Awards are given to employees to mark an impressive achievement. In this article we share 10 Ways to Incorporate Logos and Branding into Company Awards.
While employees are often awarded after a time-based milestone is reached, consistent recognition can provide a whole host of benefits to your organization. However, said recognition must be meaningful to work.
A poorly constructed, dollar-store trophy sends the wrong message, but a personalized and unique award can reflect the event’s importance. But no award is complete without branding.
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The Importance of Branding and Logos
Branding is often reduced to its aesthetic components, but your brand is more than just your visual identity. Your brand is meant to be a true representation of who you are as a business.
Why Should You Create a Brand?
Branding can change how people see your brand, and that’s incredibly important. A startup’s reputation builds whether you do something about it or not. However, you can take control of the reins and navigate your course. You can set your customer’s expectations from day one.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to branding, a great business brand can:
- Increase business value, influence, price premium, and mindshare.
- Generate new customers (if your brand is associated with dependability).
- Improve employee satisfaction and pride, which attracts quality talent.
- Create trust in a highly crowded market, helping you stand out.
- Keep your products and services at the front of your customer’s minds.
Why Should You Use a Logo?
No company can control the response their brand will receive. They can only steer them in the right direction. On the other hand, our brains are hardwired to memorize new shapes. Most of our ancestors share the same fear of pointy shapes or long objects because they lead to pain.
But our ability to recognize patterns isn’t all negative. We understand that green is associated with health and growth because we connect the color with nature, trees, plant life, and fertility.
For these reasons, we can easily recall a brand thanks to its logo. A brand mark is only a picture, but if I showed you an image of a golden “M,” you’d immediately think of Mcdonald’s. It’s the same for letter marks (the “MTV” music television logo) or emblems (the UPS emblem).
Why Branding is Necessary for Corporate Awards
Branding is about promoting yourself to the customer, so why should you brand something intended for your employees? Actually, custom awards are an extension of your company.
Whether you’re choosing from a wide selection of glass awards made from your company logo or selecting a certificate template that presents your emblem in full color, both examples can be used to boost brand awareness. This is true even if your employee never promotes the award.
However, you’ll get the most out of your brand if they do. You can plan a photo-op and post the awards and their winners on your website and social media. Or, you could record the ceremony.
By placing your brand on corporate awards, you’re able to:
- Show your current employees that you’re proud of their success.
- Promote to future candidates that your organization cares about its employees.
- Improve the general perception of your brand for your clients and stakeholders.
- Draw in cold prospects, as it increases the chance of a positive response.
- Proves credibility to clients and leads, especially if the ceremony looks professional.
Putting brand markers, like your logo, on your corporate awards isn’t a waste of time. Instead, it presents a new opportunity to promote your business and impress your employees and clients.
How to Incorporate Logos and Branding into Company Awards
The importance of branding can’t be understated. To market your business, brand, and logo for your awards, consider implementing the following creative ideas and branding characteristics.
1. Simple Simplicity
Creating a unique award from scratch can be expensive. While you should still aim to make a high-quality award, low-cash flow startups should choose a stock option to save on costs.
For example, a crystal square, circle, or triangle award will look really classy and expensive. You can add your logo in the center of the award in either white or black ink. Alternatively, try a font that’s simple to etch with a machine. Don’t add any other text but the winner’s name and date.
2. Logo Variations
There’s no hard and fast rule for designing the perfect logo, but that just leaves the door open to creativity and multiple logo variations. Regardless of how the award is made, you’re probably going to place your logo somewhere on its face, as this maximizes your brand recognition.
Here are a few logo types you could add to your award:
- Brand Mark: A symbol associated with the brand.
- Word Mark: A stylized version of the brand’s name.
- Letter Mark: An abbreviation used for longer brand names.
- Combo Mark: A brand’s name plus additional artwork.
- Emblem: Includes all of the above as an emblem.
You could also change the logo’s color or font choice if it doesn’t work with the award. For example, if your logo is blue but the award is also blue, change the logo to black instead.
3. Company Colors
Some brands are instantly recognizable, thanks to their color pallet. Google and Microsoft use the same colors in their logos, but it’s the way they’re used that sets them apart. Brands like Coca-Cola created their own color, “Coca-Cola Red,” by combining three shades of red.
You don’t have to invent a new shade or use 4 or more colors to be associated with a certain hue. Plenty of famous brands use only 2 colors for their branding, like Expedia and Airbnb.
Instead of using a crystal award, find a company that can color their glass or acrylic. You can add your company colors to the entire piece or in select areas. You could even string LED lights inside the award. This will give your trophy some utility beyond a beautiful desk accessory.
4. Logo Recreation
Instead of adding the logo somewhere on the award, consider turning the entire piece into the logo instead. BMW and Tempest ESports do this often because their logos are recognizable in their subsequent industries. However, lesser-known startups should also include their full name.
5. Product Replica
Companies tend to go a little wild when they’re making awards based on their products and services. One example that comes to mind is an award created for MGM International for a boxing match. The designer literally created a mini-boxing ring out of crystal, glass, and rope.
Deathwish Coffee, Pop-Tarts, and Carnival Cruise Ships have all made mini product replicas for their award shows. These awards work really well for brand exposure, even if the person seeing the trophy has never heard of your business. Onlookers will immediately know what you do.
6. Building Replica
Unless your building is unique or you run a chain of luxury hotels, an award shaped like your company may not be the best choice for marketing. With that said, you can still use this idea for your startup if you use other recognizable markers, like your brand colors or written logo.
7. Company Values
Having a core set of company values makes it easier for your company to make decisions and collaborate on projects. If creating a business is similar to building a community, then you’ll want to hire people who identify with your vision and can communicate these principles to clients.
If you’re running an employee recognition program and you’re awarding someone for said program, consider adding your core value across the trophy. It’ll remind them of why they won.
A value award is another great way to market the type of employee you’re looking for, provided they’re easy to read. If you want to use this concept, try to make your core value the biggest word on the award. Or, you can repeat your value multiple times across a logo-shaped piece.
8. Founding Members
Your company wouldn’t be what it is today without your founding members, so pay homage to them while you’re awarding your current employees. You can add a side view or a drawing of the person on your trophy or turn a founding member into a figurine and place it on the award.
9. Wearable/Usable Art
While awards can be beautiful, they often take up a lot of space on our desks and, eventually, the landfill. Awards are only sentimental to the people who receive them, but it doesn’t have to be that way. By turning your award into wearable or usable art, you’re giving them a second life.
McDonald’s offered an award that looked like a french fry box. It’s open at the top and hallowed on the inside, so winners can place their pens or nicknacks inside. If you’re a beauty company, you could offer a lipstick tray award that can store real lipsticks/lipstick tubes on top or inside.
10. Digital QR Codes
A QR code can’t be used to promote your brand visually. You can’t customize a QR code’s color or shape. However, they’re useful at linking onlookers to specific pages or branding material.
Several companies have cleverly used QR codes to promote diversity. For example, your code could link to the site’s certification online in multiple languages or as an audio file. Or, you could create a braille version of the document that someone could print out and read themselves.
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