What Awards Program is Right for your Brand? by @PTPASharon

The "Seal" of Approval

by Sharon Vinderine | Featured Contributor

Consumers are constantly in the market for new products, and faced with so many options, the decision making process is somewhat daunting as many are confused as to where they should begin their search.

They don’t want to risk making a bad purchase, wasting their money and having to go through the decision process all over again. They are likely to turn to online reviews to see what other consumers have to say about the product.

So as a business owner, how do you make your product stand out in the eye’s of the consumer?

One way is through a seal of approval or awards programs.   These are a great way for consumers to know they are getting a product that works. Knowing a product has been approved by “recognized companies” can help simplify the decfision making process of purchases.

A happy ending for you as a business owner and consumer, right?

Except that this isn’t always the case. While there is no shortage of awards programs, how do you know as a business owner what each seal of approval stands for and which is right for you as a brand?

Selecting the right program for your product can have a big impact on the credibility of your brand. Before even considering an award program for your product, you should be made aware of the of the process each program goes through before it gives a product its stamp of approval.

There are a diverse number of ways that awards companies conduct their testing, some being as simple as looking at a photo of a product and giving it a stamp of approval.

Here are a few different ways that products can earn awards:

1. A product is tested in a lab by experts in their field. For example, a cleaning product is being tested by a scientist that has expertise in that field. You’re getting expert results, from a scientific perspective.

2. A photo of a product is shown to a panel of judges and based on the photo and product description, the judges award the product with a seal of approval. There is no hands-on testing of the product to see how it feels, the quality of the product or whether it does what it is supposed to do. This is based on how the packaging looks and the product description alone.

3. The product is put into the hands of families, giving them a period of time in which to use these products in their home in a real life scenario. These families are vetted to ensure the appropriate family is chosen to test the product. For example, a toy meant for children ages 5-8 would not be sent to a family with children above or below that age range. The families then submit their feedback based on their experience with the product and based on the feedback from a variety of families, a Seal of Approval is awarded.

4. A survey is sent out to a group of consumers and they are asked to give feedback on a product. The hope is that they will have tried the product in the past and they are asked if they will repurchase in the future. There is no guarantee that the product was tried out by the consumer before the survey has taken place.

5. Some programs attend conferences or fairs that feature products and will give out an approval based on what they see at each booth. There is limited testing and this kind of testing can be very biased if the judge does not get on well with the product owner or does not like the look of the product.

Before relying on any Seal of Approval for your product, as a business owner, you should take the time to research the individual awards programs and decide which is the best fit for your brand and company values. As a consumer, take the time to understand these programs better so that when you are relying on an award to make your purchasing decision, it is inline with your own standards.

A seal of approval could be considered the next best thing to a word-of-mouth recommendation.

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Founder and CEO, PTPA Media Inc.

Founder and CEO, PTPA Media Inc.

Sharon Vinderine is the Founder of Parent Tested Parent Approved (PTPA), where over 100,000 parents come on a monthly basis to make purchasing decisions for their family.

PTPA is based on the foundation that people want the highest quality products for their families. What better way to ensure that your child is getting the best products than by having fellow parents tests them?

As a leader in her field, Vinderine has been acknowledged by the media as an industry leader and innovator. Vinderine has been recommended as a “top notch Entrepreneur with tremendous smarts”. She has appeared on over 100 morning shows on TV networks including ABC, NBC and the Fox News Network. Vinderine is a contributor on Huffington Post and has been invited to feature PTPA winning products on shows such as The Rachael Ray Show, The Steve Harvey Show, Fox and Friends, WPIX, FOX, Global, and Lang and O’Leary in Toronto.

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