Launching a global incentive programme


At FMI, we pride ourselves on our innovative approach to incentive programmes. We have years of experience delivering programmes in a variety of sectors in countries across the globe.

Incentive programmes should always be designed specifically for the brand or product you’re promoting, but when launching a programme on an international scale, there are several considerations to bear in mind to effectively communicate your global message.

Account Director and expert in all-things-incentives, Ian Mast-Hughes, has shared the benefits of his experiences and gives six tips you should consider when setting up a global incentives programme…


1. Consider culture

 Of course, when launching a global incentive programme across different countries or territories, you must be mindful of differing cultures. Taking local advice is pivotal here and it’s important to be aware that ‘rewarding’ and incentivising can be interpreted differently in different parts of the world. For example, in China, it is considered bad luck to receive a clock or watch as a reward!


2. Legal implications

 It goes without saying, but it’s vital to take the legalities of different countries into consideration when launching a global incentives programme. Factors to consider include whether it is strictly legal to reward or incentivise for the sale of certain products/services. In these instances, it may be wise to tweak the delivery of your programme depending on what the law says.


3. Think about communications

 It may seem obvious to consider the various languages you will need to convey your brand messaging through. But beyond the translation of the initial message, it is also important to consider how this will transfer onto various marketing materials. Three words in English may work out as more in, say, German, so consider this when finalising your messaging. Translation should be considered as early on in the process as possible, and linguistic nuances should also be taken into consideration.


4. Have you thought about the logistics?

 When hosting an incentive programme across different countries, it’s important to think about how you will distribute your rewards. Potential roadblocks include anything from cross border taxes in different countries to differing voltages or plug types for electrics.


5. Time clock

 When delivering a programme on a global scale, you have to bear in mind different time scales, making the time of delivery a really important aspect of your programme. How long would it take to deliver your chosen reward to its recipients? If you’re delivering items on a global scale, you need to think about the timescales in which this is achievable and also the different operating hours across the globe.


6. Measuring your success

Lastly, it’s important to think about how you’re going to analyse the success of your programme. For example, we delivered a global incentives programme for a well-known car manufacturer who had dealerships across the globe. However, would it be fair to measure the success of car sales in a quiet town in Greece against a bustling city in the UK? In cases such as these, percentage-driven targets can give you a better snapshot of the success of your programme, rather than money or output driven objectives.



By considering the above points, you will be making a good start at delivering an international incentive programme that is aligned to a set of global objectives which are achievable no matter where you are in the world.

At FMI, we have experience in delivering global programmes with localised delivery taking elements such as culture, time and legalities into account to ensure that targets are consistently met.

What’s more, our innovative approach means we can design a bespoke, digitalised platform to host the incentive programme from, meaning there is one centralised point comms delivery.

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