"You sometimes think to yourself, can anyone actually think of anything else? And then you see what's in the applications, and then you're just gobsmacked. Thinking, rad!" With these enthusiastic words tells Christoph Beaufils, Brand Strategist Consumer Goods and Product Owner for ISPO.com, in the SAZsport podcast of his "heart and soul topic", the ISPO Award. And adds: "There is a trend that I find simply brilliant: Not reinventing the wheel every time, but making it better. Simply something that is already very good, environmentally friendly good and sustainable good to make."
That the prize has a long tradition, and it is now in a 2.0 version, that makes Podcaster Florian Bergener, reporter at SAZsport, curious. "The sports world is fast-moving and we are in it as networkers. We have a lighthouse function so that people find us and we can make connections." Providing orientation and inspiration is important in this, he said. The expanded ISPO Award now takes this role even more into account, says Beaufils.
On the question of Bergener, why manufacturers*innen apply for the ISPO Award, Beaufils lists among other things two points.
For one thing, he says, the credibility is "huge." "We confirm from the outside that it is an excellent product, and thus we offer serious guidance." Especially within the industry, but now increasingly for end customers*. The demand for truly serious orientation has increased over the years, Beaufils says in conversation.
On the other hand, the information advantage: By presenting the winners* at the trade shows - "either at OutDoor by ISPO in June or at ISPO Munich in November, everyone can decide for themselves" - the innovations of the sports world are also seen in the spotlight of the trade shows. "Everyone just goes there, and for the retail buyer it's a kind of buyers' guide. For the media, it has news value, and for the interested end consumer, who will find it online, it's buying advice."
Beaufils especially emphasizes that the review reports follow the marketing plan of the winner. This*r can decide when he*she wants the review report published. Included in the package, he said, is targeting. "If a winner says I want to reach retailers, we put it in the right channels. Or we tailor it more to the end consumer. The winner can be sure it's reaching the right person." Among other things, he said, the content distribution included in the package ensures that.
Why the quality seal was combined with a kind of digital test report, the so-called "review reports", explains Beaufils in conversation with Bergener with the fact that the preferred source of inspiration for consumers*innen quality seals and test reports are and with 68% share before classical advertising and the like are mentioned. This was the result of a survey in the ISPO Collaborators Club.
Also new is the ISPO Award magazine. Orientation and inspiration give is in the foreground, according to the brand strategist: "Each visitor gets the magazine at his visit to the fair to the hand." So he gets all the relevant information at a glance.
The ISPO team has put a lot of thought into advancing the award, he said. "We want to accelerate innovation." For this reason, non-winners of the ISPO Award also only have to pay a EUR 100 handling fee. If it is then not enough for a win, the applicant knows where he stands, is not punished and rather empowered. This motivates rather to increase quality and a new attempt.
Before the actual application, there is even now a screening to evaluate the chances of the product - so each applicant receives early feedback without having an increased logistical or monetary effort. Furthermore, he said, the award is now a year-round honor and there are as many winners as the jury determines. After all, "you can't control innovation." The volume of submissions and awards therefore differ. Applicants very much welcome the time flexibility. But to make this possible, the jury therefore meets once a quarter.
"Honesty is what counts for the ISPO Award," Beaufils emphasizes in conversation with Bergener. The actual application should be clean and compact, preferably with a video from the product manager: "The jury wants to see what was the product developer thinking?" However, gladly without big chichi. He warns, however: "Hints of greenwashing disqualify right from the start."
How much the two are looking forward to the OutDoor by ISPO in June - that was then still a topic at the end of the approximately 35-minute conversation. You can listen to the SAZsport podcast wherever podcasts are available, or directly on the website of SAZsport.