There are thirteen major players that are able to provide an employee discount program to corporations and organizations in the United States. The offerings in the somewhat crowded marketplace of employee perk and employee discount programs, often have some overlap and duplication, but each service strives to separate itself from the others in the market, often with a couple of unique factors that set it apart. Most services are free to both the employer and the employee, but the premium services provide more control over content, delivery and branding to the employees. Some services allow employers to post their own local offerings inside the system as well, such as a local dry cleaners and corner shop florists. Depending on the relationship between the provider and organization, some employee discount program vendors are sent active employee data, letting the perk provider know who is an active employee and who has left the firm. In cases where this data is not supplied, offer producers become upset when they discover that former employees, from over ten years ago, can still access their system, which goes against the very purpose of the model. If the discount offer or perk leaks out and becomes public, then the sheen of exclusivity is off and either the offers are revoked or employees just stop using the service as it ceases to provide any exclusive value.
Who Are The Market Leaders In The Employee Discount Program Market Sector?
Corporate Offers is a New York City upstart in the already crowded employee discount program or employee perk program (EPPSP) industry. This relatively small company, with only twenty five employees, offers a full line of discounts and programs at no cost to the employer. This organization appears to lock down employees access to its exclusive offers using a secure two factor security method, which, they claim, results in zero offer leakage to the public sector. While their offers are very good, employees access to their system must be from their company network. Remote access of the offers can be troublesome for the remote and off-site employees, unless employees use a VPN and Remote Desktop sessions. This service is free, but is limited to East coast entertainment offers like Broadway Show tickets, New York Yankees, New York Jets, discounted Hamilton tickets and Disney Park tickets. This employee perk service does not provide discounts to hard goods like computers and automobiles, as many of the other services do. Corporate Offers has added an employee rewards program, which is where most employee perk programs are now headed. The inclusion of this rewards service helps underline the relationship between the employer and employee and has been shown to provide a more positive feedback work environment for the worker, over a straight cash bonus and their employee participation rates are high. One other differentiator for Corporate Offers is that they only send the employee and employer one email a month, because, after all, employees are supposed to be working and not be distracted by extra-curricular activity, even if its is heavily discounted. Most other EPPSP services will pepper the employees with many emails per week, sometimes to a frustrating level. It seems that this organization has found the sweet spot of value to the HR division of the business, without becoming overtly disruptive to its operation.
Entertainment Benefits Group (EBG)
Operating under three different names (and hogging as many google searches) these three brands all offer the same product and service. This group consists of Tickets At Work (ticketsatwork.com), Plum Benefits (PlumBenefits.com) and Working Advantage (WorkingAdvantage.com). These employee perk program and employee discount program divisions are owned and operated by the same team at Entertainment Benefits Group (EBG) based in Orlando, Florida. This company has hundreds of employees and is helmed by Brett Reizen, the industry wunderkind of employee perk and rewards programs. EBG has become like the Ford Motor Company of the employee perks program industry, not the best, but by far, the biggest. What it lacks in compelling bargains, it more than makes up for with an extensive product lines and a myriad of choices that veer through computers, automobiles, windows and doors, siding, roofing, appliances, tickets, safaris , cruises, planes, travel, hotels, sports, Broadway etc. This service is often the first choice of HR employee perk program managers given its extensive list of offerings, but the program can often fail as HR departments report that, due to its vast array of over 10,000 products and services, it encourages shopping at work and fails to deliver compelling offers in a clear and concise way. When it does feature a compelling offer, employees often have great difficulty in locating it on the large and confusing website. This employee perk service has also been seen to hamper users ability to compare apples-to-apples pricing because additional costs are often loaded in at the shopping cart as additional fees, taxes and handling, making price comparisons to other competing or similar services very difficult. All three services are free to the employer as EBG gets a cut of all the sales through a commission relationship model built on razor thin margins. EBG is part owned by the Shubert Organization, a Broadway producer in New York City, that supplies them with all their Broadway show deals.
Nextjump is an employee discount program based out of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The corporation has 150 employees, with offices in both Boston and New York City. Nextjump basically has two offerings, a free service under the perksatwork.com brand and paid service under the corporateperks.com line. The paid service differs to the free service in that in that employers can dictate what products and services are provided to their employees, whereas the free service delivers all kinds of services that may not be entirely appropriate for an organization, but will deliver revenue (and profit) to Nextjump to offset the cost of managing the service for the employer. The Nextjump services boast over 30,000 product lines in their program and can often suffer from less-than-compelling offers with an often difficult-to-navigate web site. Morgan Stanley is a big proponent of the Nextjump services and now use Perks At Work, which is NextJump’s new branding for the service over the legacy Corporate Perks model. You can see more about Morgan Stanley’s relationship with Nextjump in the case studies.
Ticket Monster Perks
Owned and operated by “Inside Track Tickets Inc.” Ticket Monster Perks is a thirty employee company operated out of Virginia Beach and is a spin off from Ticket Monster, a successful East Coast ticket broker. The free employee employee discount program service is similar to “Tickets At Work” in that it stacks the entertainment high and sells it cheap, just not that cheap. Many savings are temporary as they often employ the same strategies as TAW by clawing back profits by tacking on shipping and handling fees, even for things that do not need shipping and handling. Their site often lacks compelling bargains, but its extensive product line will keep employees shopping for hours. Its strength lies in live concerts, but it can also be useful for ski passes and movie theater discounts.
