there have been numerous studies to support this assertion. Healthy workers incur fewer health care costs, and companies are starting to take action. According to Corporate Wellness Magazine, every $1 that a company invests in employee wellness programs yields, on average, $4 in savings through reduced sick days, higher productivity and decreased healthcare costs. With findings like this, it’s no surprise that more companies are … Read More

Lessons from the PrePaid Expo

Posted by Kayla Lyon on March 14th, 2013

Last week, Stoner Bunting Gift Cards represented our clients at the PrePaid Expo in Orlando. The Incentive Gift Card Council (IGCC), a strategic incentive industry group within the Incentive Marketing Association (IMA), held its first meeting of 2013, which proved to be an eventful two-hour seminar that covered a variety of topics. Gift Cards for the Greater Good The IGCC and its member organizations set a record by donating $33,000 in gift cards to the Wounded Warrior Project. The thousands of dollars in gift card donations will help the nonprofit to assist injured members of the military and their families … Read More

3 Ways Your Company Can Benefit from Gift Cards

Posted by Kayla Lyon on February 28th, 2013

Another year, another awards season come and gone. This past Sunday, the Oscars culminated the 2013 awards season. Every year, the various awards shows from January through February bring with them glamorous swag lounges, with celebrities picking up coveted “swag bags” valued at upwards of $50,000. That’s a lot of swag! These luxury gifts present a major opportunity for companies to get celebrity endorsements for their brand, and typically include high-value gift cards. Not all companies use gift cards under such extravagant circumstances, yet the intended result is always the same: increasing sales. Gift cards prove to be effective in … Read More

The Incentive Gift Card Market Follow-Up

Posted by Kayla Lyon on February 19th, 2013

The Incentive Research Foundation, in partnership with the Incentive Gift Card Council, conducted a joint study last year where they collected and analyzed data from a national sample of business executives in order to determine the size of the incentive gift card market in the United States, which they concluded was worth a whopping total of $22.7 billion.  The Incentive Research Foundation provided a preview of their study at last year’s Motivation Show, which we recapped in November, but recently the full Gift Card Market study became available. The study revealed that more than half of U.S. businesses are using … Read More

3 Reasons Why Facebook Is Going Against the Trend with Plastic Gift Cards

Posted by Kayla Lyon on February 5th, 2013

Last week, Facebook launched its new branded plastic gift card, wherein friends can give and receive credits to shop at four major retailers: Target, Sephora, Olive Garden and Jamba Juice. While we expect more retailers to join in the future, we wonder why Facebook wouldn’t stick to a mobile gift card platform for its program. Mobile has been the clear trend in the gift card industry for the past few years, so why offer plastic? We can think of three good reasons: 1)      People Still Want to Open Their Gift: There’s nothing that quite takes the place of opening a … Read More

The Year that Gift Cards Died? We don’t think so!

Posted by Kayla Lyon on January 16th, 2013

Recently, an article posted on CNBC suggested that 2012 was the year that gift cards died. This article has been met with some controversy. At Stoner Bunting, we have seen quite the opposite this past year with customer and employee motivation, loyalty incentives, fundraising, and both physical and online gift card malls. When we consider the growth in these facets of the gift card industry, along with the new technology being used to provide gift cards to consumers via email and mobile, we can conclude that the landscape has never been so vast and promising. Contrary to CNBC’s conclusions, the … Read More

Giving Thanks

Posted by Kayla Lyon on December 21st, 2012

As we wrap up the year, we would like to take pause and reflect on some wonderful acts of kindness we have witnessed personally and professionally. Included in that are some of the amazing works of our own client brands who have helped lend a hand to support their communities this year. Thanks to all who make a point of “giving thanks” to others this holiday season–we wish you and yours the best, and look forward to working with you in 2013! If you would like to learn more about any of the initiatives featured, please click through the links … Read More

