Why food and drink upstarts should be entering award schemes

July 11, 2018, 5:48 pm
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Source: Speciality Food Magazine

Some food and drink awards, if entered in the right spirit, can provide game-changing moments for brands looking to take their next significant step, says Ian Hills, founder of Purple Pilchard. Here, he outlines the merits of a good award initiative

Social media ties: Most awards are aligned with well-oiled social media pushes that can provide a welcome boost to a young brand struggling to find its feet.

Cool by association: Award shortlists and nominations not only enable a brand to look bigger than they actually are but raid friendly forums where there’s scope to rub shoulders with the great and the good of Britain’s bustling fine food and drink movement. These can be step change moments when handy friendships are forged and kindred spirit brands openly exchange top tips and sound counsel.

Look bigger than you are: In a world where bigger marketing budgets so often provide an unhealthy advantage, isn’t it nice to discover a level playing field where every tale of daring-do enjoys a fair hearing.

Connections: I know many brands that have taken their next meaningful step courtesy of an enviable listing or a passionate foodie/celebrity chef observation secured during a prestigious taste panel.

PR soundbite: Success at a worthwhile award can provide the extra stickiness your press release needs to finally be picked up by a notoriously hard-to-please journalist or food and drinks editor.

Looking beyond the bottom line: A good award isn’t swayed simply by a buoyant bottom line. By the very nature of things, a young start-up won’t yet have the bottom line clout to rival its well-heeled peers for a few years, and yet, a well-rounded award will openly acknowledge brands with other redeeming qualities: a bold look; dynamic back story; a striking tone of voice; or a head-turning slither of game-changing innovation.

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