Over the past few years, we have seen many longtime SaaS companies go public, including industry leaders, Slack and Zoom. According to Gartner’s latest Cloud report, analysts anticipate the SaaS industry to hit $116 billion in revenue in 2020. As the SaaS industry continues to grow, companies need to align on strategies that can help increase their awareness. Which, in turn, can help companies stand out amongst their competitors. One way to increase awareness is by winning business or industry awards.
For any industry, awards are a way to celebrate those who have achieved remarkable results. They offer a different perspective in terms of looking at competitors and how your company stands out from the crowd. While awards may vary in terms of categories and praise, for companies looking to IPO, awards provide third-party validation to venture capitalists and private equity firms possibly looking to invest.
Awards to Consider Ahead of Going Public
While applying for awards should be a part of every company’s marketing strategy, it is also a way to boost a company’s reputation. An example of a company that developed a successful awards strategy and increased its awareness leading up to its exit is Pluralsight.
Let’s take a look at a few awards Pluralsight applied for and received before going public:
Pluralsight’s award strategy was likely intentional. Although the company was founded in 2004, Pluralsight didn’t receive its first award until December 2012. Since first presented with an award, Pluralsight has been named on the Great Places to Work and Forbes Cloud 100 lists for multiple years in a row.
- Forbes Cloud 100 – Bessemer Venture Partners and Salesforce Ventures produce the Forbes Cloud 100 in partnership with Forbes. The Forbes Cloud 100 recognizes the best private cloud companies in the world. The companies included on the list stand out for their growth, sales, valuation and culture. Forbes Cloud 100 recognizes companies for their reputation score derived from consultation with 540 CEO judges from their public-cloud-company peers. In 2017, the year before the company’s IPO, Pluralsight was No. 20 on the list, up from their No. 36 ranking in 2016. This award is still around today and many Cloud 100 alumni have since gone public.
- American Business Awards – Also known as the “Stevies,” Pluralsight received a gold American Business Award in 2015 for Most Innovative Tech Company of the Year. This award recognizes the achievement and positive contributions of organizations. Pluralsight received an award for its innovative approach to providing an affordable online learning platform. This award is great for companies to show their customer retention as well as highlight previous acquisitions.
- The SaaS Awards – In 2016, Pluralsight won the Best SaaS Product for Web Development. This award recognizes solutions that clearly meet the needs of developers. The SaaS Awards accepts entries worldwide and celebrates SaaS solutions across public clouds, as well as alongside private, single-tenant solutions, off-premise or on-premise.
- Great Places to Work and FORTUNE Best Workplaces – Great Places to Work routinely awards companies for outstanding company culture with a variety of workplace-focused lists. Ahead of its IPO announcement, Pluralsight was included on the Great Places to Work Best Workplaces list three times. Pluralsight received recognition on two other Great Places to Work Lists: Best Workplaces for Women and Best Workplaces for Technology.
The value of winning an award can increase your brand awareness amongst prospective customers. so it is important to have a variety of general business accolades as well as a few industry-specific awards. Awards focused on company culture and the advancement of products can help catch the attention of investors and stakeholders.
To learn more about how an awards strategy can benefit your company, reach out to Lindsey Groepper.