Food & drink and agricultural awards deliver multi-faceted benefits. At the very least, nomination, shortlisting and if you’re lucky, winning, are a great PR opportunity. But in reality, awards are so much more. They extend your network, enable you to test your product or service (getting feedback from experienced stakeholders), help to further develop your product ideas & stimulate improvements and, they help to shape future marketing activities.
Awards get you noticed for the right reasons. They help to build your credibility, get you new listings for your products or drive customers to your on-farm or tourism enterprise. It’sabout being ahead in the market and reassuring customers that they’ve made the right choice. Being part of an award-winning team is also very motivational for colleagues. But you need to make sure the award is relevant to your target market. Consumers, in general, tend to like ‘award badges’.
Once you’ve entered, be prepared to win! Have your plans in place for if you win and ensure you know what the award HQ will be doing. Think about how you will use your ‘winner’ status to sell more products, win new customers or promote your enterprise to a wider audience. Ensure you have quality photos ready for your social media channels and copy ready to be tweaked and shared. Add award branding to your product,venue, website, promotional literature and let your customers know. Failing to plan will mean lost opportunities. Have the photography ready, draft the press release, list your media targets & contact details, and draft letters to key customers and potential stakeholders. Take advantage of the networking opportunity, speak to people, and listen – you’ll get valuable feedback on lots of business-critical things. Getting known for the right reasons really helps.
As soon as possible after the announcement, share your news with the media, contact your customer base and keystakeholders. Shout about your win! Take award certificatesto shows, display them in your business, have a press cutting book for visitors & a digital version on your website, and use the term ‘award-winning’ in your marketing activities. Be open to beneficial collaborative promotional opportunities with other winners, for example other food & drink businessesor farm enterprises from the same region. Remember your award won’t do you any good if you don’t use it!
So, if you’ve been shortlisted for the Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards think about your next steps, and if you work in Agriculture in Scotland, why not seize the opportunity to enter the Scottish Agriculture Awards 2023… but be quick, the deadlines are just weeks away!