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GE Lighting Systems, a division of General Electric Lighting, designs, manufactures and markets a complete line of lighting fixtures for illuminating streets and highways, industrial and hazardous location facilities, parking lots, building facades, parks, and sporting facilities.
GE chose the pragmatic "focus" theme to motivate their independent sales agents to "focus" on selling GE lighting products and to encourage them to use the Internet to conduct business. The GE Focus program also encouraged the agents to "focus" on the awards they would earn when they met and exceeded sales quotas!
The program targeted approximately sixty agents (independent manufacturer representatives that sell lighting products) who are geographically dispersed throughout the U.S. More than 90% of the agent audience is male between 45 and 60 years old. These entrepreneurs do not carry an exclusivity agreement to "push" GE products.
To promote GE's corporate digitization initiative, the GE Focus incentive program was housed on a comprehensive web-based platform. It offered a point-based reward system, award redemption of brand name, high-end merchandise, and performance reporting so that agents would track performance against their quotas and compare their performance with the posted top ten performers. The platform was also used by GE Lighting to promote their products directly to the agents. GE featured products on the website, ran spiffs and special promotions, and provided product information and instructions.
GE Focus was launched with a mailer in the first quarter of 2001. Each quarter, participants received additional mailings with new information and attention-grabbing promotion items that included a transparent banner featuring GE products and Focus rewards, and promotional gifts such as kaleidoscopes, pop-up interactive CDs, customized logo wrapped disposable cameras, and a lighted pen. Roll-up banners featuring pockets that carried GE's lighting products traveled with GE Lighting Regional Managers to all agents and lighting trade shows. The program was simple: agents earned points for selling the promoted product lines. Their points could be redeemed for products from a catalog of more than 3,000 awards.
Each quarter, a stand-alone program launched with various ways to win points. Agents were allocated a goal (105% of generated sales revenues from the prior year). Once the goal was achieved the agent received $1000 worth of points that were redeemable for brand name, high-end merchandise. An important feature to the program was that it permitted the agents to distribute the winning points in desired increments to those selling GE products within their business operations.
Each quarter, additional points were awarded if certain product lines were sold. This allowed GE to showcase a slow-moving item or to promote a specific product line, such as Readi-Stock and Criterion. By posting the quarterly products on the website, GE encouraged repeat visits to the site.