By Kelly Borth, Chief Strategy Officer at GREENCREST
As a marketing professional, I have consistently been involved in helping companies plan celebrations and communications with customers, employees and media during milestone years. Whether a company is celebrating 10 years or 100 years in business, it is a special time and an opportunity to be recognized for business longevity and best practices.
There are many ways to leverage a milestone year. In all cases, how you celebrate should be fun and consistent with your company’s brand. Here are some things you might want to consider for your business.
Determine a promotional time frame
It is not unusual for a company milestone to be promoted six months in advance and continue six months following the milestone year.
Develop an anniversary logo
Develop a special logo or adapt your current logo with a reference to the anniversary year. It is also common for companies to continue to use some form of that logo past the milestone year, sometimes as a standard part of the company’s corporate identity or logo and sometimes as a tag line.
Incorporate the logo on the company’s website, stationery, email signatures, social media sites, brochures (sometimes best done with a sticker) and other marketing and advertising materials. Also make it visible in all company offices.
Create an anniversary theme
Creating a theme can be a fun way to tie-in a special anniversary message. The theme can play off the milestone year such as, “100 Ways We’ve Led the Industry,” or emphasize a competitive advantage such as, “Emerging Through Innovation.” Incorporate the theme in all marketing and employee communications.
Document the company’s history
Creating a company timeline, incorporating archive photos and sharing tidbits of the company’s history can be fun ways to engage employees and social media contacts. Once documented, this information can reside on the company website and be incorporated into employee manuals and the on-boarding process. Another idea is to produce an anniversary video or a company history coffee table book.
Celebrate with employees
Commemorating company milestones with employees builds pride. Company-wide corporate and family events, commemorative shirts, hats and other items with messages of thanks go a long way.
Celebrate with customers and vendors
Communicating the company’s milestones by mailing or delivering commemorative gifts. Planning celebrations such as open houses or plant tours and simple letters of thanks are great ways to involve customers and vendors.
Share your story with trade and local media
A company that reaches a milestone year is not necessarily newsworthy to most media, but if you can tie in that message with what the company has done over time, now you are talking about something that might catch the attention of a reporter. Also, look to organizations like the Columbus Chamber or the Conway Center for Family Business — both of which recognize company milestone years.
Giving back to the community in some way can also be a memorable way to share your milestone with all audiences. Choose a cause that your company is passionate about. Make a commemorative contribution such as 100 volunteer hours, 50 meals or a cash amount that ties back to your milestone year.
So, don’t let a milestone year slip by unnoticed. Have some fun and celebrate these wonderful achievements.