7th July 2020 | IN DESIGN ADVICE | BY SBID ShareTweetPinterestLinkedIn Achieving industry recognition through prestigious honours like awards can be extremely beneficial for business. Not only can it generate awareness, increase brand exposure and of course, boost employee morale in a celebration of their hard work and success, awards are a great way to differentiate your brand, product or service from the competition! Independent acknowledgement of a company’s skills, value or competence within your sector also offers additional reassurances and credibility for potential clients and customers. Even if you don’t clinch the coveted ‘Winner’ trophy on the night, just being shortlisted for an award can still bring your business substantial benefits. With this in mind, we’re sharing 5 essential ways that awards can enhance your business! 1. Increased Awareness: Take advantage of the promotional opportunities Put your brand in the spotlight! Association with relevant, industry-specific awards that add value to your brand offering can raise your business profile and provide a host of marketing and PR opportunities, so the chance to publicise, and ultimately capitalise, on your achievements within an award programme (whether a winner or a finalist) should not be overlooked! Utilising the promotion of your involvement before, during and after the ceremony through your marketing channels is a cost-effective way to increase brand awareness, share your company’s success and become a real marketing asset. And that doesn’t even include the additional exposure you would gain from the event organiser! 2. Attracting Clients: Showcase your expertise and enhance company credibility Awards are designed to endorse a company’s calibre of skill and success in a particular field, making them a key indicator of trust-worthiness. Entering and winning an award therefore demonstrates to your customers that your business is operating at the highest level within your profession, acting as a powerful selling point for potential prospects (or perhaps reinforcing their reasons for doing business with you in the first place!). As a result, this can develop brand loyalty and improve client retention, as customers are often inclined to stay with businesses who are succeeding at what they do – as well as give them more excuses to tell their friends about you. And we all know how valuable word of mouth is as an effective marketing tool! Using the awards branding on your website and in your marketing materials is another way you’ll be able to showcase these credentials to your target audience. 3. Boost Employee Morale: Positive impacts on retention and recruitment Partaking in awards is a public way of acknowledging the hard work and achievements of your employees, giving your team members an additional sense of appreciation, purpose and motivation in their work, as well as a stronger desire and confidence to continue to perform for your company. Attending the awards ceremony also offers a great chance to reward your staff by celebrating together as a team – who doesn’t love a chance to get dressed up for a fancy three-course meal and rub shoulders with top tier professionals in your industry? Achieving an award also validates your employees work as a direct contributor to wider company success which can also generate company pride, increase work satisfaction and can play a positive role in future recruitment too by enticing new talent who want to work for successful, award-winning companies. 4. Networking: Establish better relationships with your peers and industry professionals Serving as an excellent platform to wine and dine with the best of the best within your profession, award ceremonies provide the perfect opportunity to network with key players in your industry so you can make new industry connections, bond with potential business partners, reach new customers, and build better relationships with your peers. Winning an award goes one step further in recognising the value and expertise you bring to your sector in front of this captive audience, meaning your peers will look more favourably on your business and you will gain a deeper level of credibility and respect within your industry as a whole. Most awards judging panels consist of distinguished industry experts, so entering them also presents a unique opportunity to put your business in front of specialist stakeholders, industry-leaders and influential experts in your field. 5. Industry Benchmarking: Differentiate your business against competitors Whether you are a small or large company, awards offer the ability to stand side-by-side and compete against some of the biggest names in your professional pool, allowing you to take stock of your achievements in comparison to your peers and benchmark your work against the industry – this will help to see how you measure up against your competitors and refine your business goals and aspirations. And of course, if you’re successful in becoming an award-winning business, it is a surefire way to differentiate your brand and stand out from the competition with that all-important, industry-recognised seal of approval, giving you an esteemed third-party endorsement from an independent body. While entering awards can bring a host of promotional benefits for your brand, enhance industry positioning, and increase credibility – it’s important to know which awards you should be entering! So before jumping in with both feet, do your research! Ask yourself who is giving the award? Are they a credible organisation? Do they have industry recognition? Do they really understand and represent your industry sector? And finally, do the previous winners embody what you want to be known for? Why win a vanity trophy when you could collect a prize that really resonates in your industry! and who is really the winner? Look out for hidden fees in the application process! Some Awards charge successful entrants extra fees for exposure – some even require the winner to pay for their own award! Attending the ceremony can be a caveat of ‘winning’ too. If this is the case, the awards are likely to be given to the highest bidder so you know it’s not really about outstanding achievement, excellence or creative merit… The SBID Awards programme is designed to recognise, reward and celebrate the profession of interior design. If you’re an interior designer or product manufacturer, click here to find out more. Entries are open until 5pm BST on Friday 14 August.