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One of the main questions that ESAO students ask us, whether they are producers or marketers or entrepreneurs, is whether or not it is important that an olive oil is awarded, if the awards are important and to what extent.
Our answer is: YES! Awards are important because they are external recognition of the work made. These external recognitions are really the acknowledgements that potential clients will value, because it is not about you speaking well of your product, but someone external does.
Now, this answer has its nuances.
When it comes to an already consolidated company, we do not need the recognition so much, because we have already achieved it before, we have already shown that we know and produce quality and we do not need to be continuously demonstrating it, because we have already demonstrated it. Now, we cannot be left sluggish and unrecognized for long years, as customers don't like this. Customers want to always be next to brands they are proud of, and winning awards encourages this feeling.
For solid olive oil brands, with a long history and with an interesting portfolio of clients, it may not be essential to achieve the top positions in the main competitions year after year, but alternative years could be presented, for example. The objective of this approach is to stay in the top positions successively but not consecutively, this will make your loyalty more intense to your clients.
Olive Oil awards are therefore not so important for well-established brands, but because they have previously already achieved them and have worked on it.
When we talk about brands that have just been launched on the market or with little experience it is a different thing. Let's see, in these cases, the main points why it is important to be an award-winning olive oil.
When a company goes on the market it is an unknown company and it needs to build its client portfolio, its distributors, its commercial network. When you go out to the market, you realize that you have competitors with products that are very similar to yours. What your extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) needs is to differentiate itself from the rest and this differentiation is only intended to help a potential customer in the purchase decision.
If your olive oil is among the best olive oils in the world, through a contest, you will be able in a certain way to distinguish it and differentiate it from the rest. This is an easy way for the consumer to identify your brand.
The fact of bearing a seal of the best oil in the world will make a distributor, for example, notice you and want to sell your extra virgin olive oil.
Press and media
Press and media will notice you, they will come to you and this will boost your sales. We have experiences of producers who have emptied the tanks due to the fact of having appeared in a certain communication medium, and the reason for having appeared in a communication medium has been thanks to the award in this case of the ESAO Awards.
Related to the previous and important point, being an awarded EVOO is that it allows you to create information and content of great interest to your followers on social networks. We know that social networks are one more marketing channel, we know that they are open to thousands of people. They can be perfectly consumers and buyers of our oil.
Winning an award and being awarded as one of the best oils in the world will allow us to write articles, have images and create spectacular content for our networks and web, and in this way we will reach our followers directly and very forcefully, even it will increase in number of followers since it is powerful news, very given to be shared with the rest of the community.
Seal of quality
The fact that you place yourself in the top positions of a contest, even if you remain as a finalist, is still the best guarantee to demonstrate the quality of your oil. When we work as sales representatives of our brand or our distributors talk about us, your interlocutor may always have questions about your comments or your speech.
When you explain the benefits of your product and its strengths, it is still the company that sells it that is speaking, and this sometimes does not give reliability to our potential buyer, however, if the speech or the explanations that I am giving my brand, they are endorsed and endorsed by a contest, this will open the doors for me and help make my speech more solid.
It is an external jury that is talking about me and my extra virgin olive oil, and that external and independent jury is saying that my oil is one of the best in the world, and this is well understood by my interlocutor, yes that I am "demonstrating" to my potential client that I have a high quality in my oil and that not everyone has this quality, and this is one of the reasons why he should buy my brand and stop buying another.
What you have to keep in mind is that not all contests are worth it.
In olive oil, as in other products, there are countless contests, some very bad, some bad, some mediocre, some good and some very good. The first ones may serve you in the first year, but if you continue and want to bet on the sale, you have to go towards the good ones or the very good ones.
Depending on the contest you present your olive oil, you will grow in reliability for your customers. When you want to reach mass distribution, only good or very good contests will serve you, that is, contests endorsed, with a track record, recognized and organized by prestigious institutions.
In the ESAO Awards Guide of the best oils in the world, for example, you will see that they have the awarded aoves in the three top-level competitions that are considered by ESAO, these are:
- Spanish Food Awards from the Ministry of Agriculture
- Mario Solinas Awards of the International Olive Council
- ESAO Awards of the Olive Oil School of Spain.
In this way, the winners of the three main competitions that endorse the best extra virgin olive oils in the world are collected year after year. The guide has a section on the ESAO Stars, where those oils that manage to win in more than one of the three contests get a star, as well as those brands that repeat a consecutive year in any of the three contests. These stars give us the names of the best EVOOs in the world and in the most reliable way, this being repeating a good position in one of these three competitions.