And the Award Goes To…
What says more about your product as a leader in your field than being recognized by industry experts? Winning an award can do wonders for your business, giving you an instant credibility boost and enhancing your reputation among your customers, prospects and even your competition.
Many people shy away from award submissions because, as important as they are, they can be really complicated, expensive and time-consuming. With our years of experience in preparing award submissions for our customers and serving as judges for prestigious awards, we are in a great position to offer our recommendations on how to prepare a winning award submission.
Creating a winning award submission
Just do it
Don’t get intimidated by the long questionnaires, entry fees and deadlines, the only way to win an award is to do the work and enter it. If you have a hard time tracking the awards or finding the right words, consider hiring an agency to help you with the process.
Give it the attention it deserves
Yes, it is time-consuming. Yes, it might be expensive. And because of that, you should really invest your effort into preparing the best possible award submission you can.
It helps to have your product information (description, technical specs, benefits, differentiator, photos or videos, etc.) readily available so you can easily pull the information that’s requested.
Only submit one product or service per category
Do you want to compete against yourself? Didn’t think so. Evaluate all the award categories and choose the best product or service for each. If you have two products that would be perfect for the same category, consider submitting them together to make a stronger entry.
Collaborate with your manufacturer or distributor
Everyone benefits when your project receives an award. If you know you have a good chance but don’t have the resources or time (or maybe having their backing in the entry will look good), ask your manufacturer or distributor to collaborate on the submission. Maybe you can take care of the technical specs and they can talk to the benefits that customers receive. Or maybe they can foot the bill or help with product demos or videos.
Add award submissions to your yearly plan
Don’t let opportunities pass you by because you’re pressed for time or budget. By researching and identifying the awards you’d like to submit an entry well ahead of time. Make sure to attempt for the early bird deadlines, this will save you money on the entry fees.
Don’t be afraid to ask
If you are unsure of what a question means or how to approach a certain topic, ask the award organizers. They can provide unique insight or offer examples on how to best answer each question. We’ve seen entry categories made to fit products or projects that are particularly unique due to a call about it. If you think the submission would benefit from testimonials or you can manage to squeeze them in somehow, ask your best customers for a few sentences on what they love about your product or service.
Make the most of each answer
Take your time answering the questionnaire and answer each question uniquely. You might be tempted to copy and paste information from your website or brochure, but really take your time to answer each question to the best of your ability. The judges dedicate a lot of time to reading each award submission, make yours shine!
Format for easy reading
Each question will likely have a suggested word count, make sure you respect it. You can also make long or technical answers easier to read by using bullet points, tables or diagrams, which are better to consume information than long paragraphs.