by Alex Palmer | September 19, 2014
Launched last summer, incentive firm 3Cheers, a division of Maritz, set out to provide something different to the incentive marketplace: a middle ground between large-scale, customized incentive operations used by big organizations and the smaller, often disparate offerings found at small businesses.

A year later, spoke with Kara Simon, general manager of 3Cheers, about the company and whether this type of incentive program has found an audience. 

Q: Where do you see your company fitting into the incentive marketplace?

A: Many smaller and mid-sized companies do not have access to huge budgets to spend on recognition programs so instead they may do things manually or on an ad hoc basis, varying from one department to the next. We see 3Cheers as a stepping stone - it really fits a niche for companies that want to do employee recognition, but haven't been able to access a platform that offers them the meaningful rewards without the complications of long-term contracts they might find in a larger program. We are a full recognition platform, but like to say, "no hidden fees, no IT integration, no nonsense."

Q: So what you're offering is something more formal and comprehensive than the DIY programs many smaller companies go for, but with fewer demands than would be involved for a large-scale organization implementing a company-wide incentive program?

A: Yes, we gravitate toward the small- to medium-sized companies, between 100 and 2,500 employees. When you get larger than that, you need to find systems that can be customized to that organization. We're an off-the-shelf program, even though we can be customized to different forms of incentives - safety, wellness, or day-to-day recognition. So, without a huge commitment, a company can now get reporting across the board and a complete online program, tracking points earned, so that budget owners can see where spending is happening across the board. It was an underserved area - the platforms and programs that we offer were beyond the reach of these companies.

Q: As a division of Maritz, how has 3Cheers leveraged its relationship with a large incentive house to appeal to clients looking for a more off-the-shelf offering?

A: We can tap into the same rewards collection - some 3,000 items, purposefully chosen. We make sure they're buzz worthy, on trend, and have broad appeal. We also have the benefit of the Maritz team and their relationships, even though we operate quite separately from them and go to market separately and target a different market. We like to think that we are offering clients the best of both worlds - a start-up within an established company.