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The Importance of Symbolic Awards

Well-thought-out gifts are meaningful and leave a long-lasting impression. The same is true when giving recognition. What makes recognition meaningful is the symbol behind it.  What will the award represent? What kind of story should it tell?  These are all examples of questions you can ask yourself when thinking about choosing symbolic awards.

Why give a symbolic award?

People give symbolic awards for a number of reasons but mainly because of the value they can bring and how a custom, symbolic award can visually encapsulate a milestone achievement or celebrate a person in a unique way.

Boosts productivity

IZA found that when symbolic awards were given to those surveyed there was a 12% higher productivity rate which would be equivalent to a hypothetical wage increase of 32%.

Increases retention

A Gallup study revealed a 20% increase in retention among participants that received symbolic awards.

What goes into a symbolic award?

There is much to be considered when creating a custom award.  MTM has been creating custom awards for over 50 years. Some of the things you should think about in the process are:

  • What key elements represent your brand or culture?
  • What makes the event or person being celebrated, unique?
  • Preferred size and the location you envision the award residing.

During the Research & Design phase of the process, our designers and engineers will have more questions during the Discovery meeting.

Brand or personal story

Most companies or organizations will include brand elements in their symbolic awards. Things like logo or company mission statement are sometimes included. But for some awards, you may want to go beyond your brand story and get into the personal story behind the award. For this, some companies or organizations use pictures to help tell the story. If your company makes something, that could even be included in the award too!

What’s nice about symbolic awards is there is no end to the creativity that you can include. We have an award-winning team of designers that is able to help you as you brainstorm.

MTM’s Symbolic Award Process

The process of creating a symbolic award begins with the design phase. MTM’s design team begins with meetings regarding the customer’s vision. Thoughts, examples, and even sketches are passed back and forth until a firm goal is created. MTM’s team of industrial designers then work together with our manufacturing engineering team to establish the logistics of the award including dimensions, surface materials, and scaling. Once the logistics have been determined, the award continues in its journey by entering the manufacturing and assembly areas to be created.

“Our team has over 85 years of combined experience designing and maintaining awards business at the highest levels. We cover every detail down to the white gloves for the presentation and the traveling case to protect their one of a kind piece,” said Jeremy Dickey, one of MTM’s industrial designers.

Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Symbolic Award

The Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 trophy was one of the most meaningful and inspiring awards created in recent times. A folded white flag stands front and center, representing the flag given to family members whose loved ones have paid the ultimate price. It is shaped like wings, representing victory and that we can rise again. The award is backed by an M61 Vulcan Cannon, which is found on F-16s. Finally, the base of the trophy is a tire, featuring the John 15:13 Bible verse – “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

MTM Design Lead Jeremy Dickey said this about his favorite part of his job:

“By far my favorite part is seeing my rough pencil sketch come to life with the final product.”

We love to help companies tell their unique story through creating symbolic awards. If you’re looking for an effective recognition gift, symbolic awards are the way to go. We’d love to help you on your journey to creating memorable moments for your team.

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