What Can Entering Awards Do For Your Business?
September 1st 2016 | By Steve Grant
Like us you probably receive numerous invitations to enter business awards. Whilst the thought of the time investment needed can mean it is tempting to relegate these invitations to the recycling bin, is it actually worth thinking twice before you do?
With awards, it’s not always the winning that counts, even though some of them do offer financial prizes or other rewards such as business mentoring. So if you are of the opinion, ‘what’s the point of taking all that time to complete the entry forms when we’re not going to win anyway?’, see what you make of the following reasons why entering the right awards could be a worthwhile marketing exercise.
Reason 1: Awards Help you Appraise your Business
You will rarely get the opportunity to take a step back and observe how your business looks from an outside perspective. Entering an award will give you the chance to compare your offering with that of your competitors. You will be looking to stand apart so that the judges notice you, so the whole exercise could inspire you to come up with ways of enhancing your service or products, and should also force you to identify your unique selling proposition, and at the same time discover any weaknesses that may be holding you back.
Reason 2: Awards are a Marketing Opportunity
Even if you only make it to the shortlist, you are going to get free PR via the marketing channels that the award organisers use. These days there is a great deal of focus around social media coverage of awards. It is relatively easy to get involved in that and in doing so, network your business via the connections of the award organisers, sponsors and other finalists.
Whether you are nominated, shortlisted as a finalist or actually win in one or more categories, you can use the accolade as an announcement of your achievement. Send a press release to your local newspapers and relevant industry journals; include the finalist logo on your emails, corporate stationery and sales material and make something out of it in your pitch documents.
Post photos from the awards ceremony on your social platforms and you’ll soon see numerous shares and reposts from sponsors and fellow nominees or winners. Providing you make the most out of your achievement, a business award could easily prove to be a lucrative marketing initiative.
Reason 3: Awards Bring Credibility
Customers, suppliers, business partners and investors will all consider a business award validation of your excellence in your field. Again it doesn’t necessarily have to be a win: a nomination or short-listing will also bring credibility and help to stand you apart from the competition. It shows your audiences that you offer something over and above the rest.
Reason 4: Awards are Good for Your People
There is serious staff morale boosting to be enjoyed by achieving an award. Employees feel motivated by the fact that the organisation they work for has been officially noted for its achievements. It makes everyone feel proud about where they work, especially if you make something of rewarding everyone for their part in the achievement, perhaps by organising a night out or giving everyone a Friday afternoon off. Additionally, because awards draw attention to your business, you will be in a prime position to attract new talent.
Business awards can benefit an organisation in many ways. Aside from the publicity they generate, they have the power to open up new channels of supply and investment; they can attract new customers and personnel and help you analyse the positioning of your company.
When we won Best Creative and Media sector title in the Kingston Business Excellence Awards, it very much helped raise awareness and elevate our status in a very competitive industry. We also find it significantly easier now to win new clients through the trust that comes with award-winning credentials.
Attending an award ceremony can be a great boost for team spirit too, and there’s nothing quite like the feeling of achievement after waiting with nervous anticipation as the results are announced, and then you hear: “And the winner is…” and it’s you!