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System JO Marks 20th Anniversary With Display Contest, Surprise Visits

System JO Marks 20th Anniversary With Display Contest, Surprise Visits

Throughout October, reps from System JO traveled the globe to surprise winners of the company’s 20th-anniversary display contest with in-person visits secretly arranged with the assistance of store managers and owners. They arrived with fanfare, bearing cupcakes, nonalcoholic champagne and gift cards, much to the delight of the store employees who had spent the better part of the year conceptualizing and executing their winning displays.

The display contest kicked off in January with hundreds of System JO 20th Anniversary promo envelopes sent out to retailers and distributors, explaining the rules of the contest and the deadline for entry. The company provided branded items like gray-and-red balloons with the System JO logo, pins and acrylic signage declaring “Cheers to 20 Years,” but also encouraged retailers to get creative with their displays.

It cannot be emphasized enough that JO would not be the brand it is today without our retailers and associates.

“We invited partners to create a unique store display that showcased JO products and our 20th Anniversary kit,” explains Timothy Ferencz, regional sales manager at CC Wellness, System JO’s parent company. “Retailers were not limited to the materials in the kit. They could do whatever they want, use additional materials, create signs, banners, more balloons, whatever their imagination could come up with.”

The response from retailers was impressive. More than 180 entries poured in from around the world over the course of nine months.

“Participation reached record numbers,” says Ferencz. “We saw so many extravagant and unique displays. Everyone who participated did an amazing job and came to win!”

Including retailers in the company’s anniversary celebration made sense to Ferencz on several levels.

“We wanted to actively engage with our retail partners and associates at the store level,” he says. “Let’s face it, without retailers carrying JO and associates selling JO, we would not be in business for 20 years.”

Along with acknowledging the vital role retailers and retail associates play in the company’s continuing popularity with consumers, Ferencz says, System JO understands the importance of fostering creativity and teamwork within the retail setting.

“Retail can be a tough environment to work in,” Ferencz acknowledges. “Doing something fun with your teammates makes for a better work environment. A display contest gives the retailers and associates an opportunity to be active and creative when designing the display, and creates and fosters teamwork and team building with associates at the store level. Displays give the associates ownership in the contest, something they can be proud of creating whether they win or not.”

As the competition progressed, System JO wanted to see retailers really push the creative envelope and pull out all the stops.

“We teased some of the entries on social media, and that forced retailers to up the ante on the displays they created,” says Ferencz, explaining how JO kept interest in the contest high. “Picking winners was a difficult decision as we had so many amazing entries.”

Out of nearly 200 entries, System JO had to narrow the field down to eight winners, spanning three continents and six countries. Of those eight, four were from the U.S. and two from Europe, while Canada and Australia each had one winner. The winners in the U.S. were separated into two categories: East and West.

For the USA East region, the winners were Condom World 18 in Puerto Rico, and Hot Flixx in Melbourne, Florida. For USA West, Deja Vu in Las Vegas and Hustler in Sacramento, California took home the top prize.

Europe’s two winners were Novum Markt in Germany and Belover in Spain. Blushing Memory was Canada’s winner, and Flirt Dubbo in Australia rounded out the winners circle.

The contest prize — besides bragging rights for beating out over 170 other entries — was commensurate with the occasion. Each winning store received a $400 Visa gift card for every staff member, plus $2,000 in JO product. As if that wasn’t enough, System JO took awarding the prizes to the next level.

“Once we picked the winners, we came up with a strategy on how to surprise them,” Ferencz confides. “Our reps reached out in secret to the owner/managers of the winning stores. We came up with a plan to have a store meeting or training on the day of the surprise. A JO rep flew out to the store the night before to prepare for the surprise, and we ‘crashed’ the store meeting with balloons, red velvet cupcakes, nonalcoholic champagne and gift cards.”

Ferencz himself was one of the reps who traveled to congratulate the winners, and recalls the overwhelmingly positive response they received upon visiting the stores to surprise the employees.

“This was by far the best part,” he says. “The reactions were priceless: from jaw drops, to screams and yells, to applause and cheers, to people jumping up and down. We loved seeing the reactions from the associates when we walked in the door.”

For some, winning the contest meant being able to pay bills in a tight economy, especially when working part-time.

“At one of my visits, some of the associates broke down in tears,” Ferencz shares. “We are in a tough economic climate right now. A $400 Visa gift card is a week’s worth of work to some of the part-time associates. You wouldn’t think winning a simple contest would mean so much, but after seeing the associates’ reactions, you realize how much it meant to them. I was really touched. JO really appreciates the passion of the associates who sell our products.”

As this year draws to a close, System JO rep and industry veteran Ferencz offers some parting words acknowledging those who have supported the company and helped make it what it is today, even as it looks to the future:

“We are thrilled to have so many amazing partners come together to help us celebrate 20 years in the industry. We’ve come a long way as a brand and truly appreciate each and every one of you. It cannot be emphasized enough that JO would not be the brand it is today without our retailers and associates. You are the lifeblood of the industry; you are the front lines. You are the ones who help the customers have an amazing experience. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for your continued support. Cheers to another 20 together!

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