Awards; what’s the point?
Industry awards? What is the point of them? Do they really produce any tangible benefits for the companies that enter them? Or are they just a great big ego trip for the boss?
I’ll tell you what I used to think – that they were all a big waste of time, effort and money. At AsOne Design we knew how good we were and what’s more we knew our clients appreciated just what a good job we did. So why bother what anyone else thought?
Then suddenly it hit us. We realised that it did matter what other people thought because those other people were our future potential clients. It suddenly became clear that if we could prove and demonstrate, in a high-profile way, just how good we were then it would have a really positive effect on our own reputation and standing within the business community.
So, in 2011 we entered our first awards competition – The Pride of Tameside Awards. Not the biggest or the most prestigious award I know, but they are very important within our local business community, and guess what? We won the ‘Innovative Business of the Year’ award. The good PR we received was amazing. It really did raise our profile and even better it made everyone in the AsOne team feel really good and appreciated. It also made a big difference when we were contacting potential new business leads and it certainly reinforced our pitch presentation.
Having tasted the success of winning our first award and experienced the positive effect that had on our business, we decided that entering awards would become part of our business plan and so over the next couple of years we entered for bigger and more prestigious awards. We didn’t always win of course, but we had some massive successes, each of which has helped raise our name and profile and has enhanced our reputation within our profession.
Successes have included:
- The Pride of Tameside Awards 2011 – Innovative Business of the Year – WINNER
- Business Entrepreneur Awards 2013 – Most Creative Use of Technology – WINNER.
- Big Chip Awards 2013 – Best Application of Technology – SHORTLISTED. (We were pipped only by the BBC i-Player app.) Not bad competition to come runner-up to!
- Digital Entrepreneur Awards 2013 Digital Business of the Year – FINALIST
- Digital Entrepreneur Awards 2014 – two categories – SHORTLISTED. (We are still waiting for the final results for these prestigious awards)
So what is my message?
It’s simply this: ‘If you’ve got it, flaunt it!’ By winning awards you’ll demonstrate exactly how good you are. And don’t be afraid to tell everyone ‘Look what we’ve achieved!’
People and prospects will notice you and respect you and are more likely to speak to you or consider you when they are planning new business ventures. Existing clients also like the endorsement that they work with one of the best and most successful companies around. Our staff all love it too, because they really feel proud that they’re part of a winning team. They become noticeably more motivated, especially when we include them and share our success with them.
Finally, if you do enter and gain awards success don’t keep it to yourself. Spread the news with PR in the local press, send out emails, produce a newsletter, broadcast to the world via social media. After all, you’ve earned it.