Your company is about to celebrate a significant anniversary, and you’re probably thinking, “This is a great excuse to order a cake.” And you would be right.
But in addition to cake, a company milestone is also a tremendous marketing opportunity. It’s a chance to not only promote your company’s decades of success and community contributions, but to refine its brand and position in the marketplace so that it is better positioned for the decades to come.
In 2016, Twitter is turning 10 years old, Boeing is having its centennial, and Nestle is celebrating its 150th year in business. All will likely have cake, but all have also chosen to celebrate with a different combination of tactics, including retrospective videos, microsites, anniversary logos, and highlight videos. Your company should do the same, should you also be celebrating.
Celebrate your history
Over the past ten, twenty-five, or even hundred years, your company has likely earned an important place in your community and industry, and likely has some amazing stories to tell. Your company milestone is an ideal time to celebrate that history and tell those stories.
The humble beginnings and struggles that your company has faced may seem like yesterday to you, but many of your stakeholders are likely unaware. Promoting the company story from its inception to where it is today, and the people that made it all possible, is a powerful way of creating a sense of community and demonstrating your contributions.
Honoring your company’s history and accomplishments also lets those outside your company know that you have an established reputation, and that you have been providing a good product or service for many years. This is a signal of quality, consistency, and reliability – and reflects a company that they can trust and be loyal to.
A milestone anniversary can shine a positive spotlight on your organization. It is a chance to bring attention to your company’s contributions to the industry and the community, and an occasion to showcase your company to current and prospective customers. Effectively branding your company milestone anniversary can bring you positive publicity from media and industry analysts, and give your existing marketing programs an always welcome boost.
Set the course for the future
A retrospective not only allows your company to determine and promote where it comes from but, also exhibits what it really values. It’s an introspective exercise that produces fruitful insights that can guide its future. In commemorating your company’s past, certain threads will emerge that create a clearer picture of what it stands for. Those insights can help set the course for the future or be used as a jumping off point to establish a new strategic direction, an updated culture or image, or a new product or service.
There’s a trend towards this currently with consumer targeted marking—Dodge and many beer labels come to mind. Companies are using carefully shaped messaging about their founders’ intentions or the roots of the company to reestablish what they stand for in the present. Even if the messaging doesn’t exactly conform to the truth of the past, it feels true to the spirit of the company and effectively changes or strengthens perceptions going forward.
Anniversary campaigns and branding can have the same effect. These backwards looking campaigns and brands refresh a company’s image to ensure it remains current in a changing marketplace. Branding your company milestone and using it as a launch pad for those refinements is an occasion to make adjustments and infuse new energy into the business and preserve the company’s influence with stakeholders.
If you see no need to reposition in this manner, a milestone is still a great occasion to state the company’s direction for the future, reinvigorate your employees and announce to everyone where your company is headed. Even if a large-scale campaign is infeasible, an anniversary logo paired with a landing page on your website that promotes how your company’s history has ideally positioned it for success is often effective.
Regardless of your budget or needs, do not miss the opportunity to brand and promote your company’s anniversary milestone. It’s a great opportunity to remind your staff, customers, partners, and the community at large of all that you have done, and to set a course for the future of your company.