Winning awards with your products can seem like something just the big players do. Thankfully, this isn’t the case.
We talk to Mel Driver from Embalm Skincare who has won a rack full of awards for her natural skin care range, to find out how to win awards with smaller brands.
Just to get us started, do you mind telling us a little bit about yourself.
Sure! About 10 years ago, I had an allergic reaction to a synthetic skincare product even though I didn’t have any known allergies. It was a big shock to me and got me started researching, wondering why that might have happened. I discovered that a lot of the ingredients going into the products I was using were also used in garage degreaser, brake fluid and other skin-unrelated products — not something I would want on my skin! So I decided to launch my own, 100% natural skin care brand with the purpose of helping people feel safe about what they are putting on their skin is not harmful.
How did you end up winning your first product award?
It was actually within the first couple of years of running the business. I entered one of my products into the Nature & Health Magazine award in 2016 and I won! It gave me such a buzz to know that my product was recognised as being great quality and I’ve kept applying since, winning in 2016, 2017 and 2018. I apply to awards each year and they keep coming.
Why did you apply?
To be honest, it wasn’t really about getting exposure for the brand. I actually just wanted the confirmation and reassurance that I wasn’t the only one thinking my products are great. And it still feels great being recognised, even after winning 27 awards.
How did it change your business?
Awards do help with generating more exposure and sales. It also gives me a story to tell, so I do a press release about it. Here in Tasmania I have received a lot of great support from local newspapers which has been lovely, and it’s really great to receive support from the local community. I truly appreciate it.
What would you say to people who are thinking about applying for some awards but not feeling confident about their products?
Definitely give it a shot. The thing is, if you don’t win nobody will know about it! But you can’t win unless you try.
If you don’t win after you enter, just take that feedback on board and keep working on your products and keep trying. But also, just because you don’t win one award, doesn’t mean you won’t win another or in a different category.
There are so many different awards, local, national and international, there are endless opportunities so definitely look around.
How should people go about applying? Do you have any tips?
First, make sure that the products are actually aligned with the awards themselves. You have to think about whether your product fits with the category.
Otherwise, you don’t really need to prepare much else. Sometimes they will ask for you to send up to 10 products to different addresses (especially during Covid19) and depending on the number of judges, so just be aware of that.
Some awards are free to enter, and others have very high prices. You will have to choose which ones you feel are worth it. Sometimes a more expensive award may be worth entering for the credit that comes along with winning a really great award.
Don’t forget to do a press release once you win!