Successful businesses stand out from their competitors, and they do it by delivering XYZ for their clients. But they also have another trick up their sleeve… a well-defined strategy for communicating that with their target audiences. While there are many ways to do this, one which is often overlooked, is entering awards!
Accreditations enhance company reputation. Entering an award and being shortlisted, results in PR opportunities and allows you to promote to your audience the fact that you have been shortlisted, enhancing and developing your credibility. Winning an award, especially good ones and ones relevant to your organisation can pay dividends when it comes to company growth.
At KC Communications, we work with many businesses to increase publicity, enhance their credibility and in turn help support business growth.
We’ve worked with Yorkshire based security manufacturer Heald Ltd since 2015. The firm manufactures road blockers and bollards to protect people and places from vehicle attacks. As these types have attacks have increased globally in recent years, it has been important to raise the profile of Heald, enhance an already positive reputation and support them in developing export markets.
Alongside a full marketing strategy, awards have played a core part in the activity we deliver. In the past three years, Heald has been successful in not only being shortlisted in but winning a number of significant awards. These included the Innovation Award at the 2018 Made in Yorkshire Awards and the Perimeter Protection Award at the Counter Terror Awards 2018.
One of their key messages and one of their USPs is innovation and to have their products and the business recognised as leading in innovation, in particular being awarded by industry organisations such as Counter Terror Business adds significant credibility. To enhance the ability to grow and break into new export markets being able to demonstrate success in export is also crucial.
Alongside these awards, we had some surprises along the way when Heald’s MD Debbie Heald was awarded an MBE for her services to Women in STEM and Export and both Debbie and partner Rod, were named in the Sunday Times Maserati 100 List as Great British Innovators.
It’s the same in other facets of business, too: We look at food hygiene ratings on the doors of restaurants before choosing to dine there (okay, cleanliness is not exactly an ‘award’ per se, but you can see my point); films appeal to us more if they are ‘Academy Award Winning’ or ‘Oscar Nominated,’ and we trust that a book will be more stimulating if it was ‘Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.’
Awards beget trust in businesses, but you have to select the awards which you enter carefully. Here’s how to choose:
- Is the award relevant to your business and in particular your target audience?
- Is the award a big deal, or just a popularity contest?
- Will the award enhance your business credibility?
- Will the award attract talented potential staff/business partners?
- Is the award worth the financial repercussions it comes with to enter?
It is worth considering the financial aspect of entering awards. An award’s night can be an expensive outing: In most cases, you will have to fund your own travel, food, place at a table, and, in some cases, a hotel room. So, if the award is pretty ineffectual to your company image, and you are just entering so that you ‘have an award,’ you should probably rethink your motives.
All in all, though, awards are there to be entered, and a lot of people take for granted its impact. Your company will do better if you can refer to it as an ‘award-winning’ one (not to mention the coverage it will get in business publications, thereby enhancing business exposure).
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, business is all about being one step ahead of your competitors; giving a reason for customers to pick you over them. The difference can be marginal, but awards positively influence customer decision making.