Award Entry Tip #1: Define Your Winning Edge

Find Your Key Differentiators

Before you start drafting your award entry, you will want to define your key differentiators - what key strengths, innovations, or impacts sets your company apart from competitors in your industry? These should align closely with your core value proposition. Quantify your differentiation through metrics and KPIs that showcase tangible outcomes aligned to your key messages.

For example, if a core differentiation is customer satisfaction, identify metrics like your net promoter score trends over time, customer retention and repeat purchase rates, or customer satisfaction survey results. If thought leadership and innovation is a key message, quantify the business impact of your innovations through metrics like new product sales or customers acquired through those innovations.

Quantify Impact with Supporting Metrics

Align your identified metrics and proof points directly to the award criteria to showcase how your strengths map to what the judges are analyzing. Reference major milestones, launches, campaigns, or partnerships and dig deeper into why these mattered - what business or customer needs did they meet? How did they propel your brand forward compared to competitors?

Connect the Dots

The most compelling entries effectively connect these dots to reveal the underlying narrative of how the company strategically achieved outcomes that merit industry recognition. Quantify how those outcomes delivered superior value to customers and set your brand apart. By defining and showcasing your unique attributes aligned to award criteria, you provide a fact-based, high-impact rationale for why your entry deserves to win.

Here is a checklist of potential differentiating attributes to highlight in an awards entry:

  • Innovation - Showcase specific products, services, or technologies that were first-to-market or disruptive in your industry. Include metrics on sales, adoption rates, and new customers acquired through these innovations.

  • Growth - Spotlight multi-year revenue, profit, and market share growth trends. Feature specific divisions, products, or regions driving growth. Show benchmarks versus competitors.

  • Impact & Reach - Quantify total customers and share growth over time. Detail expansion into new customer segments or geographic regions. Reference major partnership or integration milestones that expanded reach.

  • Customer Love - Show rising NPS scores and customer satisfaction over time. Feature testimonials and case studies from loyal, long-term clients. Reference customer retention and repeat purchase rates.

  • Talent Magnet - Showcase workplace and leadership awards won. Feature ratings on employer review sites like Glassdoor. Highlight adoption of progressive policies and benefits that attract talent.

  • Strategic Partnerships - Detail major partnerships formed with industry leaders, startups or research institutions. Quantify reach, customers or revenue gained through these collaborative growth catalysts.

  • Quality & Performance - Show benchmarks versus competitors on safety, quality, outcomes-based performance, or audits/certifications achieved.

  • CSR & Sustainability - Feature ESG goal progress including emissions, waste, water reduction and volunteer hours. Showcase green product or climate innovations.

  • R&D Leadership - Demonstrate commitment to innovation through R&D spending benchmarks and new patents secured.

  • Thought Leadership - Reference total media impressions and features secured in major publications. Highlight speaking sessions given at top industry conferences.

  • ROI Focus - Show initiative cost savings and efficiency gains delivered through process improvements or technology implementations.

  • Stock Performance - Feature investor returns over time. Highlight analyst praise and positive market response to strategic moves.

The more you can quantify results and impact, the stronger your case for winning an industry award. Identify the 3-5 most compelling differentiators for your brand that align to the award criteria and then weave them into a compelling, differentiated story that showcases your success. For each section of the award entry form, you will want to incorporate these key points of differentiation to show why you deserve the win!