British industry is awash with awards: for innovation, export achievement, service or product excellence, technological brilliance, environmental friendliness - you name it. But with so many on offer, what's the point of trying to win one? Or, to put it another way, to what use use can you put an award once you've won it?
BTR subsidiary Brook Hansen won a 1996 Queen's Award for Environmental Achievement after developing a range of electric motors of significantly improved efficiency. Rick Robbins, marketing manager for the motors side of the business, believes the ensuing publicity has been worth £100,000 of advertising space. 'It's hard to say what the award might gain in terms of sales, but it's certainly proving a valuable international marketing tool. We wanted to make users more aware of the benefits of these products.
But to achieve that you either require a huge advertising budget or you need to do other things to attract media and buyer attention.' In countries like Germany purchasers are 'increasingly interested in the environmental credentials of suppliers', so the Queen's Award logo on correspondence must be supposed to carry some weight. The company also flies the Queen's Award flag outside the three of its six UK factories that were involved in development of the product. 'Everyone is very proud of the achievement,' he says.