Recognition by your industry feels good. You have proof-positive of what you know: your company builds the best products, and others now recognize that. While recognition matters, winning an award also gives you unique opportunities to grow your brand and improve your reputation with customers. If you’ve just won an award, you need to capitalize on that momentum and build on it. How do you make that happen? Here’s ten tips for leveraging a product award and improve your brand.
1. Strengthen Customer Relationships
Your customers have put their trust in you and your product, and you’ve delivered. Knowing that you are a recognized industry leader cements that relationship of trust, and you want to make sure that your customers know that their consumer product trust in your brand is well-founded. Spreading the word to existing customers and thanking them for their trust shares your excitement and your sense of accomplishment with everyone who has made that possible. Posting your win on social media thanking customers both celebrates your victory and gives credit where it’s due.
2. Build Your Credibility With Independent Proof
Along with a major boost in consumer product trust, you now have more marketing clout thanks to third-party approval and endorsement. Your copy and content no longer depend on consumer purchasing decisions to date and customers feedback: you’ve got an independent organization in your industry backing up what you say.
For example, let’s say your product is creative play toys for kids age 3-8. A Seal of Approval or Award from Parent Tested Parent Approved (PTPA) is going to carry serious weight when you update your marketing materials and promote your product. Consumers are more likely to trust third-party evaluations of your product over your content, but now your content becomes far more credible thanks to the award. Once you’ve won an award or seal of approval, you want to capitalize on that for all its worth and start winning new customers.
3. Create Networking Opportunities
An award under your belt means you have a new and valuable conversational topic every time you meet with industry colleagues. Many people are more willing, if not eager, to work with an award-winning brand, and previously unconsidered opportunities start looking far more inviting. After all, you’re no longer and unknown risk: you’re an asset and valuable opportunity now. Don’t be shy about your win or discussing it at industry gatherings. You never know who wants to grow their business through partnerships and shared interest.
4. Demonstrate Both Your Authority And Your Empathy
There are few marketing assets so valuable as authority within the industry. Winning an award demonstrates that you are a thought leader and not just another faceless organization seeking to move their product. Your award demonstrates louder than words you are qualified to speak about your product and industry.
Moreover, you have a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate empathy to the needs of your consumers and the entire industry. Awards do not define your brand, but they are evidence that you are leading the charge in the right direction. Showing that to consumers and colleagues alike is critical to building on your success, so don’t be shy about speaking up from now on.
5. Raise Your Brand’s Profile
People searching the internet or Amazon.com for products like yours or that have an award/seal of approval will now see your products pop up in search results frequently. Consumers looking for a PTPA seal/award product area automatically going to be exposed to your products first. Better still, winning the award grants your exposure via the PTPA marketing channels, too. This is product exposure to public interest you can’t buy, and it’s worth its weight in gold. That is what makes this next tip so fundamentally important.
6. Put Your Award Logo On Everything
Not being shy about your award or seal of approval bears repeating because it matters. Put that seal or award everywhere you can. Slap stickers on product boxes you’ve already gotten from production, and add it to your packaging design for everything you sell in the future. Post it on your website, create a frame or icon for your social media profile pictures and add it to your store checkout system. Say it loud and say it proud: your brand is a winner. Don’t go over the top (like integrating it into your brand logo), but it is important to celebrate your win and make sure the public knows you’ve been independently recognized for your excellent products. Have a look at our PTPA Lookbook to see how brands have used the PTPA Seal of Approval.
7. Share The Love with Your People
No win or award is possible without significant hard work from everyone in your organization. They own this win just as much as you do. Validating their hard work by crediting their contribution to your award or seal of approval is an important component of celebrating and capitalizing on the opportunities your award created. Giving your people the knowledge that their work matters and that they too are recognized as among the best in the business creates significant internal drive. Everyone wants to be on a winning team. Make sure they know that fact as you build on your award and the new opportunities it’s created for your business.
8. Create Recruiting Opportunities
As you grow your brand with the extra boost an award gives you, you are going to need to expand your employee family, too. Your award or seal of approval is going to be an attractive recruiting component for new talent seeking to work for a company that’s an industry leader. Don’t pass up this valuable opportunity to bring on new team members who can strengthen your business and improve their own resume by working for an award-winning company in their field.
9. Improve Cold-Calling Performance
It’s not always fun or easy, but cold-calling gets more of your products into consumer hands. Do you know what makes cold-calling a much easier and more rewarding process? Being an award-winning industry leader seeking to do business with other distributors and businesses. The buzz from your award is going to create instant recognition over the phone, and you want to make sure that is part of your cold-calling script as soon as possible. Best of all, you don’t need to spend as much time on the call (if any) establishing your credibility. When your reputation precedes you, cold-calling is much easier for everyone involved.
10. Demonstrate Potential to Investors and The Public
Potentially, the best effect of winning an award within your industry is the newfound perspective it brings. Your peers and other leaders in your industry have formally recognized and celebrated your hard work. Moving forward, you possess a confidence and knowledge that you are headed in the right direction. Staying true to your vision can be tough for any entrepreneur, and overcoming your doubts can seem like an endless battle you fight more often than you would like.
There is another important perspective you get from winning an award, though: you are just getting started. Achievement feels good, but it should also remind us how much we still have left to achieve. Enjoy the validation and respect, and then get right back to work. Clearly you’re doing something right. Don’t stop now. Adjust your expectations, keep aiming high and don’t get too comfortable up on that pedestal. There will be other winners circles, and this is hopefully one of many. Keep that in mind as you build from here, and you will reap the full benefit of your award personally and professionally.
For What Is To Come
Whether you want to earn some recognition or build on existing success, an award/seal of approval can work wonders for your business and brand. We hope these simple talking points help you create more opportunities to shine and bring you ever closer to your goals. You can also work towards creating your own success and winning awards by developing consumer trust in your product online and via your traditional marketing channels. Being excellent to your customers and producing great products is only the beginning.
Building trust is what leads to awards and recognition. If you want to improve your brand profile and boost recognition, you’ll need a coordinated campaign integrated with your goals. Not sure where to start? Check out our 6-step guide to building consumer trust online. Winning awards isn’t why you went into business, but following our guide can go a long way to earning the recognition your brand needs to grow and be successful. We encourage you to read our guide and start implementing these in your operation right away. Your business has the potential to be the best in your industry. All you have to do is show them why.