What Is An Award Worth?6th December 2018
On immediate face value, awards for success in business seem highly desirable. The glamour of the black ties and ball gowns on the occasion, the prestige of being nominated and maybe even winning an award all add to this effect. There are certainly many benefits to winning awards but not all awards are what they might seem. As well as listing the benefits of winning a genuine award in this article, I will also highlight some of the least genuine award ceremonies which are often pre-bought and known as ‘vanity awards’.
So firstly, the benefits of winning a genuine award for success in business.
Increase Brand Reputation and Awareness
When you get really down do it, most potential customers are looking for one thing. They are looking for reassurance that you can deliver a quality service or product that meets and ideally exceeds their expectations. Some of this reassurance will come from how you communicate with them (including your website, social media etc) but for some customers, this will only go so far. This particular kind of customer needs more and they need it from different sources. Testimonials can in part fill that need but again, if they are coming via you or your website it might still leave some doubts. Awards is where you can bridge this gap. In your customer’s mind, this is perceived as someone else deciding that your business is doing a great job and not just that but doing it better than anyone else. This inspires confidence in their decision to purchase from you.
Increase Job Satisfaction
Winning an award doesn’t just inspire confidence in your customers but also for you and your team. It means recognition for a job well done. There are plenty of employee surveys that have been carried out over of the years that suggest one of the best ways to improve staff retention is through acknowledgement and recognition. Business awards will also help attract and retain new recruits, too. Who doesn’t want to be associated with an award-winning company?
Stand out from your Competition
Many of us work in saturated or heavily competitive markets and finding a way to be unique can be really difficult. It’s important to ask yourself the question, why would a customer choose me over my competitors? A genuine business award might be a partial answer especially if you have won in a category that is truly reflective of a unique element of your business. It might be that you run a highly efficient ‘green’ office and have been recognised for that or maybe it’s due to some of the work and investment your company has made in developing the local community. Whatever it maybe, if an award helps show that you are the best at doing something quite niche than it is a really powerful way to stand out from the crowd.
Not wanting to discount any of the above, which is all genuinely valid and worthwhile, there is another less sincere side to awards lurking in the background. The disclaimer here is that most are perfectly valid. There are however some which are essentially bought by the nominees and that is why it’s important to recognise real achievement over what can be dismissed as simply advertising. In addition, some industry awards carry an expensive entry fee, often between £300 – £500, which deter many businesses from entering. Not to mention how much it will then cost to send a group of employees to the event. So, all in all, this can be viewed as buying your award.
You may have already fallen victim to the ‘congratulations, you have been selected for an award’ scam? The letter will go on to say that for a small cost you might want to promote the fact that you have been nominated for the award in several different publications etc… It may go on to say that if you win you might be asked to actually pay for the trophy itself!
It’s easy to be cynical about this sort of thing but on the other hand, it does create a lot of activity and increase exposure of your firm. But it does also massage the ego and sense of pride in what is a clearly disingenuous manner.
So our advice is to research well established awards that are reputable and awards that don’t ask for you to pay too much in the process (some fees are standard). At least then it will really mean something if you win and your pride can be genuine.