The Incentive Gift Card Market

Posted by Kayla Lyon on November 1st, 2012

Recently, the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) attended the Motivation Show in Chicago. Here, the group previewed a new study determining the size incentive and loyalty gift card market in the United States. The IRF came to the conclusion that it is worth a total of $22.7 billion.   The IRF determined the breakdown of that sum and concluded that $8.7 billion was spent on sales incentive programs, while $7.3 billion was spent on employee recognition programs and $5.2 billion and $1.7 billion were spent, respectively, on customer incentives and channel sales programs.   Similarly, Megg Withinton, a supporter of the … Read More

Corporate Rewards and Innovation

Posted by Kayla Lyon on October 10th, 2012

Recently, two divisions within Verizon spoke to HR Management Magazine about their use of innovation within their employee rewards and recognition program. This is no easy task, considering they manage over 50,000 employees across multiple categories. One thing is certain – it’s not a one-size-fits-all strategy. Their use of point-based programs offers everything from gift cards, group travel, electronics and even specialty items like concert tickets. To read more about how Verizon rewards and retains their employees, visit the link here. Perhaps you can take some ideas back to your own organization. Happy Motivating!

A HEALTHY BOTTOM LINE

Posted by Kayla Lyon on September 14th, 2012

According to the U.S. Office of the Surgeon General, approximately two-thirds of American adults are overweight and the numbers continue to rise.  Research has shown that for every dollar spent on wellness, medical costs fall by about $3.25 and absenteeism costs fall by about $2.70. Many companies are beginning to realize that rewarding their employees for staying healthy pays big dividends in the form of reduced health insurance premiums.  A wellness program can be structured in a variety of ways, depending on your company culture and what you’d like to achieve.  According to Darryl Hutson, InteliSpend CEO, “Healthy employees make … Read More

Top 10 back-to-school trends for 2012

Posted by Kayla Lyon on August 1st, 2012

Image found at http://blog.nrf.com/2012/07/26/bts-trends-2012/

Research Shows Recipients Prefer the Control and Personalization Gift Cards Provide vs. Cash

Posted by Kayla Lyon on July 13th, 2012

St. Louis – April 30, 2012 – A new study by the Incentive Gift Card Council (IGCC) and the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) shows that prepaid gift cards are one of the most popular ways to motivate and reward employees. This is due, primarily, to the control and personalization they present. Researchers found that when offered a prepaid card or its equivalent in cash, survey respondents chose a prepaid card by a ratio of five to one. “We found that reward recipients are more likely to mentally classify prepaid cards as guilt-free spending versus cash,” explains IRF President Melissa Van … Read More

Gift Cards Top 2012 Gift Choices for Grads

Posted by Kayla Lyon on June 8th, 2012

With the graduation season upon us, consumers are turning more to gift cards to reward that special student and to say congratulations for a job well done According to the NRF’s 2012 Graduation Survey, spending for 2012 graduation gifts is expected to top $4.7 billion this year. Gift cards purchases for the graduate are up 5 percent from last year due to their convenience, ease of purchase and flexibility for the giftee. Over one-third of gift-givers are looking to supply grads with a gift card this year, a trend that has continued from this past holiday season. Increased gift card … Read More

e-Gift Cards: A Growing Trend

Posted by Kayla Lyon on May 18th, 2012

Move over plastic, electronic gift cards are moving up! With more and more consumers relying on mobile technology and adopting that “need it now” mentality, e-gift cards are beginning to make a name for themselves in the gift card world. While they only account for 4% of overall annual gift card sales, nearly 20% of consumers purchased or received an e-gift card in 2011- an increase of 50%*.  When taking a look at the numbers, it’s not hard to tell where e-gift cards will be in the next few years. According to Tower Group, virtual gift card sales are projected … Read More

The Future of Employee Rewards – Gift Cards

Posted by Kayla Lyon on May 1st, 2012

Despite its fairly recent introduction into the gifting and incentive industry, gift cards have risen quickly over the last decade to become one of the most favored reward options—atop cash and merchandise, according to a study by Incentive Gift Card Council. Recipients prefer gift card rewards due to the freedom of personalized usage, the thoughtfulness of the givers, and the rewarding feeling upon receiving the cards. As recipients’ attitudes towards gift cards have positively shifted, companies across all industries have incorporated gift cards into a wide range of corporate incentive programs. The effectiveness and convenience of gift cards has prompted … Read More

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