Top tips for applying to the Blue Patch sustainable business awards + more

The Blue Patch Awards are now in their 4th year.

When we launched in 2016, there were very few awards for the ethical and sustainable sector. Subsequent years, however, brought an influx of awards specifically targeted towards sustainable and ethical businesses, and especially small businesses. We think this is wonderful!

Why apply to business awards?

Business awards increase publicity. Winning, or even being shortlisted brings brand recognition – you are an award winning business! Plus you can get your hands on cool marketing material to share. Awards logos on products, in email, on your website and social media? People notice that stuff.

You meet industry leaders, successful professionals and even new friends to collaborate or brainstorm with to improve your business. You can also align your brand with the award giving body, as well as other award-winning businesses. Another great thing is that you can benchmark your brand against similar brands, which will allow you to focus on the things that really do work for you.

How to apply

So you’ve decided to apply for an award. Brilliant! That’s the first step. We’ve put together a list of things to do to maximise your chances to get through to the next stage.

Curious? Read on.

Some rules are meant to be followed

Read the entry rules very carefully. Most of our awards categories are geared towards sustainable British brands that manufacture their products in the UK. One, however, is available to British brands manufacturing anywhere that make an impact in their communities. Make sure you apply for the category/categories that fit your brand best.

Check out the competition

Do your research. All the info about past winners is available on our awards blogs. You’ll see the brands that were shortlisted for each category in past years. Check them out, and see how you match up.

Put on your favourite frock

We want to see the best of your business. What do we ask for? Photos and a few short paragraphs.

Professional photos are best. If not, make sure that you have an amateur with a very good eye taking shots. It only takes a few minutes to frame, crop and straighten, all of which make a world of difference.

Take time with your answers. There is a word limit, so pack in the maximum punch with those statements. A shorter, well written paragraph is much more effective than repetition. Also, tailor your application to the specific award.

Tell us your story

We love a good story. Why you started your brand, what you hope to achieve, where you draw inspiration from, your successes and failures. Inspire us! Tell us who you are and where you’re going. Tell us what’s different about you. Key tip – we’re all about sustainability, so incorporate that into your narrative.

Numbers are your friend

Numbers are the most effective way to prove your case. Employed 2 additional people this year? Saved x amount of clothing from going to landfill? Launched 4 new products in the past six months? Had 5000 people sign up to your campaign? We want to know about it all! It’s such a tangible way to measure impact. Don’t have figures? That’s okay, woo us with your words.

A second look

So you’ve gone through it all, pulled together your materials and your words. Well done. Now before you send it, get someone to take a look at it for you. Someone who knows you, and your business. They’ll catch the silly mistakes and remind you of something you’ve missed. They might even encourage you not to downplay your success – we’re all guilty of that one. Go on. A second pair of eyes is critical!

What happens after you press the big scary button

You’ve gotten through to the end of the form. You’ve pressed send. Big sigh of relief!

What next?

Here’s a few things you could do.

  • Send out a social media post using the awards hashtag #BPatchAwards. 
  • Sign up to our newsletter here. We’ll be sending out more awards related info through it.
  • Connect with us on social media. We love hearing from new friends!
  • Take a look at other similar awards out there. Apply for them if they fit!
  • Collect materials through the year that might help you with further applications.

Preeti is the Marketing Manager at Blue Patch. Born and raised in India, she spent some time in the US, completing a degree in Psychology and Biology, after which she moved to the UK in 2010 to study an MSc in Finance and Management. She can often be found obsessing over her plants, trying to clamp down on an ever-increasing collection of nail polish or exploring and taking photos of random corners of London. The awards are one of her favourite projects and she enjoys looking through all the applications from amazing sustainable businesses each year.