Every company has its own ambitions! And why not? The world is your oyster! You can achieve anything, as long as you have the opportunity and the capacity for it. Becoming a leading company in your industry has the power to bring you credibility and the best clients in the marketplace.
When we think of an award, most frequently, the most prominent brands like Nike and events such as Cannes Lions come to mind. But, even if you’re not that famous as a brand, you can still enter a business award competition.
There is a wide variety of business awards that you can enter, from industry-related to local and national ones. Awards can boost your company culture, values, and fortify your reputation. For that reason, we’ll provide you with four tips on what it takes to win business awards, and we’ll sum up how awards can benefit your company in the long run.
Why Should You Enter for a Business Award?
Every company wants to win an award. But, what are the benefits that it can bring to your business?
- Brand Recognition: An award is a recognition of your work, and for everything that your company has been doing. It is proof of your expertise in a specific niche. If you struggle to achieve brand recognition, with an award, your competence will become widely acknowledged.
- Competitive Advantage: In any niche, you’ll always be up against direct and indirect competitors. Winning awards will help you to edge them out. Awards will motivate you to grow even more and ensure that customers will always choose you over any other business in your industry.
- Attracting Top Talent: Because when you’re the best in the industry, you will attract the talent that will launch your business even further.
- Excellent PR: Contrary to paid promotions, an award is much more valuable, and a much better way to promote your company. The PR activities for an award event start weeks before it takes place, and go on for days after the ceremony is over. It can bring in lots of organic visits to your website and social media accounts, gaining a bigger audience as a result.
- Lucrative Deals: An award-winning business can attract better deals, and justify the higher fee by being the best among the best in your niche.
1. Stay Creative and Innovative
Your commitment to innovation as a brand shapes what your customers think of you. Ultimately, it influences how industry experts perceive your company. So, how can you use changes to climb the number one spot in your industry?
Become Obsessed With Your Customers
Before anything, customer satisfaction should be your most significant award. Understanding your customers and addressing their needs is key to any successful company. That’s what will take you to top-notch research methods and customer service processes.
Innovative companies observe customers and how they interact with the products. They see the benefit of using new technologies and business/marketing models to gain new customers.
Efficiency is everything in the modern business world. That’s the reason why you need to streamline everything, but do it according to predefined company goals and specific KPIs and deliverables.
Adaptability is a crucial advantage in today’s harshly competitive global economy. Being able to adjust to new conditions in the marketplace is the foundation of business success and becoming an industry leader. As a brand, when you identify the possibilities that come as a result of the change, you need to be fully prepared to take advantage.
2. Compete With Your Strengths
Your path to a business award should start in your company. If you want an award that acknowledges your strengths, you should look for competitions that recognize those traits. When you’re working with niche clients, you should aim for awards that emphasize your expertise.
There are awards in almost every category and industry, including industry-specific honors, local, regional, national, international, green awards, awards for innovations and entrepreneurship, and big and small businesses. You will undoubtedly identify the awards that match your company’s strategic goals, irrelevant of your industry.
For example, a B2B company should target B2B awards, or, if you have an excellent website, you need to join web design competitions such as Awwwards. Or, if your goal is to get recognized for your contribution to the community, for example, you could enter a social impact award.
3. Learn from the Best
Whom do you admire in your industry? What about your biggest competitors? Identify which awards your competition has received. Winning the same award will help you establish business credibility. Learn about the prizes that they’ve won. Those are the ones that you should aim for.
Continue by researching the marketplace. A good starting point would be to examine the most significant award organizations, such as:
- Deloitte Fast 500
- Entrepreneur Magazine’s Awards
- National Small Business Week Awards
- SCORE Awards
- The Stevie Awards
The organizations above have award subcategories, and it’s only a matter of locating your industry-related category to enter a competition. Still, don’t limit yourself only to the big prizes where the competition is high.
Smaller and local awards are as prestigious as the international ones.
Consider to broaden your market research for the following:
- Awards organized from the local chamber of commerce
- Prizes included in trade magazines or industry-related sites
- Google “your city/state” + business awards
- Google “your industry/product/service” + business awards
- Google “competitors” + business awards
4. Craft the Perfect Application
Okay, so now you know all about assessing business awards opportunities. So, how can you craft the perfect application for a business award?
- Plan What to Include: Before you start the application, decide on each detail that you want to include in it. Make a list of your key points, and check the list against the award requirements.
- Tell Your Story: When you want to enter a competition, you need to show your brand’s personality. Tell the judges what makes your company unique. Make them understand what your brand is all about, and why your achievements resonate with them.
- Answer Every Question: You need to answer each question in your application, as requested by the organizers. Don’t provide fantastical answers or exclude any that you don’t think are “not relevant” to you. Every award application must be a complete one.
- Stick Within the Word Limit: In most cases, the answers will have a word limit. It does not mean that you should write the shortest answer possible.
- Polish Your Answers: When you’re done writing, review it at least a couple of times. Is there something that sounds bad or unnatural? Delete everything excessive and polish your answers for better readability. Ensure that you hone your message the right way.
- Follow Up: After your application is submitted, make sure that you get a notification when your application is received. However, don’t annoy the judges with several emails and calls in a row.
After You Win an Award
Receiving an award is often the hardest part. After that, you’ll need to capitalize on your success. The following are just some ideas that can help you make the most out of your business awards:
- Press Releases: There are numerous press releases that you can utilize to promote your success. In most of the cases, the award organizers do this after every event, but additional PR releases can’t hurt your business.
- Post Live Videos: It’s an excellent way to broadcast your success to fans and make them feel like they’re part of it, which they are.
- Social Media Posts: Post links of the official website where the winners are listed. For networks such as Instagram, you could include a team photo or a video of the prize ceremony.
- Newsletters: Newsletters are a place where you can share the entire journey that led you to win the award. Here, you can also include a link to a press release that speaks about your win.
- The Award Logo: Use the words “award-winning” in your company bio, business cards, press releases, and direct mail. You should also display the award logo on your homepage, landing pages, and on the About page.
- Encourage Your Team: In the end, use the award to improve your company’s morale by bringing in more talent and grow your business in the process.
Winning a business award is excellent for your brand! It shows the world that you’re capable of doing fantastic work in your industry. It’s a net positive for everyone that’s involved. Not to mention how an award appears to your clients. It impresses them, and they’ll also be proud that they’re doing business with an accredited industry leader.