Why enter awards, reason 1 – Increase brand awareness

It’s widely documented that winning an award will bring a business a certain number of opportunities to raise its profile. Winners will be publicised and celebrated by the award scheme itself, they may feature in industry or the local press, and of course will probably want to issue their own news release on the announcement.

But actually just being shortlisted can have a significant impact on your brand awareness. Awareness is more than just brand recognition – it’s about what differentiates your brand from your competitors. It’s about what your brand stands for, and why customers should choose your brand over the others.


So whether you win or have been nominated or shortlisted, it’s really important to take the opportunity to tell your story – the story behind WHY you deserve to be in the running for this particular award. If you have an effective awards strategy in place, then this would usually be something that reinforces your brand’s values and delivers a cohesive and coherent statement about your brand or business.


It’s this substance behind the nomination that will actually make you engage with your audience – it might be the human element, the outstanding business success, or overcoming a series of substantial hurdles, but something that will make a connection.


For example, whilst I was at Elmwood and at the top of the DBA’s Design Effectiveness league table, for the last 9 years, it wasn’t really news that we’d won more Design Effectiveness Awards. It was what Elmwood was known for, and it wouldn’t have got a lot of traction in the industry, or even local, press. Instead, what we focused on was the fact that we worked collaboratively with our clients, such as Heck and Buster. In both cases, it was a strong client relationship that allowed the team to uncover the right route to go down to deliver not only sustained business success, but also award-winning creative. Instead, we gained more in-depth coverage of the work that is still held up as best practice several years later, and work that totally demonstrated what Elmwood was about.

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