Tony O'Dowd Brian Coyle KantanMT Innovation Awards

The excitement and anticipation of awards night is not only a great opportunity to get dressed up and network with your peers, it’s a chance for you and/or your company to be recognised for its excellence by industry peers. Our recent nomination in the New Frontiers category of the Irish Times Innovation Awards prompted us to think about what benefits these awards can bring to businesses.

Taking the time out to apply for an award is not always at the top of your to-do list and to do it right, it can be time-consuming. But it should be part of your marketing strategy – recognition for an award can help build your brand and position you as a sustainable and innovative leader in the eyes of your customers. Everyone wants to have the best – the award is a recognition of your expertise, and this motivates your customers to buy your products over your competitors.

There are lots of different reasons for entering an awards competition, my personal favourites include:

  • Brand Recognition: The media exposure generated by winning an award or even being nominated as a finalist is priceless. Not only does it increase your company’s visibility, but it validates your position as a leader in that award category. Depending on how high profile the Awards ceremony is, you and your business could cash in on some excellent media coverage that recognises you as a leader and helps strengthen your brand.
  • Get New Customers: It’s only natural that when making a purchase decision your clients look for best value for money and the best quality. The recognition of an award is the perfect endorsement of your product or service. Having an industry award in your arsenal will undoubtedly help attract new customers.
  • Marketing opportunities: Marketers like nothing better than to have some great news to share and what is better than an award nomination. There is a plethora of opportunities available for promotion and today’s access to technology makes it makes it relatively inexpensive to leverage press releases, email, content (like this post) and social media to promote the event. Having your news shared on tier 1 media will do wonders for your SEO.

Parting thoughts

Take the time to identify suitable awards that are specific to your industry. If you won’t gain anything or the award won’t resonate with your target audience, it might not be worth the time to enter.

You should also ensure you are qualified to enter, many awards have restrictions e.g. date you commence trading etc. It is best to eliminate award applications that don’t apply to you, so you don’t waste time. Finally, give a lot of attention to filling out the application.

If you are part of a small company, you can use the questions in the application pack as reference points against your business plan to see where you stand. Or, if you have been in the business longer, you can use it as a benchmark. If anything, it will help shed a new perspective on how you stack up against your competitors.

We are delighted to be nominated as a finalist with two other companies; Coindrum (Dublin), ICOn Firecrest (Limerick) in the New Frontiers category of the Irish Times Innovation Awards 2016