Every year, around the end of February, tens of millions of people from all over the world tune in to watch the live feed of a trade show. More specifically, they tune in to see industry awards handed out in a variety of categories to represent the year’s best work.
We’re talking about the Academy Awards, or Oscars, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the most recognized trade association in the movie business.
The Academy Awards telecast is a gaudy, over-the-top spectacle that equals the Super Bowl in its hype, cultural impact and entertainment value (and even anti-climax, in some years). But its importance extends beyond the entertainment value to the financial boost for the films, artists and technicians who walk away winners.
When you get down to it, the Academy Awards telecast is little more than a 3+ hour long commercial for the movies, and boy does it work. According to BoxOfficeQuant.com, a blog dedicated to publishing quantitative information about the movie business, the value of a Best Picture Oscar is worth $13.9 million.
The money train doesn’t end with the Best Picture award. Nearly every Oscar a movie wins means millions more at the box office. That’s why the awards show is so important – the stakes are very high for an industry that depends on disposable income.
Think of your own industry and the awards that are handed out each year. Do you participate? If not, consider these five benefits to your bottom line that come from winning your industry’s version of the Oscar:
1. Brand recognition
Just like the Best Picture winner, you are set apart from the rest of the pack when your organization wins an industry award.
Industry awards validate you like no marketing message can. In fact, taking home industry awards validate your marketing message by giving you a credibility boost.
In the early 1970’s film director Martin Scorsese was an up-and-coming force in the movie industry who offended and scared many people because of the themes his movies tackled, along with the way he shot them. The Old Guard in Hollywood tried to dismiss him, but he wouldn’t go away.
With many Oscar-winning films under his belt, Scorsese is now considered one of the best film directors of all-time, and the traits that frightened so many people so long ago are now widely imitated conventions of movie making.
This same pattern is repeated all over the world in many industries. It’s easy to dismiss a competitor no one has heard of, but when a reputation is verified by the winning of award-after-award, one becomes impossible to ignore.
Once you are seen as a standard-bearer in your industry, your influence will become unquestionable as others seek you out for advice and collaboration.
Just as box office receipts skyrocket with the winning of an Oscar, so too will your sales. Consider these three focal points:
- Retention. As you begin to rack up awards, retaining customers becomes easier. People like doing business with winners because your success makes them look smarter. It’s called the halo effect and it’s powerful.
- Up-Selling. Price increases and added benefits are much easier to sell when you have the halo effect working on your behalf.
- New Business. The halo effect works with prospects, as well. When your brand is recognized as a perennial power, the perceived risk of doing business with you is greatly reduced. You become THE safe bet.
If you’ve ever seen a documentary about a classic film like Citizen Kane or Star Wars, where the technicians are interviewed, you’ve no-doubt noticed how proud these people are of their contributions to the film and our cultural heritage.
When your company takes home an industry award, it creates similar pride within your team. It’s one thing for the CEO to stand-up at a company event and tell you that you are the best team in the business, but when the industry says it by handing you an award, well that’s a different matter altogether.
Industry awards should be celebrated back at the office, so everyone can bask in the glow of your halo effect.
Martin Scorsese is an exacting artist who demands perfection from his cast and crew. Working with a temperamental perfectionist can be very difficult, but when the finished product leads to accolades, respect and bigger paydays, people fight to work for such a person.
The same goes for you. When your company is counted among the elites in your industry, you have little trouble attracting the top talent, who want to be associated with and contribute to the continued success of a proven winner.
By now, I hope you see how important industry awards can be to your company and its position within your industry.
Don’t be intimidated by the hassle of filling out submission packets and getting permission from clients or anything else that resisting voice in the back of your mind will whisper to keep you from exposing yourself to losing.
Focus instead on the upside – the great benefits that await you when you’ve won not just one industry award, but many.
Sally Field may have described it best when, at the end of her 1985 acceptance speech, she said, “You like me. Right now, you like me!” It was a validating moment that, to her, symbolized a turning point in her career.
What’s stopping you from having that same experience?
I’ve written this post with a selfish agenda. The ICX Association has opened up submissions for the 2015 Awards of Excellence, which will be handed out at the ICX Summit on June 29th. The ceremony will take place on the 99th floor of the Willis Tower in front of a packed house of B2C brands and your peers.
Please take a few moments and check out the info page where you can learn more about the awards, which recognize the best customer experience deployments using digital signage, self-service technology and mobile. If you have any questions, please contact me. I’d love to help. You’ve got nothing to lose by entering. Good luck!Tags: Awards of Excellence ICX Association ICX Association Awards of Excellence Industry Awards