Winning business awards can support your marketing efforts. But do your due diligence before you enter any schemes.
It is only natural, in an industry that has seen positive growth for over ten years, that there is a large number of people and organisations looking to benefit from the fruits of its labour. More franchisors are looking to build their networks and that means increased marketing budgets for people to fight for. And while entering award programmes can boost your brand, make sure they are the right fit for your franchise before you do.
If you are being asked to pay for advertising space as part of a recognition scheme, is it a representative scheme, or just another money making campaign? Advertising is advertising and recognition schemes should provide frameworks to benchmark and identify successful businesses in particular categories or sectors. The assessment process should be transparent and fair for all who engage with it.
If you are participating in a programme that involves judges it would be wise to know who they are, if they are credible and importantly that there is no conflict of interest. Do they have industry longevity, breadth of experience and depth of knowledge? And would you trust them with your confidential company information? In addition – and it’s a shame we have to mention it – but does the judging process mentioned actually exist?
What are the entry criteria? Is the information you are being asked to provide sufficient for an external party to make a judgement on your business? And if not how would a cross-entry analysis take place? This may seem simple but unfortunately there are examples of franchisors still in their infancy utilising promotional platforms to promote themselves as industry leaders when they have not yet built solid foundations. As we know franchising is a slow and steady race, quick wins are costly and industry recognition that strengthens a brand’s marketplace proposition should be earned.
Franchising is a diverse sector and for that reason a credible programme should provide a clear outline of criteria along with any formal supporting evidence required to enable a fair judging process. During the process you should have ample opportunity to share your brand and story and there should be plenty of mechanisms to gather data and insights from the process that will prove beneficial to any supporting PR campaign.
The Return on Investment
You have submitted your entry, been shortlisted, possibly attended a finalist presentation and are about to enjoy a wonderful ceremony where you receive your award. That’s all very nice but what happens next? It can be resource heavy to produce a compelling entry that will capture the attention of judges and see you reach the top spot. For that you should benefit from an award that can set you apart from competition in the industry, is a proposition-strengthening tool in the market place and provides you an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your network. You should engage in a post-PR campaign that facilitates exposure you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to achieve.
The bfa HSBC Franchise Awards 2018 is taking place on 28th June. The Franchisee entry deadline is Friday 30th March. To attend the industry’s prestigious award ceremony contact the bfa on 01235 820470 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org