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Why we love merchandise rewards

Rewards come in many forms, and different shapes and sizes.

Yet, as long as human beings live in a physical world, we will always have a unique attachment to tangible rewards. That’s why it pays to know why merchandise rewards matter.

We live in a world of things. Many social anthropologists would say that human beings are materialistic by nature; that our instinct to acquire stuff dates back to our earliest days as hunter gatherers, when having enough food and resources marked the difference between survival and expiration.

But it is evolutionary psychologists who shed light on what is, arguably, the most interesting insight regarding our relationship to material possessions: They tell the story of us.

Consider the value we place on ancient archeological sites; not just for the earthly treasures they may hold, but also for the secrets they can release about our predecessors’ lives and collective societies.

At an individual level, we can all relate to the experience of possession attachment. Remember your first bike? First car? We do too. What about the feeling you get when you unpack a new pair of running shoes? Super, right? This sort of attachment points to the relevance of things as markers of who we are, and what we become. Essentially, material things help us form an identity of ourselves, in the way we use them, and in the way we come to value them.

Think of this example: A busy, single parent comes home from work and has to prepare supper for her kids. She reaches into her kitchen cupboards and grabs the nearest pot and pan to start cooking. In this instance, the pot and the pan are purely functional. Now consider the relationship a Michelin star chef may have with his pots and pans. He thinks of them as essential tools for crafting gastronomy of the highest quality. The value he places on his utensils is vastly different to that of the single mum’s.

And that’s the point: Material things matter, less in and for themselves, and more in the ways in which we relate to, and use, things. For anyone wanting to reward customers, channel partners and employees, merchandise rewards should be high on your rewards list.

Merchandise rewards and why they matter

We invest memories and emotions in tangible rewards, giving them profound meaning and purpose.

merchandise rewards

Merchandise rewards are a powerful way to attract, retain and grow loyalty among customers, channel partners and employees.

For loyalty marketers, there are many benefits associated with merchandise rewards, not least of which is that they apply to almost every reward scenario. From inclusion in points-based reward programs, with access to an online catalogue of rewards, to brand activations, instore promotions and workplace sprints, merchandise rewards are powerful magnets for motivation and engagement. So, get stuff and gain brand fans.


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