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What Makes a Best of the Best Winner? Part I

What Makes a Best of the Best Winner? Part I

The Best of the Best Marketing Awards will open for submissions in January, so December is the perfect time to gather your entries. As you think ahead about what your company will enter in the 2018 tED magazine’s Best of the Best Competition, we thought it might be helpful to look back at last year’s winners. In this first installment of “What makes a BOB winner?” we feature Allied Electronics.

The strategy statement is the first part of the entry that judges review. We’re looking for relevant research, ambitious goals, specific objectives, focused strategies, clearly defined target audiences, and well-executed tactics. And that’s just what Allied Electronics did in these two well-planned and well-executed entries.

Rebranding with “Everything Under Control”

Research based and strategy focused.
Submitted in the Brand Awareness category, Allied’s “Everything Under Control” rebranding was designed to let employees and customers know that Allied was staking their claim in automation and control. Allied’s primary and secondary research revealed that this represented a unique opportunity for growth with their target audience of small- to medium-sized OEMs, machine and panel builders, and MROs.

Comprehensively executed.
Allied first rolled out the new brand with employees; this was key to getting buy-in and making everyone in the company aware of the company’s new positioning. Employees were even asked to complete a campaign-themed postcard outlining how they could personally support the new brand promise and values.

And speaking of the campaign theme, Allied did an excellent job of incorporating it throughout all materials. According to Best of the Best judge Shad Thomas, “They used every conceivable vehicle for communicating. They’ve got print in various forms: signage, posters, ads, flier line card. Then the digital: banners, tradeshow banners. They also included dimensionals: cups, pens, digital ads. They covered the electronic front as well with digital ads and PowerPoint.”

Clever and customer-focused. 
The theme, “everything under control” speaks both literally and figuratively to customers. It says, “You can get everything you need for your automation and control systems,” but also, “Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.” This double entendre puts customers at ease and inspires confidence in Allied Electronics and their knowledge of the customer’s business.

Allied Expo Private Trade Show/Sales Meeting

Every two years, Allied hosts a private trade show and sales meeting for the people who drive the business and lead the company. During the previous year, both Allied and its suppliers had struggled to meet sales forecasts. So, the theme for Expo 2016 needed to be forward thinking and encouraging, with a focus on reworking the approach for a successful future. the future.

“Highly” Targeted
Allied identified those people with the position and know-how to truly grow the business­—including their (internal) sales leaders and (external) key suppliers. “I think it was interesting that they targeted upper level decision makers in management, versus just every manager or branch manager,” commented Best of the Best Judge Henry Bergson. “I like that it was based on strategic thinking and focused on management. It was different from what we normally see.”

Forward focused.
Coming off a challenging year, Allied wanted to drive conversation that would help participants reimagine and rethink the future. Specifically, participants were prompted to come up with ideas to grow Allied Electronics’ business. This was a unique departure from the these traditionally product-focused events.

Custom Theme.
Allied developed a positive and inspiring theme specifically for Expo 2016. The “rethink, recharge, reimagine” theme across was executed across all event materials including emails, banners, displays, flyers, notepads, napkins and even the dinner menu. Judge Jan Niehaus commented, “Visually, I think it’s beautiful, cohesive, and engaging.”
Submissions open soon!

The 2018 tED magazine Best of the Best Competition will open for submissions on Monday, January 22 and close on Friday, March 2, 2018. So start collecting your best campaigns, ads, literature, selling tools, product launches, PR efforts, videos and other marketing efforts—and work on those strategy statements.



Olson is a marketing and public relations consultant, trainer/coach, and host of a monthly podcast called Market Boldly on iTunes and Google Play. She has written for tED magazine’s print edition since 2005, judged tED magazine’s Best of the Best Competition since 2006, and also writes for the new lightEDmag.com and lightED Weekly. She can be reached at Katrina@katrinaolson.com or via her website at katrinaolson.com.

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