Leverage Awards to Enhance Brand and Encourage Referrals

The Award Marketing Conundrum

It is a general truth that consumers want to be associated with brands that represent quality. There is little that conveys quality better than winning an industry award which clearly sets your work above that of your competition. And yet, when small business owners are recognized with industry awards, it often creates a conundrum. On one hand, award winners are excited about their accomplishment. On the other hand, those same winners can feel reluctant to share the news for fear of being considered vain. This is a fairly common reaction and is no surprise. Pride is universally considered the worst possible sin–and people who are overly prideful are the objects of disdain. Does this mean we should avoid sharing our accomplishments? No. But, it does mean that we should give sufficient care in crafting the message.

Master the Art of the Humble Boast

The solution to this challenge is to balance the award promotion language with a generous helping of gratitude. Let’s face it. It’s unlikely that you won that award on your own. Acknowledging the various parties who contributed to earning the honors is an act of humility that will neutralize any appearance of braggadocio. In your awards communication, be certain to recognize your staff, your vendors, your family, and your customers. Recognize anyone and everyone who either helped directly, or inspired you to be the fabulous, award-winner that you are.

Use Your Award to Fuel Repeat Business and Referrals

Your current and past clients are the most important people to share award news with, but don’t forget to share the news with your staff, vendors, networking group members, and any other potential sources of referral, as well. By sharing your award win with these groups, you will be providing past clients with justification to patronize your business again. You will also be giving all of the members of those groups a method for justifying their referrals to others.

For example, after learning that TCB Marketing had been named Small Business of the Year, a referral for our services might have sounded like: “Oh you need marketing help? Try TCB Marketing. They do fantastic work. Did you know they were named Small Business of the Year?” Alright. That was somewhat gratuitous, but hopefully, you get my point. By providing your contacts with information about your award-winning work, you are in effect giving them a way to validate their referral. “It’s not just my opinion. They won an award.”

How to Promote Your Award

Start the process of promoting your award by creating a news release and sending it out via email to all of your local media contacts. Next, do the following:

  • Distribute the release via email to any membership organizations your business belongs to as well
  • Post the award release to your blog
  • Announce the award to your clients in a brief email, with a link to the blog post
  • Share the news on all of your social media channels with a related photo, and a link back to the award blog post
  • Update your website, company email signature, and marketing materials with the award badge/emblem

As always, if you have any questions or need help effectively promoting your awards, please contact TCB Marketing at (215) 368-8226.