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Gaining recognition and credibility through capturing notable awards is an essential part of business, but it is sometimes overlooked by emerging companies. Award recognition is a vehicle through which companies can achieve validation, draw in investors and partners, grow their media presence and wind up with a valuable stamp of approval on their products.
Validation is a key reason why companies prioritize submitting their innovations and products for awards. The robust judging process, often conducted using premier, global industry leaders, shines a spotlight on deserving companies that may not previously been well-known in the industry.
Accompanying validation, the value and benefits from winning an award materialize in the many ways a business can leverage the recognition. Award badges and logos given to the award recipients can be posted across social media, used on websites and in email signatures. This encourages the audience to associate the business name with the award’s prestige and reinforces in their minds that the business, its products and services have value.
Not all awards are created equal and your public relations agency can aid in sifting through the opportunities.. Most technology awards focus on recognizing a product or service, meaning they often have similar submission processes. However, some awards carry more weight than others depending on which organization sponsors them. . For example, The World Changing Ideas Awards, sponsored by Fast Company, is a top-tier technology award distinguishable because of Fast Company’s positive popularity. While top-tier awards can be considered home runs, emerging companies often cut their teeth on less distinguished awards and these are valuable, too. In time, they can lead to winning the biggest and best-known awards.
The process for selecting the best awards for your business can be based on these four factors: the organization holding the award, if it is legitimately judged or a “vanity” award, the previous winners and the list of sponsors/judges.
It is a good best practice to look into who is holding an award because it will inform the decision to submit for it or not. A good rule of thumb is to submit for awards that are put on by a publication, such as Fast Company or CNBC, or a trade association you are involved in.
Awards fall into two main categories: what we consider legitimate awards and what appear to be vanity awards. A vanity award can be won by simply submitting the requested information and paying the entry fee. While these are less desirable, in some situations there can be some value in obtaining these. What is important is knowing the difference.
A legitimately judged award requires knowledgeable judges, typically well-known figures in the industry, to decide if your innovation or company deserves special recognition. Award submissions typically are long, detailing the innovation process and outcomes, workplace environment, and company financials.
Additionally, do research who is sponsoring the award as this can provide more credibility and validation. If the award is sponsored by an array of established companies, you can be assured the award is legitimate and has value. Also, be sure to look into the winners from previous years as this will allow you to better understand the focus and scope of the award and how your company may fare in the competition.
The submission process is the most important aspect and a knowledgeable PR team will be able to help you expertly convey the value of your innovation or product. A winning award submission often goes beyond simply displaying the work that was done to create an innovation. Judges like to gain insights when you highlight the nuances and challenges your company faced during the development of your technology. A PR team also will write the submission keeping the audience, i.e the judges, in mind, ensuring that a non-quantum audience can understand the context and potential impact of your innovation.
Awards provide a company with greater brand recognition and validation. Don’t be afraid to start applying for awards to receive the recognition that your company deserves.