Giving Out Awards as a Business Model

A Certificate of Authenticity with a Coin Set
Image via Wikipedia

As part of being a business model aficionado I enjoy learning how companies make money (hint: it isn’t always obvious). One interesting model that I don’t think people pay too much attention to is that of giving out awards as a money making strategy. Here are a few examples:

  • The Who’s Who books where you “win” recognition for being outstanding at what you do only to be hit up for $50 for each book you want with your information (I almost fell for this in high school)
  • Best Places to Work awards (we’re always finalists but have yet to win) where the company giving out the awards makes money off the HR consulting firm that administers the survey and then has the applying company pay if they want to see the results
  • Fastest Growing Company awards (we’ve won a couple of these) where the award winners are invited to a fancy dinner or multi-day conference, and have to pay the standard event fees, becoming a significant money maker for the company that gives out the award

I think giving out awards as part of a business model is interesting and should be considered for certain types of companies. For many web companies it doesn’t make sense but it is a successful avenue for many traditional companies.

What else? What are some other examples of awards as business models?

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