Winning awards give you instant credibility. There’s nothing like having your industry peers provide the endorsement that you have the best product, service or project out there. Awards speak volumes to your customers and prospects.
We’ve created hundreds of client award entries over the past 20 years. I’ve also served as a judge for CTA’s TechHome Mark of Excellence awards that are presented each year at CES. Based on that experience, I want to share some tips for creating winning award entries.
- Plan ahead and make the time to enter. Like the lottery, you can’t win if you don’t enter. When judging, I’ve seen product categories with only one entry. Guess who wins?
- Only submit one product or service per category. For example, if you submit two products for Audio Product of the Year, you are cannibalizing your own entry. Don’t compete against yourself. Enter the products in different categories or if possible, enter them together to make a stronger entry.
- If you are a manufacturer or distributor, work with your customers to submit project awards. Integrators many times don’t take the initiative to submit their outstanding work. If you know about a newsworthy job your customer is working on, be sure to help get photos and other information for the award and send in an entry for both you and your customer. Everyone wins with this approach.
- Did I mention planning? Know what awards make sense for your company and plan those entries throughout the year. Make sure you have photos at a minimum. Some entries accept videos also. Know that ahead of time so you can prepare an award that wins.
- One of our company mantras is, “Why guess when you can ask?” If you aren’t clear about how to answer a question or what category would be best to enter your product, service or project, ask.
- Answer each question uniquely. If the entry asks for benefits to the integrator and a product summary, don’t cut and paste the same information for both responses. You typically will have a limited number of words per entry question. Use these words wisely.
- Make it easy for the judge to see why your product should win. It’s fine to use bullets instead of a paragraph of complicated specifications to organize your information. It’s much easier to absorb the content this way.