The average U.S. consumer experiences over 1,600 advertising messages every day. These ads are primarily digital, with only two percent delivered across traditional media, including television, radio, and print.*
Given this flood of marketing messages, it’s simply not possible for any individual to sort through all of this information.
This is one reason why consumers have come to rely on heuristics — i.e., mental shortcuts that allow us to get through the clutter. For example, if 10 million people buy the newest book from Dan Brown, you’re more likely to pick up a copy. It must be good.
The same is true for box office sales or “number of hamburgers” served.
All of these are examples of social proof. We rely on the wisdom of the masses to make our own purchasing decisions. But in many ways, the wisdom of experts can be even more compelling. After all, if 9 out of 10 doctors use a particular migraine pill, it must be effective. Right?
However, getting that stamp of approval can be tough. What business owner has the time, money and resources to survey the top influencers in their respective fields? Fortunately, there’s a much easier way to earn credibility. You can become an award-winning business.
Winning business awards from credible third parties can go a long way in solidifying your reputation as a trustworthy brand that delivers.
It’s worth repeating that last point. Award-winning businesses are consistently seen as more reputable and honest, even if consumers aren’t consciously aware of this perception.
Michelin-starred restaurants, for example, have an easier time attracting new patrons than do their non-starred counterparts – even when the dining experience is comparable across both types of establishments.
This is why award-winning businesses frequently highlight certifications as much as possible — whether on shopping carts, landing pages, or hard copy brochures. When done tastefully, this approach can help attract more customers.
Nevertheless, the value of business awards extends well beyond reputation or foot traffic.
Want more reasons to strive for awards for your small business? Here are three more to consider:
When you receive a prestigious award, everyone on your team feels better. They appreciate being recognized for their hard work.
This is great in the here and now, but it also means your employees will be more inclined to defend their titles moving forward. Nothing looks or feels better than being “best in class” for multiple consecutive years.
Winning business awards can help boost your company’s profile. This increased awareness doesn’t apply just to consumers. You may also receive more attention from suppliers, vendors, and investors — many of whom survey articles and award ceremonies for potential business partners.
When you become an award-winning business, you may be able to charge more for your products and services — and justify doing so.
Consider the Michelin restaurant example above. The lauded restaurant might offer the same fare as an upscale bistro down the street, but with an award under its belt, the 3-star restaurant may be able to afford to charge higher prices for its food — and few patrons may question those higher prices.
There is no universal template, but the most important part of any contest involves putting your name in the hat. If you don’t apply, you can’t win.
A majority of businesses are either unaware of the different awards programs or don’t have the time to enter. The biggest hurdles are homework and paperwork.
And, a good place to start your research is with major award organizations such as:
Most of these award programs have subcategories, so it’s a matter of finding one that fits your niche.
But don’t limit your search to the big guys. The more prestigious the award, the more competition you’ll face. Therefore, consider expanding your research to include:
While every business, industry, and product is unique, winning awards can ultimately be a net positive.
This information is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial, or tax advice. Readers should contact their attorneys, financial advisors, or tax professionals to obtain advice with respect to any particular matter.
* “A Day in the Life of an Average Consumer, As Seen By a Programmatic Trader,” MediaPost, 11 November 19
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