Award winning is important in any sector, but for one as saturated and meaningful to customers as health and fitness, every point of recognition and accolade adds to the brand's credibility. Many marketing-related industries rely on, or are complemented by awards. Similarly, many of them are inundated by awards and this can become superfluous and not necessarily a unique selling point. When building and bolstering a brand, there exist various elements that contribute to a positive and credible brand image.
In marketing a film for example, the list of awards it has been nominated for and won drastically increases the likelihood that it would convince someone to go and spend money on it. These awards are usually prominently displayed on marketing material, for example "by Academy Award Winning Director" or "Finalist at the Cannes Film Festival".
An award by any measure is a sign of excellence - an acknowledgment that peers and professionals alike agree that a certain brand or company excels in what they do.
In sectors like health and fitness, the service being offered is directly hinged to people's wellbeing and happiness. If they are going to put their health in someone else's hands, they should be able to trust them and believe that they know what they are doing. In this regard, it is important for a brand to have the backing of an award to signify their knowledge and understanding.
General vs specific excellence
There are awards for general brand excellence (pitted against other industries) and there are awards for brand excellence within the health and fitness sector. Awards that highlight the company or brand as being a great company to work for, innovation in marketing or overall advertising achievements are as important as awards that single out a brand's know-how in specifically forwarding people's health. This, however, is where the slight distinction comes in and general excellence is overshadowed by specific excellence.
In showcasing that a specific brand has been awarded for their work in helping people and promoting health and fitness, they stand out from similar companies who have perhaps only won general awards. This specificity creates an expectation and indeed admiration in the consumer, building credibility and engendering trust in the long term. In the highly competitive and multi-billion dollar industry of health and fitness, this is an outstanding and very advantageous selling point.
Celebrity endorsements, innovative ad campaigns, unique marketing, cross-brand partnerships and convincing sales points are all things that lead people to choosing a certain brand or company to take care of their health or fitness. While they are all vital in today's market, and equally effective, none have quite the staying power that awards can have.
Specific awards attract certain people
It is also important to note which awards a brand has received, and how those specific awards attract certain people. If, for example, a brand is given an environmental award or renowned for furthering conservation, it will foster a sense of positive social interaction and garner customers who appreciate this - something that is especially noteworthy in today's climate and often a point of sale for many people.
In order for a brand to receive an award, they must undoubtedly strive to stand out amongst their competitors. The very fact that they have won an award of any kind demonstrates to customers and clients that this company goes the extra mile. Most times, awards are a by-product of a drive for general excellence. It is also not uncommon for a brand to focus more on a specific area in order to win an award and therefore sway public opinion.
In summary, the presence of awards is important - but it also demands a certain amount of discernment from customers, clients and most importantly, the brand itself.
Craig Dummett is Director at Dummett & Co, an industry-focused PR/ communications agency that works in, amongst other industries, Sport, Health and Social Investment. He carries 15 years experience in the PR field, bringing with him great experience both in an agency and client capacity. Email him on or follow @craigdummett on Twitter.
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I am intrigued to see how important awards are within different industries. For example, the Exhibition and Events industry awards stand builders for outstanding custom stands which they design and build. A lot of these awards are subjective, and some say are biased because you don't have completely independent judges. How much does something like this affect the perception of the award to your target market, if at all?
Yes Craig. Someone was always going to counter Chris's article. Not sure that you made any points other than that a lot of Creative industries have awards based on nothing but subjectivity. Does that make them right?