Susan Dobbe-Leahy received a Community Economic Development proclamation from Crystal Lake Mayor Aaron Shepley in October 2014.

Small-Business Marketing: Anniversary Celebrations Enhance Business

Anniversaries provide a natural opportunity to connect with customers and promote your business. Susan Dobbe-Leahy, of Dobbe Marketing, explains why milestones should matter to you and the people to whom you market.

Susan Dobbe-Leahy received a Community Economic Development proclamation from Crystal Lake Mayor Aaron Shepley in October 2014.

Celebrating anniversaries is good business… and fun.

The birthday of your business can inspire employees, inform your public, engage your clients and build business. Each year there is an opportunity to promote the unique advantages of your business in a newsworthy manner.

Have a party. Recognize an employee of the year. Highlight key clients. Update your marketing message on websites and social media. Upgrade your branding with “25th Anniversary,” or “Since 1989.” Tell the world. Bring new business to your door.
A single year in business is an achievement for many organizations. A simple party for employees can show your appreciation for their contributions.

A party every year for staff is valuable to keep the team collaborating positively. For bigger anniversaries, bigger celebrations are warranted and can generate press coverage because they are news.

Create a plan and strategy for your anniversaries. Include themes that will appeal to your audiences. Incorporate press releases to the media and alert relevant Chambers of Commerce, industry groups, clients and vendors.

For anniversaries of 10 years or more, select the years you will highlight and leverage the event with more funds while marketing throughout your anniversary year. Strategic planning should be part of your annual short-term and long-term goals. Sharing your vision and mission with your communities puts your business into focus. In addition to planning your business tasks to achieve future goals, highlight your community commitment and involvement.

Anniversary activities can be as simple or complex as your business can manage. For 5, 10 or 15 years in business, announcements and parties are ideal. Beyond that, you can request a Proclamation by the mayor or governor. It may be possible to get recognition by your Chamber of Commerce, industry groups, or economic development groups, as most have a nomination and recognition program.

There are potential honors for established businesses. Explore your local business community and your industry. Learn how you can highlight your organization in the areas where you belong. Business of the year, leadership awards, service recognition and more are often part of area business groups’ annual events.

Be sure to prepare a press release for free news coverage. Include all area media; newspapers, magazines, radio, television, website and social media. Invest in paid advertising for key marketing messages.

Many companies celebrate with events at their facilities or off-site for more adventurous anniversary parties. It’s great to make the annual event recreationally focused with sports, music, food and family activities. Attractions to enhance the festivities may be to provide educational and informational events on products and services, and/or gifts for clients and employees. When appropriate, introduce new products, services, partnerships, etc. as an ideal addition to anniversary celebrations. Don’t neglect the chance to share special offers, promotions and bonuses.

Each year you advance in business experience and success, the celebration can evolve and improve while communicating information to your clients, customers and community.

Over time, the annual celebration will become a milestone gathering where announcements are made on business, staffing, retirements, achievements and plans for the future. This can be the cornerstone for employee engagement and satisfaction.

Companies that are known for being “Best Places to Work” often include employees and their families during events throughout the year. Incentives, rewards and surprises enhance your employees’ sense of contributing to the strength of the whole. This feeling matters to those individuals who work for more than just a paycheck.

Investigate the anniversary celebrations of businesses similar to yours. Invest a bit of time and funds to generate a more cohesive team, more informed clients and more excited community that is aware of and interested in your business goals and growth. Spending time celebrating anniversaries can build business and benefit your bottom line.