Awards – do they mean anything?
We will provide comment on awards and if they really matter!
Awards – do they mean anything?
Look at most publications, from mainstream media to social media and beyond. The chances are you will see the announcement of a recent awards event. Equally, LinkedIn company pages will often note that they have been nominated (or won an award) since first being founded.
Yet, others question the value of winning an award given the sheer volume of categories and awards available today. They wonder whether having achieved one still means anything. Here to discuss both the benefits and pitfalls, this article will also include follow-up statistics from two studies to evaluate the effect of winning an award.
Are awards worth your time?
We think so! Here are a few reasons why winning an industry award can help your business thrive, both in the short and long term.
People love recommendations when considering a purchase. It’s no different within the business community, as word of mouth and referrals from a colleague or fellow professional truly count.
Awards are the peak of praise (provided they meet the criteria discussed later in this guide). Often covered in local press and industry publications, having the public support of qualified judges speaks volumes about your business and skills. The public relations from being chosen can also inform your marketing materials and strategy moving forward.
Winning an award gives your business more kudos, which could attract new customers/clients to use your products or services. As well as boosting awareness of your brand, often nationwide if not in a specific industry, new leads could bring in additional sales and contracts.
One thing is for sure … a reputable award will place front and centre of people’s minds. Just like networking, their connections could soon become your next customer.
Winning an award can help you break into new markets. It will expand your reach within your sector too. For example, a hairdresser could harness the positive publicity of winning an award to expand their reach into a nearby town or city.
With customers craving their hairdressing skills (and a flattering haircut), they may see a renewed demand for more salons from interested clients. Equally, it could become a springboard to open a branch(es) in new locations following their achievement.
The ‘feel good’ factor
Sole proprietors especially those running new businesses can increase their standing and feel more driven, knowing they’ve been rewarded for their hard work. Similarly, those managing a team know that their employees will appreciate the pat on the back that winning an award brings.
Indeed, the Harvard Business Review has reported that even “symbolic awards – interventions such as congratulatory cards, public recognition, and certificates — can significantly increase intrinsic motivation, performance, and retention rates”. Acting as added motivation to keep performing well and win more awards, the business may exceed its forecasted growth and employee turnover.
Having the chance to attend an event together, provides everyone with a reason to dress up, enjoy fine food and collect their award. This is the ultimate in team building.
However, before accepting your award …
Before racing off to accept or enter an awards contest, there are several key points to first take on board.
Look at the cost of accepting the award and trust your gut. This is especially important should you receive an unexpected email announcing you’ve won and need to pay a fee to claim it.
So what exactly should you look for?
Do your homework
Although you will be excited to learn that you’ve won an award, it’s still wise to research:
- Who is awarding the award
- If it’s industry-backed/relevant
- The credentials of the organisers
- Their scale and prestige
- The country/region they cover
- How long they’ve been established
- Who else has won an award with them
- The cost (including VAT).
Knowing this information enables you as a business owner to assess the merits and value that accepting the award will bring to your company. Spend time researching the awarding body and don’t feel obliged to accept their accolade if it raises red flags.
Preparing to enter an awards competition?
This is really important. Investigate the weight the award will carry amongst your clients and peers before sending your submission.
Is the organisation awarding the prize well-known and respected in your industry or region? Will your customers or clients value the award? Consider whether the award will help you move closer to your goals. Also, does it align with your business’ values?
And, the results are in
One study followed the success of 120 of the British Quality Foundation and the European Foundation for Quality Management award winners, located across the continent. It was discovered that “the winners showed improvements” after only 12 months.
Then, after three years, this 120-strong cohort “outperformed their rivals by an average 17% for sales and 36% for share value”. This success continued.
In the 11th year, sales had been increased by “77% more than comparison companies” with an “operating income of 18% more”. There may have been other factors at play, but statistics like these bode well for the future of awards.
Final thoughts on awards
Knowing the answers to the prompts listed above can help you navigate costly financial and PR mistakes from obscure awards. You can then be more selective with the awards you that do enter; saving time, resources and money.
The main thing is not to seek awards for award’s sake. Instead, consider them if they’re industry-relevant and stand to enhance your reputation.
However, don’t chase awards and neglect everything else
thefingerprint is grateful for the recognition associated with winning an industry-related award. Proud to have been named ‘The Best Design Agency in Scotland’ for 2023/2024, we’ll continue to deliver full-service creative designs for our clients.
If you are enjoying this article please read our blog Testimonials – critical for business success, thefingerprint wins the Scottish Prestige Award – Design Agency of the Year for a second year! or Why a brand is important and why it’s not just a logo.