Winning an award of some sort is always a good thing for a business. Of course we are all encouraged to leverage the award, which certainly adds to a businesses credibility, gives the team a morale lifting boost and helps attract customers by providing a point of difference. But there are times when promoting an award could actually be doing your business more harm than good.

Recently I came across a restaurant that was promoting an award they had won in 2008 and I found myself asking some hard questions about the value of promoting such an old award.

Now let's be honest, that is over 6 years old and begs the question, what have they won since then? Which leads on to another question, if they haven't won anything since then why not? Or an even bigger and more concerning question, has the food gone bad? All are probably wrong, but it does kind of look like they are hanging onto something from the past that has little to no relevance today.

This led me to ask the biggest question, how old is too old, when it comes to promoting an award? Surely we can get a few good years out of it right?

Personally I tend to think that two years is fine, three years is borderline and four years or longer is too long. If you've won multiple awards, sure put them all up, leverage them all, but the latest award is the most important one and if it has been way too long since winning an award, I think you need to get a little creative and call yourself an award winning business, but don't have the award logo and the year you won it plastered all over your website and promotional material.

The moral to the story really is that every business sends messages, some consciously, some subconsciously. Both are equally important and both need to be considered constantly. Sometimes saying nothing is better than saying something, which is certainly the case when it comes to promoting an out of date award.