Almost all marketing plans now recognize the importance of integrated branding. While most of the major elements of a marketing mix are included in this, awards are often treated as an afterthought. As a physical, highly visible, long-lasting opportunity for promoting your brand, however, your awards should be viewed as an important compnent of your integrated branding campaign.
Most organizations use their logo as a foundational element in the branding and identity programs. Strong logos can be visual short-hands for consumers to reinforce an organization's brand identity and attributes. Forward-thinking organizations look for every opportunity to use their logo to help build and perpetuate their brand logo. Custom awards provide yet another vehicle to promote a logo, only this time in an engaging, novel, 3D form.
One of the most important aspects of presenting a recognition award is to ensure that it is personalized for the recipient, event or presenting organization (or some combination of all of these). One simple and cost-effective way to personalize your awards and trophies is to incorporate a customized engraving on the base of your awards. This post outlines some of your options for incorporating personalized engravings on your awards.
Brand icons can be one of the most effective design themes for custom sculpture awards. They reinforce, and leverage, all of the brand equity that has been built up over time in these icons. These awards will automatically convey all of the brand attributes associated with the icon upon which they are based. In essence, a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of message connotation is already done.
Any marketing professional will tell you that people don’t just buy products, goods, and services—they buy a brand. And a brand is so much more than the sum of its parts; it’s your company culture, your employees and their attitude, your promises to your consumers, your “personality” as a company. Oftentimes your brand can be summed up in one or two words; Volvo is “safe”, Apple is “cool and simple”, Nike is “athletic” and so forth. Much of what goes into your company’s “brand” is rather intangible, so designing a custom corporate award that is an accurate reflection of that brand is often harder than you might think.
One unique and engaging design feature that can be incorporated into custom awards is the element of movement. Awards with a moveable component are called "kinetic" awards. This movement adds an interactive element to the award, which helps engage the recipient and audience, and amplifies the “wow factor” of the award. This kinetic movement can also support key design themes and objectives associated with the award.
The team at Bennett Awards is very excited to introduce a new non-profit program we’ve sponsored called Recognize Someone (www.recognizesomeone.org). Recognize Someone is a program that helps people recognize someone who has made a positive change in their life, in their community, or in the world as a whole. It's a chance to shine a spotlight on someone's contributions, and share their story with the world.
Our bronze sculpture awards, including both custom awards and pre-designed (stock) recognition awards, are created using the “lost wax” casting process. This time-honored production process has been used for thousands of years with very few changes, even extending into today. While there are many foundries that produce bronze sculpture, achieving high-quality bronze castings is not easy. To do this right is a very lengthy, labor-intensive process that requires the talent and expertise of skilled artisans; it is truly part science and part art.
When we set out to create a new custom cast metal sculpture award (as opposed to a fabricated, glass, wood, or crystal award), one of the initial decisions that need to be made is what metal to use for the award. The two most popular metals for sculpture awards are bronze and pewter.
Both metals are alloys, meaning they are composed of different types of base metals. Both bronze and pewter are primarily composed of cooper and tin. They contain different ratios of these base metals, however, and that is the defining element in their applicability to different types of awards.
Bronze is mostly cooper, and is alloyed with a small amount of tin. Pewter, conversely, is mostly tin, and is alloyed with a small amount of cooper. These ratios mean that bronze is a heaver, denser metal, while pewter is a lighter, softer metal.
Additionally, the casting process is more complex for bronze than pewter, and this is one of the key reasons why bronze sculptures tend to be more expensive to produce than pewter sculptures. This is explained in more detail here: Award Production.
The key differences in the metals, and their influence on their appropriateness for specific awards, is outlined below:
The additional steps in the bronze casting process usually result in a higher price for bronze awards than for pewter awards.
Since bronze is a harder metal, it tends to be more durable than pewter. If an award is going to be exposed to a lot of “wear and tear”, bronze may be the best choice. If not, pewter would offer a sufficient degree of durability for the vast majority of cases.
Since bronze is a harder metal, it can be “finished” (grinded and buffed) to a greater degree. This means that bronze may be a better choice for award designs that feature sharp edges and precise geometric shapes. Pewter, as a softer metal, may be a better choice for designs that are “softer” and more organic.Size
For very large sculpture awards, bronze works best. The size limit for single-piece castings (meaning no reassembly is required after casting) is larger for bronze than pewter. For really large awards that must be case in multiple pieces then reassembled, bronze is an easier material to weld back together and finish with no degradation to the original design.
Color And Finish
Both metals lend themselves to different colors and finishes. The natural color of cast pewter is a lustrous silvery grey. The natural color of cast bronze is a coppery brown. Pewter can be painted or plated in a variety of metals, most often silver or gold, or finished to its natural brushed pewter color. Bronze can be polished until it is shiny and gold in color, or colored via patina, which can create a broad spectrum of colors and patterns.
When we embark on a custom awards project, the more detailed information we can collect from the client on their design goals and objectives, the better chance we have of delivering on their needs. Mood boards, brand boards, and branding guideline documents can all be used as effective vehicles for helping to establish the overall design direction at the outset of a custom awards project.