People love to win awards. No matter how simple, the validation of one’s work and accomplishments sparks a genuine feeling of unshakeable joy. And these opportunities are ample throughout one’s lifetime—from spelling bees and sports competitions to baking contests or academic and scientific pursuits that can better the whole of society—so practically anyone can find their award sweet spot.
It should be no surprise that companies, too, would seek award recognition to reinforce the value of the service or product they provide, how they operate, and what their team has accomplished.
But, it’s easier said than done to earn this recognition. Running a successful company awards program takes consistent planning, monitoring, and hyper-focused submissions to prove that your company truly is award-worthy.
Additionally, awards are just one element of a successful thought leadership program. So teams must diligently assess the value of any award opportunity instead of pursuing every potentially relevant award just for the sake of it.
Let’s explore how companies can maximize their success through awards programs, with a deep-dive on what type of awards are relevant for brands, how to find relevant award opportunities for your team, and our tips for crafting award-winning submissions.
What Type of Awards Are Relevant For Brands?
If you’re new to the business awards space, you might be wondering what awards opportunities are even relevant for brands. You may be surprised that there is a range of options, a few general categories of which we’ll explain here.
If you’re already versed in the types of awards out there, though, feel free to skip ahead to get right to our tips for finding the right awards programs or writing award submissions.
There are four general business-relevant awards categories that you should look out for:
- Brand Awards: Awards that honor a company for its business success, the work done by its team, or other elements of its makeup that is attractive to prospective employees, customers, and investors or shareholders. Brand awards can span anything from ‘Fastest-Growing Companies’ lists to awards that recognize strides in corporate social responsibility or achievements in customer satisfaction.
- Culture Awards: Closely related to brand awards, culture awards recognize a company for its workplace culture elements and whether it is an ideal brand for prospective employees. These awards can be as general as ‘Best Places to Work’ or more specific like ‘Best Workplaces for Innovators’ or ‘Best Workplaces in the SF Bay Area.’
- Product Awards: These awards focus specifically on a product, its capabilities, use cases, and competitive differentiators. Product awards cover a broad spectrum of specificity, including general categories of ‘B2B Technology’ or ‘Best Tools for Workplace Productivity’ to hyper-focused awards for specific industries or applications like ‘Best Tools for API Management.’
- Individual Awards: Some awards primarily recognize business professionals and their achievements, and these awards can carry a brand halo effect of sorts for that person’s company. These awards include C-Suite recognition like ‘Top CEO,’ age-based criteria like ‘30 under 30’, gender-based criteria, or awards that recognize specific accomplishments or tenure.
Those are just a few of the general award types to explore, but as your company program matures, you will start to see more diverse awards opportunities. In initially assessing your team’s awards potential, ask yourselves what space(s) you want to bolster your reputation or stake your claim so that you can then research the right sort of opportunities.