Aberdeen Standard Investments - Winner of Marketing and Innovation Award - Campaign Innovation
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How to write an award-winning entry for finance brands

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Go for gold

Awards aren’t just an exercise of vanity or an opportunity to get a gold star for your efforts. An award is an opportunity to get press and win trust. And these are two things a finance brand could otherwise spend a lot of time, money and effort on.

Here, we take you through the benefits of winning — and how to write an entry the judges won’t be able to ignore.

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Breaking news

If there’s one sure-fire way of fast-tracking brand awareness, it’s making your brand newsworthy. Just ask Taylor Swift. Or Australian bank ANZ. Or Barclays in the UK.

Win an award and you’re instantly a subject for a press release that’s likely to make journos sit up and take notice. In April 2020, Canada-based digital bank EQ featured in Yahoo Finance after winning Celent’s 2020 Model Bank Award for Banking in the Cloud, and US-based bank JP Morgan appeared in Global Finance after being named the World’s Best Investment Bank 2020.

Before that, in March, UK-based digital challenger bank Starling made numerous headlines after winning Best British Bank 2020.

Demonstrating trustworthiness

As the old adage goes, ‘Self-praise is no recommendation’. Promoting your trustworthiness through smart (and, of course, humble) finance content marketing is definitely effective.

As the old adage goes, ‘Self-praise is no recommendation’.

But, there’s no substitute for getting someone else to blow your trumpet for you. And an award is just that — whether endowed by a respected institution or the vote of the people. One brand that recognises this is Australian credit provider MoneyMe. Its About Us page displays a simple but eye-catching string of logos titled, ‘But don’t just trust us! Here is a small handful of our awards and recognition’. [Full disclosure – MoneyMe is a client of The Dubs].

How to write an award-winning entry

When writing award entries, many brands make the mistake of regurgitating corporate messages or simply singing their own praises. It’s important not to fall so in love with your product or service that you neglect to sell it thoroughly to the judges.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Focus on what’s unique. Competition for finance awards is intense, so you must prove why you’re miles ahead of the rest — and key to that is your one-of-a-kindness. What is it that you do that no one else does? As the International Banker Awards assert, ‘A good bank is defined by its differences. It will not be exactly the same as the other because it will be shaped by the needs and demands of its own unique customers.’
  2. Show the how, not just the what. If you’re aiming for a sustainability award, show how your company demonstrates its commitment to the environment in its everyday operations — not just in a token product or service. Ideally, whatever you’re spruiking should be in the DNA of your business.
    For example, Germany’s Karlsruhe Award for Best Innovation in Sustainable Financial Products and Services seeks ‘innovative approaches in embedding sustainability in lending and/or deposit products and other financial services that advance the transformation to low carbon and sustainable economy.’
  3. Prove your claims. It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of merely describing your brilliance. Back up your assertions with hard evidence, be it customers’ testimonials or financial reports. Consider Australia’s 2020 Mozo Expert Choice Awards for Home Loans, for which the judges applied a strict methodology to determine which loan offered the lowest cost in various categories.
  4. Demonstrate that you serve your customers, first and foremost. Most awards aren’t about you; they’re about how well you serve your customers. And many, like the British Bank Awards, are determined entirely by popular vote.
  5. Read (and re-read) the criteria. This might sound obvious, but it’s easy to miss. Judges usually receive strict instructions to score according to criteria, and even the best-written entry in the world will get low marks if it doesn’t meet them.

Ready to write an award-winning entry? Our expert writers can help, get in touch.

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The Dubs is the content marketing agency for the financial sector. Get in touch.

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Jasmine Crittenden
Jasmine Crittenden has written extensively for major finance brands including Westpac, BT Financial Group, Suncorp and Aberdeen Standard Investments – across both digital and print. She’s an expert in content that puts the human element in finance marketing, be it connecting with local communities, inspiring millennials to care about super or clarifying the complexities of personal loans.