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How to win a business award - and why should you display it on a plaque

Updated on March 9, 2013

The Importance of Winning

In the field of business where your competitors are but a mouseclick away and any good idea gets instantly copied, rehashed and repackaged, building a strong brand becomes ever more important. It becomes an economic moat that keeps your competitors at bay. The most successful firms work tirelessly to promote and increase their brand profile. Alongside great products or service, constantly winning awards keep the winning firms in the spotlight, and increases their market presence. It may appear that awards are well, awarded. However, the intelligent business owner would do well to aggressively seek to win awards. The truth is, there are hundreds and thousands of awards to be won. From minor prizes to internationally renowned awards, winning burnishes your credentials, and impresses existing and potential clients.

Choose the right awards

It makes donkey sense if you are a small local company and you are targeting to win an international award. The intelligent business owner would target what he has a realistic chance of winning. Anything else is well, simply a waste of effort. If you are a local business, why not target the local city council small enterprises award. Remove the big boys from the competition and you would have a far better chance of outdoing the remainder of the competition.

To further improve your chances, search for awards that match what your business is good at doing. If you have a competitive advantage in design, why not then go for a local design award for small emerging businesses? The smallest trophy or plaque will slowly but surely build up that CV and track record as you build up your brand bit by bit.

Understanding the Award

When you prepare the submission for the award, understand the intention and the background to the award. What is it trying to achieve? Is it to recognize up-and-coming young firms? If so, perhaps you'd want to stress in your submission about how different and nimble your firm structure is to support flexi-work practices, family friendly initiatives or other defining organizational structure yet still beating the competition. Judges need something tangible to write about in the jury citation.

"We hereby award this plaque to so-and-so for the innovative human resource practices and collaborative approach taken at XX company which is unheard of in the industry. The judges were impressed by the ...."

You need to give them a reason to choose you as the winner. And the better aligned your reasons are in tune with the competition or awards' intention, the more favorable.

Some good books on marketing

Who is judging

Judges are human. They have likes, dislikes, preferences and prejudices. Hence, it's very important to try find out who is on the panel of judges. Connect with their known preferences and avoid touching on subjects which they are known to have taken a contrary position to yours.

Avoid controversial supporting factors in your submission like race or religion. "We are a Christian based social enterprise that supports broken christian families by giving mothers a safe and stable working environment." Sounds good? Until it comes across as discriminatory by excluding people from other beliefs.

If you want to win that award or plaque to hang on your wall, play smart.

Invest in time and resource

A submission takes time. It takes resources. And if you are not playing to win, then don't bother wasting the time and resources. And if you have already decided to invest in the time and resource, then do a proper submission.

Double check that the entry forms are in order and all requirements are fulfilled. Don't be late. Don't give people a reason to disqualify you.

Make your submission different. Think of what your competitors are doing. And do it differently. The more your stand out, the more lasting an impression you'd have on the judging panel.

It also makes good sense to check out previous winners and what went into their submissions. What were the reasons for their success? Emulate, copy, improve upon. Make sure that those qualities are present and highlighted in your submission too.

So you've won!

Congratulations! So now you've won the award! What next?

Often companies make the mistake of placing that aside and moving on. WRONG. Winning the award is the first step. Now that you have won this big trophy, you need to let everyone know about it. Work it into your marketing. Feature it prominently in your advertising and website. Make a plaque and display it prominently in meeting rooms and reception areas where it can be seen by clients. Organize an awards night to reward your successful team.

Winning works both ways. It boosts your firm's profile, and it increases the morale of staff. Hence you have to milk it both ways. Often people miss out on acknowledging and sharing the fruits of success. Recognize the team who contributed to the success and build on it.

So what if you've lost?

Well... Try again! Good things come to those who never give up!


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      festojames 4 years ago

      this is kinda sneaky...