Anyone who has ever queried whether to take part in an awards programme, will at some point or another wonder, ‘Is the experience worth it’, or ‘What’s in it for me’? Some may have gone in search of the answer for themselves, finding itemised lists explaining how taking part in award programmes: help generate brand awareness, are important to benchmarking, assist with recruitment and boost employee morale.
However, the active thinker will still wonder how this can be. Why are awards so important to the success of a business and how can the simple act of entering an award programme generate such positive results? The answer lies in the psychology of the human brain.
The simple fact is, everyone enjoys praise, from monarchs, to politicians, from government agencies to private organisations, we all crave validation and purely being nominated for an award provides an endorsement to the value of the work done or services offered. The affirmation, provided by a nomination, reflects that a third party has recognised the efforts of the nominated party and believes them to be worthy of attention which manifests a certain amount of social prestige for said party. For many, purely being nominated is good enough or so they may say.
Jane Henderson, one of the Directors of AI Global Media, a B2B digital media group who hosts a variety of business award programmes such as: LUX Global Excellence Awards 2020 on LUX Life, North American Business Awards 2020 on New World Report and UK Enterprise 2020 on UK SME News, had this to say with regards to power of awards, ‘Awards offer a stamp of quality and when harnessed well, can do remarkable things for your brand. AI has never been consumed with the big celebratory pat on the back, we’ve always been focused on maximising the exposure of that award, no matter whether there is a marketing budget in place or not.’
At the root of all awards lies competition. Competition builds character and an award has little value if there is only one nominee. Something has little worth if it has not been won through competition since the act of competing has been humanities way of realising potential for eons. Economists will state that competition is necessary for productive and effective markets and award programmes provide an important platform for social comparison as they allow for the victor to rise above the rest in a fair competition.
Although part of human nature is to root for the underdog, the masses will still gravitate to the winners. Those who have achieved the most accolades are aspirational; they teach us how to persevere in the face of adversity and make the most of what they have. For many, winning an award is just a step in the right direction as a quantifiable measure of success. Jane Henderson reflected on the following, from her experience in the B2B awards industry, ‘Importantly for us at AI, is that it is not just about the heavyweights, part of our philosophy is to lift the lid on the booming SME market globally; we are regularly stunned at their innovations and accomplishments.’
In some instances, it may lead to promotions, in many instances it will help to attract new customers and will assist in the recruitment of the most talented potential colleagues – after all winners attract winners. We need only look at which sports organisations attract the most talented sporting personalities for affirmation of this fact.
Ultimately, Awards which are fair are necessary in achieving social validation for an entity or individual. They are intrinsic to the development of skills and the cultivation of self-worth and it is not just the nominees who get something from the process, as is evident from another of Jane’s remarks, ‘The AI team is passionate about highlighting success and we love working with nominees across a broad range of sectors. It is a truly rewarding business to be in and we take huge enjoyment in awarding businesses via our suite of industry-specific brands.’
Should a business, or person, wish to promote themselves, awards are an excellent medium to use in such endeavours and will assist in attracting the attention from the most desirable of candidates.
As the saying goes, ‘to the victor belong the spoils’.