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And the Winner is …

By: Alisa Marie Beyer
Posted: March 3, 2010, from the March 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Although typically not as complicated as industry awards, the submission process for editorial beauty awards, nevertheless, still requires thought and commitment in order to make the best impression upon beauty editors, many of whom are in the enviable position of trying and testing nearly every new beauty product that hits the market. Submission deadlines may be firm or accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year; often, products are only eligible for entry in the year they were launched. It may be necessary to send sample products and photos, and as with peer awards, reaching out to contacts at each magazine for information and input on the award’s process is key to creating a winning entry.

Reader Reactions

Of all beauty awards that are available (and there are a lot), the most interactive (and some might even say fun) are those that involve consumer participation, such as Sephora “Best of” awards or reader-voted “best of beauty” awards sponsored through magazines such as Glamour and Self. These awards, typically bestowed each year, recognize hundreds of beauty products in dozens of categories, some of which are particular to the publication (such as natural or organic) and some of which may speak to the retail environment (best-selling lip gloss or eye shadow). Like editorial awards, reader voted awards are a great way for a brand to gain consumer exposure and appreciation. Not only will the brand be featured on the Web sites of the magazine or retailer as a winner, many of these awards also carry a seal of recognition that may then be used on packaging and marketing materials.

Not surprisingly, reader-voted awards are very appealing to consumers. The accessibility of these awards, coupled with the fact that ordinary people are the judges (as opposed to beauty executives or editors) makes winning this type of award particularly beneficial to a brand. As consumers consider their discretionary spending more and more carefully, they are seeking reasons to believe in a brand, and a reader-bestowed “best of beauty” award is just such a reason.

Best in Show

No matter the bestowing body, every brand should be striving toward winning accolades. They create instant consumer appeal, provide the brand with valuable (and perhaps unforeseen) outlets for growth and, let’s face it, they are fun to win. Step up to the podium and get your brand ready to accept not just one, but many awards with a strategy that includes outreach, information and action.

Alisa Marie Beyer is the founder and creative director of The Benchmarking Company (TBC), a global beauty consulting firm offering business, strategy, consumer intelligence and branding. As publishers of the “must-read” Pink Report and WomenTrends, TBC keeps its fingers on the pulse of the industry and offers unparalleled consumer insights and intelligence. E-mail: alisa@benchmarkingco.com; www.benchmarkingco.com