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.



Less is More in Outdoor

Custom Craft Contractors Job Site Sign

To illustrate the point, here is a sign we designed for Custom Craft Contractors, a design-build remodeling company in Lansdale, PA. Our client uses these signs to create awareness in neighborhoods where they are performing their residential remodeling services. The simple layout of the sign helps them to quickly convey their company name, the services they offer, and how to contact them for more information.

Outdoor advertising encompasses any visual advertisement for your business that is placed outside of a building. Billboards, yard signs, banners, vehicle wraps, magnet signs, bus boards, transit shelter posters, even the signs on your building all fall under the umbrella of outdoor advertising. Executed properly, outdoor is incredibly effective at elevating brand awareness in strategic, geographic areas. It offers numerous other benefits, as well. But, elevating brand awareness (in my humble opinion) is what it does best.

When it comes to preparing an outdoor ad, the “Less is More” rule of thumb is an important one to follow. To generate the intended response, an outdoor advertising message needs to be succinct and uncluttered because consumers are exposed to it very briefly in their travels. You have mere seconds to make an impression with your message. Whether they are strolling around their neighborhood, or driving down a highway, your target audience must be able to read your outdoor advertisement at a glance.

To make the most of your investment in outdoor advertising, here are a few easy tips to follow when preparing your next campaign:

  1. Use Legible Fonts–Typically, sans serif fonts like Arial and Calibri are easier to read at a distance
  2. Limit Word Count–The word count will vary a bit based on size and medium, but in general the fewer the words used, the better
  3. Keep Background Simple–Background images can add visual clutter and decrease legibility. Best to KISS (keep it simple sweetheart)
  4. Create Color Contrast–Use strongly contrasting colors to add visual appeal, and keep your copy easy to read
  5. Integrate Copy and Images–Avoid boxy messages that separate your text from your images, because it makes the message more difficult to read
  6. Do the Flash Card Test–Before you approve your creative, print out a copy of your ad and have someone flash the message to you from across the room. If you can read it easily, it should be good to go. If not, it probably needs to go back for another round of edits

If you are looking to raise awareness of your products and services in a specific geography, I strongly encourage you to explore outdoor advertising. By following these basic guidelines for your layout, you will produce more effective outdoor ads for your business.

Questions on outdoor advertising? Please leave a comment below, or feel free to email us at: info@tcbmarketingandmore.com
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Tanya Bamford Presenting Marketing Seminar on Wed. 2/19

If you are a small business owner in southeastern Pennsylvania looking to improve your marketing results, you will want to attend this Lunch & Learn event being hosted by the Lower Gwynedd Business Association (LGBA). The seminar will take place at the Spring House Tavern in Spring House, PA on Wednesday, February 19th. Admission is only $10 and includes a two-option luncheon. Proceeds benefit the LGBA. Tanya Bamford Presents Marketing Seminar for LGBA

I will be presenting 14 strategies for improving marketing results, from creating a SMART marketing plan, to building and mining your contact database. Click on this flyer for more details. Please note: seating is limited to 60 participants. Registration has been brisk, with 44 seats reserved already. In short, we expect the event to sell out. If you are interested in attending, do not delay in reserving your seat by contacting David Bergey at Valleygreen Flowers and Gifts: (215) 628-3550.

Business Boosting Tips for Inclement Weather

In response to the extended stretch of foul weather we have been experiencing in southeastern Pennsylvania, we have prepared a list of five helpful business boosters. Quick and easy to implement, these ideas are designed to enhance your brand and improve sales during this very challenging period. small business marketing tips for periods of inclement weather

Let’s work together to help our local business community pull through this snowpocalypse. Please share these tips with all of your contacts in social media. If you have additional ideas to share, please feel free to post a comment below.