As the Australian Drinks Awards enter their sixth successful year, The Drinks Association has introduced three new consumer judged awards - Fan Favourite, Most Distinctive Brand and Emerging Brand.
During three months of consultation, the feedback received was a desire to streamline the entry process and make the awards more inclusive of the industry as a whole.
As a result, The Drinks Association has joined with Thrive Research to create the new awards to celebrate the success of drinks brands in Australia.
Leading the judging process will be Thrive Insights Director Chris Papadimitriou. Papadimitriou is a sought-after specialist in quantitative research. Previously at Nielsen and Celsius Research, he is a trusted adviser to clients across a broad spectrum of industries, transforming their research into actionable insights. For more than 15 years, he has established brand tracking studies across many markets and has a strong background in food, beverage and FMCG tracking research.
Here's what he had to say about how the new award process will unfold.
Thrive Insights is a new judging partner in the awards this year. Can you tell us a little more about the company?
We are thrilled to be teaming up with The Drinks Association for the 2018 Australian Drinks Awards. Thrive Insights is a highly experienced, boutique market research agency with extensive expertise in consumer brand tracking, benchmarking, brand positioning, and usage & attitudes research.
How credible is the Australian Drinks Awards judging process? Can you tell us a bit more about how judging will work?
Surveying 4000 target consumers across the five drinks categories, we feel the methodology and judging criteria is industry best practice and highly credible.
The work we’ve done with The Drinks Association for the 2018 Awards has resulted in an enhanced awards program across the following areas:
>> Awards that better represent whole of industry
>> Ensuring measures include the right performance criteria
>> Enabling all brands in market to be competitive, regardless of size
>> Clear and transparent judging
In terms of how the Australian Drinks Awards will work for 2018, under the heading of Brand there are three awards, with the winners being chosen by consumers. These categories are: Fan Favourite; Most Distinctive Brand; and Emerging Brand.
A total of 33 awards are up for grabs, one award for each of Fan Favourite, Most Distinctive Brand and Emerging Brand across the following 11 drinks categories:
1. Beer- Domestic
2. Beer - Imported
4. RTD - Dark
5. RTD - White
6. Spirits - Dark
7. Spirits - White
8. Spirits - Aperitifs/liqueurs
9. Wine - Red
10. Wine - White
11. Wine - Sparkling/Champagne
The winners of these Brand Awards are being determined through a nationally representative consumer survey of 4000 respondents.
Why were the major award categories changed for the 2018 Australian Drinks Awards?
Following industry feedback, the major award categories have been re-imagined for the 2018 Australian Drinks Awards. We have worked closely with The Drinks Association to refresh the awards categories and to remove the requirement for drinks companies to submit entries for Brand Awards. These changes have resulted in an awards process that is more streamlined, inclusive and accessible, while retaining the key characteristics of the Australian Drinks Awards as having a credible, clear and transparent judging process.
How does a business win the Fan Favourite award and what does it mean to a brand?
The Fan Favourite is awarded to the brand in each drinks category that cumulatively scores highest across brand metrics (awareness, trial, regular consumption, most often and favourite) and on being identified as a ‘brand I like to be seen with’.
Receiving the Fan Favourite award signals the status of a brand within the industry as the category leader and as such is an immense honour.
How does a business win the Emerging Brand of the Year award and what does it mean to a brand?
The brand that is perceived most by consumers within each drinks category as ‘gaining in popularity’ most will receive the Emerging Brand of the Year award.
The Emerging Brand of the Year award recognises the status of a brand as being ‘one to watch’ in its drinks category in the eyes of the consumer, and signals that the brand is increasing in prominence within the category. As such, winning the Emerging Brand of the Year award is a significant accolade, particularly as it provides the potential for brands with a smaller presence to be recognised for their growing popularity.
How does a business win the Most Distinctive Brand of the Year award and what does it mean to a brand
Within each drinks category, the brand perceived by consumers as being most ‘unique and different’ will receive the Most Distinctive Brand of the Year award.
The Most Distinctive Brand of the Year award recognises individuality and character as it is perceived by the consumer and demonstrates that the brand is regarded by consumers as providing a unique offering. This award presents an opportunity for brands that are doing things differently to be acknowledged and celebrated.
What do you think it is about the Australian Drinks Awards that makes them so highly regarded?
The Australian Drinks Awards are so highly regarded as they identify and celebrate excellence in the Australian drinks industry. They have become the premier event for honouring achievement and innovation.