The strategic advantage of entering industry competitions: A guide for branding agencies

18 min read

The strategic advantage of entering industry competitions: A guide for branding agencies

Why do branding agencies enter competitions?

For branding agencies, there are a number of benefits to entering industry competitions that go beyond simply winning an award. Such accolades can significantly enhance an agency’s credibility and visibility within the industry, and act as a testament to its creative prowess and strategic effectiveness. Winning prestigious awards can be a pivotal moment, marking a turning point in an agency’s growth trajectory by attracting the attention of both industry peers and potential clients.

However, the real value of entering these competitions lies in how effectively an agency can leverage the potential of such recognition. It is essential to view participation in industry competitions as a long-term investment. While entry fees and the time required to prepare submissions can be significant, the long-term benefits often outweigh these initial costs. These include increased brand awareness, enhanced reputation and potential new business opportunities.

How to prepare for industry competitions: Best practices

Before you decide to enter a competition, it’s important to understand what you’re trying to achieve. Do you want to increase your brand’s visibility within the industry, or are you focused on winning new business? Do you want to highlight your agency’s creative capabilities, or are you more interested in showcasing the business results your solutions have delivered for clients? The answers to these questions will help you choose the right competition to enter, as different competitions emphasise different aspects such as business results, creativity or process excellence.

Once you’ve identified your goals and chosen an appropriate competition, the next step is to select the project that best meets the competition’s criteria. Analysing past winners can provide valuable insights into what the judges are looking for. Finally, it is crucial to prepare a compelling presentation of your project. This presentation should be both visually appealing and tell a compelling story that effectively communicates the unique aspects and successes of your project.

Key industry competitions for branding agencies

There are numerous industry competitions, many of which are paid, that offer opportunities for both implemented and conceptual projects. When selecting a competition, it’s important to consider the cost of entry and any additional costs associated with being a winner, such as purchasing award packages. As industry competitions are often profit-driven, a strategic and conscious approach is required to ensure the investment is worthwhile.

Some of the most renowned competitions that focus on aesthetics, creativity, and innovation include:

  • Red Dot Design Award
  • iF Design Award
  • European Design Awards (Ed Awards)
  • The Dieline Awards
  • D&AD Awards

On the other hand, competitions that place greater emphasis on the business outcomes of design projects include:

  • Effie Awards
  • Transform Awards

As well as providing a platform to showcase your agency’s capabilities, these competitions are powerful tools for networking and establishing your agency as a leader in the field. For example, Admind’s own success in winning a Transform Award has significantly raised its profile and demonstrated the tangible benefits of such achievements.


Entering the industry competitions is a strategic move that can yield significant long-term benefits for branding agencies. By clearly defining your objectives, selecting the right competitions and carefully preparing your entries, you can maximise the return on this investment. Winning an award is not just about the accolade itself, but about using the recognition to build your brand’s reputation and open doors to new opportunities. 

Admind has received over 30 prestigious awards for its diverse projects, including the Transform Awards and the Red Dot Awards. While awards are not the ultimate goal, they can be also a great source of satisfaction for employees and a source of pride for clients. Engage thoughtfully with the awards process and you will find that the rewards go far beyond the trophy.

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