Is it worth competing for Service Industry Awards?

Service industry awards hold the promise of providing tangible business benefit including recognition, awareness and a healthy self-assessment from the application process. But, are service industry awards worth the effort?

The Pros

Service industry awards hold the promise of providing tangible business benefit including recognition, awareness and a healthy self-assessment from the application process.  Consider the following pros.

  • Award Winning – Being able to claim award winning service can enhance your marketing message, especially if your top competitors cannot make the same claim.
  • Clarify External Messaging – The process of completing an application often requires a review of current capabilities, accomplishments, innovations and strengths. Once the application is complete you have developed and revised the key points you need to communicate externally.
  • Self-Assessment –The application process often provides a healthy self-assessment of current performance and practices. An honest self-assessment will reveal both strengths and weaknesses.

The Cons

As with most things there is a downside to participating in industry awards.  The risk of losing the time invested to participate, and the potential for a disappointing return from the effort.  Consider the Cons when considering participation in awards programs.

  • Diluted Claims – The phrase “Award-wining” has become diluted by the claim of so many companies that they have won awards. Not all awards are created equal, nor are they all earned under the same conditions and timeframe. The often-used phrase “award winning” can appear with little explanation or substantiation.
  • Customer Impact – If you win an award will your customers and prospects even notice. The effectiveness of an award is directly related to the brand equity of the award or body presenting the award. Before participating in an awards program ask your customers and your sales team if it matters.
  • Winner or Loser – If you don’t win are you a loser? Some recognition programs publish both winners and the losers. If you do not have a high degree of confidence of winning are you willing to be classified as a runner up to your top competitor, or even worse labeled as a loser?
  • Time and Effort – Any award worth winning is going to require time and effort to develop a complete and compelling application. Be prepared to do it right.
  • Repeat Performance – Once you win, you are under pressure to continue to win.


Awards programs can offer sales and marketing benefit as well as an opportunity for self-assessment.  Consider the pros and cons outlined above to determine if it is worth your time and effort to participate.  When it comes to awards more is not necessarily better.  It is best to choose the awards that will provide the most benefit.  Consider the following recommendations:

  • Choose Wisely – Identify awards programs that are likely to carry weight with your customers.
  • Do Your Homework – Understand the judging criteria and the way that results will be published – win or lose.
  • Be Ready to Win – Be reasonably sure you have a chance to win. Do not enter an awards program just to see what will happen. Understand who the other likely participants will be and determine if you are ready to beat them.
  • Do it Right – Be prepared to invest the time and effort to submit a high-quality application.

Ready to Compete?

Are you thinking about competing for a service industry award?  Are you looking for the right program or category?

Give me a call, I can help.  I have written many winning award applications and judged numerous awards programs.

Tom Sweeny

CEO | ServiceXRG

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