Abenity, based in Franklin, Tennessee, only has 25 employees, but boasts over 302,000 discount offers in their employee perk program. Abenity didn’t get the memo that less-is-more. They cover everything from movie theater discounts with relationships with Regal cinemas to new car sales from Nissan. They also allow employers to put up their own offers for local services like dry cleaners and gyms etc. The Abenity service is a paid employee discount program service, which operates across the United States with a number of employers using them eg: IBM and Microsoft. The service runs from $250 per month for the basic service to the full enterprise service at $1500 per month, which includes a branded iPhone app, up to 150 Local Vendors and an API employee offer feed that can be used on the Corporation’s official benefits intranet page. Hackensack Meridian Health and Nationwide Insurance are also two of Abenity’s biggest clients and have been with them for many years.
San Francisco dot-com startup Anyperk has over 80 employees and specializes in providing a premium based employee discount EPPSP employee discount program service to national employees. Virgin America and Cushman & Wakefield are two of their biggest employee perk program clients. At $275 per month for 50 employees, the service seems to be pricing itself out of the market, but it also offers an employee rewards program ideal for companies looking to streamline their rewards via a gift-carding program.
Beneplace has 36 employees and although they are based out of Austin, Texas, their reach is across the whole United States. Beneplace provides much the same service as many other EPPSP’s , but its focus is on client customization of the front end. Beneplace is a paid employee discount program service and is used by a number of large corporations including: Pitney Bowes, Reckitt Benckiser and Siemens. Their solution can be expensive, but it is fully customized to its business clients, which are happy to pay for that service. Image is more important to their clients than content.
Corestream is another NYC based operation, based at 304 Park Avenue South. The firm has 25 employees. Corestream carries just a basic list of discounts and offers, but they have the ability to offer Payroll Deduction. Studies have shown that employees perk program participation is significantly increased when purchases can be made through payroll deduction at work. To get this level of service, the employer must work very closely with Corestream to make sure that the integrity of the payroll system is not corrupted. Quest Diagnostics is a large employer that Corestream has on its books.
Lifecare is Shelton, CT company with over 250 employees, the only company set to challenge EBG’s reign over the industry. Their employee perk program product line which includes Lifemart, Mothers at Work, concierge services and homework helper are all more focused to improve the work/life balance of employee, rather than bring the best discounts for a Broadway show to the employee. Lifecare has found their niche with The Disney ABC companies and New York Life Insurance being the two of its biggest clients for their employee discount program.
Operating under another brand name:
This organization operates under two brands, Motivano and Benefit Hub, and is based out of both Tampa, Florida and NYC. The NYC office is also located on Park Avenue, similar to others listed here. With just 36 employees, it’s not clear what actually motivates Motivano, but they certainly try to motivate their own clients employees with a comprehensive employee discount program squarely aimed at retail, medical and healthcare employers. Motivano does suffer from the more-is-better disease, which is often at odds with their own clients wants, as they express desire for them to focus more. Currently Motivano promotes exclusive discounts for over 100,000 national and local merchants, making their website slow to navigate and cumbersome to actually make a purchase. Target stores and Cigna healthcare are two of their top clients, with employees of those organizations granted full access to the slew of offers under the Motivano brand.
Operating under another brand name:
It may not be the most memorable name in the industry and it is run in Mormon country in Salt Lake City, Utah, Access Development may be a minority player in the grand scheme of things, but they serve a number of vertical markets well, specializing in leisure and hotel employers and employees. What doesn’t seem clear is that although they have over 180 employees, their market penetration is far lower than comparable employee perk program vendors. We expect that the AD employees are working on other non-disclosed company projects. The company boasts that they feature over 300,000 of the world’s best brands, but the offers are often less compelling than the pitch. Vendors associated with this company include IHOP, Kohls and Papa Johns, but the discounts found for these vendors were similar in nature to offers already in the public domain, especially on daily deal websites, therefore nullifying their value and dragging the value of the whole service down. In addition to their discount programs, they also boast mobile coupons and credit card loyalty programs. It is unclear who is using this employee discount program service as no company officially reported using them as an employee perk provider. A closer look at one glowing customer testimonial on the accessperks.com website is from Craig Christiansen at Younique Products, a cosmetic company based out of Tempe, Arizona. This company only appeared to have a small number permanent employees according to Zoominfo and Salesforce, while the vast majority of employees appear to be external agents, similar to the Avon salesperson agent model, which may mean that this company is better suited to decentralized organizations.
Based in Chicago, Illinois, Perkspot has 30 employees and likes to get the big corporate clients. Their flagship clients include Yahoo, Southwest Airlines and Walgreens. Employers must pay Perkspot for the service, as nothing comes free, but they do allow the client to have control over the look-and-feel of the employee portal. Perkspot is a paid service and Abbott Laboratories and St Vincents Medical Center are two of the larger employee discount program clients.
Based in Duluth, Georgia and with 23 employees, You Decide is currently an independently owned employee perk service. You Decide focuses on getting corporate clients and relies on their vendor partner, the behemoth “Tickets At Work” (Listed above) to provide many of their offers. You Decide then takes a small cut of the total sales commission , making them an ideal company for acquisition by TAW. You Decide is currently a free employee discount program service and is used by Covidien / Medtronics and Delta Airlines.
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