Entrant, finalist, and (finally) winner
Our West Oxfordshire Business Awards (WOBA) story starts way back in 2011, when we were finalists in the Small Business Award category. After a year off, and some innovative social media activity, we returned to win the Social Media Award category in 2013.
From winner to sponsor
In 2014, we decided to sponsor the Social Media Award providing additional help with social media and email campaign activity. A year later, when the organising team approached us for help with the 2015 campaign, we were keen to take things up a level. We had seen good results from our tactical campaign activity in 2014, but we wanted to look at the bigger picture.
Recognising the role of the WOBAs
Since their foundation in 2011, awareness of the WOBAs and their prestige has grown steadily. Businesses who take part really do feel the benefit, whether they win or not. The WOBA strapline had been ‘Celebrating Business in West Oxfordshire’, and the Awards had undoubtedly been achieving this. However, we felt that WOBA offered more to businesses than celebration: they bring the community together and that breeds good business. Our new strapline ‘Celebrating and Connecting West Oxfordshire Businesses’ encompasses both of these things.
We wanted to create a new identity, to elevate the brand, and make it worthy of the reputation that the Awards had built for themselves. A strong visual identity would be the foundation of the new WOBA brand and campaign.
The new WOBA brand identity
The WOBA name is distinctive, memorable and easy to say, and we wanted the new identity to make the most of that. The instant appeal with this distinctive mark was how flexible it could be in its application. Not only does the logo house the word ‘WOBA’ it can also promote the year or the URL.
However, the new WOBA brand identity is more than just a logo; the ‘WOBA Ribbon’ is the award itself and will become an icon for this fantastic event.
We have created a toolkit of materials that everyone can use to help promote the WOBAs, from leaflets, bookmarks and posters to the emarketing and social media campaign. To bring more of a personality to the individual award categories we have designed a set of award icons that can work alongside the sponsors logos.
Work with WOBA began in the Summer to get everything ready for launch. The campaign is well under way, with the hashtag #WOBAopensdoors taking the stage once more, newly branded. We are looking forward to seeing the continued success of the WOBAs and increased engagement across West Oxfordshire.
The campaign continues
mark-making*s sponsorship of the WOBAs is part of PROJECT:PLEDGE, our commitment to donate time, creative energy and expertise to support causes where we believe we can make a difference. The team worked really hard fitting this in around paid work, and putting extra hours in to get it finished. The project has ranged from brand strategy and identity through to print and web design. Right now, we are in the middle of the campaign work, raising awareness and driving entries to the WOBAs.