Applicants’ guide to SLIM Brand Excellence

With the call for submissions for the 21st SLIM Brand Excellence announced, the important  process of formulating the application begins. As the pioneer brand awards in Sri Lanka, hundreds of brands have competed at SLIM Brand Excellence over  the years, vying for the glory of being the best brand in the respective industry.

As such, there are several key areas that should be highlighted, which would encourage the entry submission for brand custodians.

The foremost query is about the judging process. Speaking on behalf of the panel of jury, Head of Jury for SLIM Brand Excellence, Mr. Imal Fonseka emphasized that utmost care is taken to recruit well-experienced and practical practitioners among  peers in order to ensure that the cases are evaluated with accuracy and appropriately. “Jury bias is a mere perception, and not a reality,” he clarified.

SLIM Brand Excellence has been conducted for over two decades, and the number of applications have been increasing tremendously each year. Many brands are regular applicants, as they understand the importance of an annual brand check that they can conduct through the application process. The point of data protection and confidentiality emerges when any brand considers entering a competition. However, the success of SLIM Brand Excellence and competitiveness among brands, portray the trust placed by corporate entities in the awards as well as SLIM.

Mr. Sanath Senanayake, CEO of SLIM explained that SLIM takes every measure required to ensure that the applications and data are kept under utmost care and maintain their confidentiality. “The documents are stored in the respective division, with access given  only to two persons. That too is recorded, if they happen to retrieve them. Therefore, brand custodians need not fear, as data cannot be proliferated,” he said.

In response to what additional recognition or benefits brands receive by applying for SLIM Brand Excellence, Mr. Senanayake added, “The objective of SLIM Brand Excellence is not only to award the best brands, but to develop them to compete in the global market. To be elevated to such a level, a brand needs a  solid strategy, which would be compelling enough to compete in the fierce market out there”. Accordingly, the process of applying for SLIM Brand Excellence takes the brand custodians through an understanding of their own brand, as well as where they stand in relation to their competition. This will educate them on how to further craft their brand.

The application and supplying of information for SLIM Brand Excellence alone is a learning curve. In addition, brand custodians are required to present it before an eminent panel of judges, where they face questions and receive feedback, which is impetus to the development of any brand.

Winning an accolade at SLIM Brand Excellence is considered a great achievement. However, it is never hinged on the capacity of the organization, the annual revenue nor its people. What will give an edge to an entry is the accurate completion of the application and the presentation of exceptional results, which are validated by an independent research organization. The case presented before the panel of jury has to be compelling; illustrating how well the brand has done, as opposed to the competition. In sum, what will give a winning edge is not the stability of the organization but the stature of the brand.

Presenting validated market research is a key component in the entry of SLIM Brand Excellence submission. Independently verified data, together with published information from other sources will ensure that entries would not be rejected. “As brand custodians, simply ask yourselves as to how you would compare yourself with the competition? How do you know that you have done well? These measurements and data are with you. So present them,” encourages Mr. Fonseka.

The SLIM Brands Excellence entry form follows the process of a substantial marketing plan. To brands that already have one, the application process will not be tedious. However, those who require further clarification, especially the first time applicants, can reach out to SLIM and attend the training programme conducted specifically for the entry submission of SLIM Brand Excellence.

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