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And the Winner is …
By: Alisa Marie Beyer
Posted: March 3, 2010, from the March 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.
Whether you are a brand new indie beauty cutie, looking to take the industry by storm, or a seasoned veteran with the key to the newest antiaging technology at your fingertips, a beauty award is out there with your brand’s name on it. Industry, consumer and editorial-driven award’s programs for beauty products in the makeup, skin care, hair care and fragrance (prestige and mass) categories are sponsored by nearly every facet of the industry: beauty and fashion magazines; beauty associations; and even major beauty retailers such as Sephora are jumping into the fray, and winners are eagerly anticipated each year.
Three of the most prestigious and well-known types of awards bestowed—peer or industry awards, editorial awards and consumer awards—all offer very achievable opportunities for even the smallest brand to gain industry recognition and walk away a winner.
The cream of all beauty awards are those bestowed by esteemed industry associations such as Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW), Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) and The Fragrance Foundation. Handed out yearly in carefully edited categories, these awards are highly coveted and can bring a wealth of irreplaceable consumer and industry exposure to a brand. Categories are comprehensive, and represent truly superior achievements by a brand—including best newcomer of the year, best marketing innovation and best fragrance of the year. In addition, the entry process is generally well-defined, with specific submission deadlines and requirements.
Unlike editorial or consumer-voted beauty awards, peer-voted awards often require more preparation, planning and strategy to not only win, but to enter, as well. For the venerable CEW Beauty Award, no less than eight months of preparation should be dedicated to entering this contest, starting with the submission of a detailed entry form that includes photos and sample products in the fall, and ending with attendance at the gala CEW Beauty Awards Luncheon in early spring. And that is just one award. Investing the appropriate time and attention to every nuance of the submission process, reaching out to the contacts at each association for any extra information and studying past winners of these awards should all be part of your entry strategy for this caliber of award, and will exponentially help increase your odds of a win.
Favorites of magazines such as Lucky, Allure and Redbook, editorial beauty awards are also popular with consumers. Handed out yearly, this type of award is generally very comprehensive and is bestowed in every basic category of beauty, skin care and hair care such as: best mascara, best SPF, best foot lotion, best hair spray, etc. Intended to help consumers cull through the enormous amount of products that are available, and to recognize truly exceptional contenders in each of these categories, editorial beauty awards are given out after editors (or editorial boards) have tested and tried every product entered into the contest, and winners are then distinguished by a winning seal or label, not to mention free press.