Business Anniversary Ideas: Let the “Sell”-abrations Begin! by Pauline Bartel, Albany New York

by Pauline Bartel, Bartel Communications Inc

Here’s a cause for celebration – your business anniversary!  Why not throw yourself an anniversary party where you get some fabulous gifts:

  • New and Repeat Business. Celebrating your business anniversary demonstrates to customers and prospects that, while others have come and gone, your company has flourished.  You’ll win recognition for your accomplishments and spread awareness of your products or services.
  • Competitive Marketplace Advantage. Celebrating your business anniversary trumps your competitors. Some may not realize how long they’ve been in business; others may not recognize an anniversary’s marketing potential. You’ll bring attention to your company, stay in the spotlight throughout the year, and gain competitive marketplace advantage.
  • Stronger Key Relationships. Employees, customers, vendors, suppliers, and the community have made your success possible, and an anniversary is a perfect occasion to acknowledge those contributions. You’ll stimulate a sense of pride in your supporters for what they have helped you achieve and reinforce their roles as advocates for your company.

Whether you’re celebrating a milestone year (those ending in 0 or 5) or an in-between year, your anniversary is a chance to showcase your company’s products or services, engage customers and prospects, drive sales and increase revenues. In other words, celebrating your business anniversary with a promotional campaign – your anniversary party – becomes a “sell”-abration, contributing directly to your future success.

Here are three business anniversary ideas for celebrating and “sell”-abrating your business anniversary:

Create a Themed Anniversary-Year Campaign.  Wedding anniversaries are often celebrated according to a traditional list of anniversary symbols.  Today, a new twist on that time-honored idea has been created just for businesses: “The Bartel Years,” a roster of symbols for a century of business anniversaries. Did you know, for example, that Chocolate represents the 7th business anniversary year, Apples & Oranges represent the 29th business anniversary, and Nickel represents the 46th business anniversary? 

Let the symbol for your anniversary year inspire business anniversary ideas for an array of promotional campaigns directed to customers, prospects, employees, and the community at large. 

For example:
A company celebrating its 33rd corporate anniversary – Maple – could send maple-flavored candy to customers with a card, announcing the milestone and thanking customers for the company’s “sweet success.” To thank employees for their loyalty and hard work, a company could hold a pancake breakfast cooked by management and served with commemorative bottles of maple syrup.  A company could also plant maple trees in a local park as a community-service project that would thank the community at large for the company’s success and longevity.      

What ideas will your anniversary year symbol spark for you?  Find the symbol of your anniversary year in “The Bartel Years: Business Anniversary Symbols to Inspire Promotional Campaigns For Your First 100 Years” available as a free, downloadable PDF, bundled with our Special Report “The Top 10 Business Anniversary Ideas For ‘Sell’-abrating Your Business Anniversary.

Harness the Power of Publicity.  Editors at newspapers and trade journals hunger for good business anniversary stories.  However, having an editor gobble up your story means offering more than just a mere appetizer:  the fact of your company’s anniversary. Instead, you must serve a satisfying main course – an interesting story about your company – for which you offer a choice of entrées.
You could offer a story showing:

  • Your company’s achievements or the changes you’ve seen in your industry during the time you’ve been in business
  • Astounding production figures such as the number of widgets your company has produced during its history
  • Developments in your company such as the introduction of a new product or service
  • A special gift to the community or a community-service campaign launched during your anniversary year

How do you get the media’s attention?  Offer your company’s story via a pitch letter or media release directed to local print and broadcast outlets.  Include a compelling hook or headline that explains the importance of your business anniversary to your industry, your customers, or the community. 

Leverage the resulting publicity by highlighting media appearances in your newsletter, including photocopies of newspaper and magazine articles in prospective client packets, and by posting clips of radio and television interviews on your website.

Launch a New Product or Service. Since celebrating your business anniversary shines a spotlight on your company, you have an opportune time to launch a new product or service. If your company offers products, consider creating a new product or launching a business anniversary edition of an existing item. For example, limited releases such as the 30th anniversary edition of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon or the 60th anniversary edition of the film Casablanca rekindled interest for long-time admirers and captured new generations of fans. What product can your company launch or repackage for your business anniversary?

Find additional ideas for celebrating and “sell”-abrating your business anniversary in the free Special Report “The Top 10 Business Anniversary Ideas For ‘Sell’-abrating Your Business Anniversary,” available as a free, downloadable PDF, bundled with “The Bartel Years: Business Anniversary Symbols to Inspire Promotional Campaigns For Your First 100 Years

Want to see a “sell”-abration in action? Check out this example:
In planning and promoting the 40th (Ruby) business anniversary of The Chamber of Southern Saratoga County in upstate New York, Bartel Communications created the branding message “Marking 40 Years of Passion, Endurance, Loyalty, Strength” that guided all aspects of the 40th business anniversary celebration, including the opening event: the 40th Anniversary Awards Dinner. The color ruby was used as a sub-theme on the invitations, table décor, menu selections and even on the suggested attendee attire: Guests were asked to wear ruby-colored clothing to the black-tie-optional event.

For the first time in its history, the gala awards dinner was a sell-out with 35% increased attendance and 158% increased sponsorship revenue. The yearlong image campaign brought the Chamber’s membership total to more than 900 businesses. The campaign also won four prestigious awards, including the 2008 Mark of Excellence Award from the American Marketing Association.

As a result, Chamber management decided to reinforce the branding message – “Marking 40 Years of Passion, Endurance, Loyalty, Strength” — and sustain the momentum of the 40th business anniversary over the next four years.

“Proclaim Your Passion for Business!” was the theme for the 41st Annual Awards Dinner, another sell-out gala.

“Celebrating Endurance: Thriving in the Midst of Challenges” was the theme for the 42nd Annual Awards Dinner – the third consecutive sell-out gala.

“Loyalty” was the theme for the 43rd Annual Awards Dinner. The event attracted record attendees and yielded $20,000 in net revenue for the Chamber.
“Celebrating Strength: The Nuts & Bolts of Business” was the theme for the 44th Annual Awards Dinner. The record-setting event featured the largest silent auction and the most corporate tables sold to date. The Chamber gained $22,395 in net revenue, exceeding net revenue projections by 24%.

These spin-offs from the 40th business anniversary “sell”-abration fueled Chamber growth in both membership and revenue to record levels, making the organization the fastest growing chamber in upstate New York. The Business Council noticed. This leading New York State business organization named The Chamber of Southern Saratoga County its outstanding “2014 Chamber of the Year.”

You can “sell”-abrate your business anniversary, too, this year and in all the years to come. Which anniversary will your company mark this year? Congratulations! Now, with these three business anniversary ideas, you’re ready to “sell”-abrate!

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