Creating Your Own Awards Season

by : 

Megy Karydes

June 15, 2015
Marketing Mondays - Creating Your Own Awards Season

Do you know someone local who deserves recognition? Or, do you think you’re worthy of an award? Why not create an annual award and encourage submissions while also applying for awards you feel would bring attention to your business?

Creating an annual award

There is almost always someone in our community who goes the extra mile, seems to know everyone, and greets them with a smile on their face. Since our businesses rely on building communities, whether in person or digitally, being able to recognize those who make our lives better is not only important but can also help put YOU in the spotlight as a business that cares.

Create an “Outstanding Community Leader” award (or something along those lines) and encourage customers and the community at large to submit nominations. Ask them why they chose this particular person and create a committee to help you choose the winner. Figure out what your award winner will receive as a prize (knowing the prize may help increase submissions). Is the prize a hefty gift certificate to your place of business or a collection of gift certificates from community businesses? Collaborating with other businesses would be a great way to engage them to help get the word out, too. Or, perhaps every time someone makes a nomination, you could make a donation to a local nonprofit.

During the process, make sure to let everyone in your community know about the award. If it makes sense for your business, let local schools, places of faith, and other shops know about it, too, so they can let others know.

Once the winner is selected, organize an event and invite community members to the awards ceremony. Don’t forget to invite the media! Even if media doesn’t show up, take photos and send the news to media outlets for possible coverage.

Make sure the award becomes an annual event so the community can look forward to it every year.

Applying for awards

Industry recognition can be very powerful in terms of marketing your business. Not only does that recognition imply you’re a leader in your industry among your peers, it gives you yet another talking point with your customers and the media.

What industry awards are available to you in your industry? Keep in mind your industry may cross over more than one. For example, if you sell jewelry, books, or flowers there might be awards for each of those categories. Is there an award for best merchandising displays? Best retailer in your community?

Apply, and let the world know you’re applying. If the public can help by voting, ask them to vote and let others know, too! Even if you don’t win, the fact that you’re in the running tells your customers you’re worthy of being considered, and that’s just as important—although winning is nice, too!

The point is that creating an award to give someone who deserves recognition is an easy, low-cost way to engage your community. Also, applying for an award shows your customers that you care deeply about your business and feel it’s worthy of the recognition. Whether you’re creating an award or applying for one, they’re a great, cost-effective way to market your business.

Megy Karydes is principal of Karydes Consulting, a boutique marketing and communications firm and freelance writer who often covers retail for various magazines. She likes her calendars, whether digital or on paper, and has her editorial calendar pinned to her board in her office to remind her what day it is! Find her on Twitter at @megy.