Choosing Categories for Idaho’s Best

We’ve only got a few more days until the nominations for the 2020 Idaho’s Best Awards are closed! So far, things are looking great, with nominations up 165% over last year’s awards. Just remember, the last day to nominate your favorite businesses and attractions for Idaho’s Best is September 13th, 2019.

We truly believe in our goal of recognizing the best businesses and organizations in our Idaho communities. But how do you identify the “best”? By what criteria does one measure? Is the best business the one with the most revenue, number of locations, or the best customer service?

There are many criteria that could be used to address this question. We decided the best metric to determine who is the best in Idaho is to ask the people that live here. While your personal reasons for thinking one particular business is the best might be different than someone else, you can both still nominate and vote for your favorite business.

We leave the “why” to you!

How do we decide on what categories to include?

The Idaho’s Best Awards wants to compare apples to apples, the same as any of your potential customers. As of this writing, we have 165 various categories nested within nine different groups. Most categories are very specific to an industry, such as “Best Plumber”. Some categories are more broad, like “Best Contractor”.

There is no feedback we receive that causes more debate than determining which categories to include. So how do we make those decisions?

Step #1: Make a Suggestion

Many of our changes begin as suggestions from those within their industries. Perhaps a user wants to nominate their brother’s auto towing company, only to find out that there wasn’t a category that fits them. They might then contact us to make their suggestion to include towing as a new category.

Step #2: Evaluate the Category Suggestion

We don’t mean to exclude anyone, so our first step is to evaluate the suggested category and see if there is a reason why it didn’t already exist. Perhaps it’s a specialized niche that’s already covered by an existing category, such as an attorney that specializes in DUI defense. They fit right within the “Criminal Defense Law Firm” and “Best Law Firm” categories. Other reasons a category might not already exist for various specialties are a lack of competition, an inability to evaluate reviews sufficiently, it creates confusion, or even a reason as simple as we overlooked it.

Yep, sometimes we make mistakes because aren’t experts in every industry. We’re happy to fix them if we can, we just ask for your help and your patience to do so.

Step #3: Is the Category Competitive?

I’ve personally enjoyed throwing axes and knives for over 20 years, so I’d be thrilled to include a niche category specifically for such a thing. But while there are a few places of business in Idaho that offer axe throwing activities and instruction, there are simply not enough to justify axe throwing as its own category (for now).

Our general rule of thumb is that there needs to be at least 10-20 quality competitors to be considered. When we say “quality”, each nominee should specialize in this area and would need to have their own Google My Business page, Facebook page, and website.

Step #4: Discussion and Vote

When we determine that a new category suggestion is 1) distinct from other categories and 2) has a sufficient number of qualified competitors, then the change is discussed and voted on by a panel of 3-5 judges. We try to be as fair as possible, and sometimes these debates have become heated because we want to offer the best experience possible.

If a majority of the panel approve the new category, it can then be added as its own entity under the appropriate group.

Do you know a category that would be great to include for Idaho’s Best? Let us know by emailing us at [email protected] or using our contact form.