Make money, make noise and make your anniversary count
Celebrating your organization’s anniversary is really important and we’ve identified seven ways to turn your anniversary into a revenue-generating event.
You’ve reached a significant anniversary because you are good at what you do. (Not because you are old!) Get the most out of it by going beyond simply hosting a party and congratulating yourself. Make your history count by using it as a way to position your organization for the future.
Anniversaries are a great time to launch a capital campaign and celebrate your successes while you raise funds and awareness for the future. The most successful campaigns look forward and make a case that resonates with your funders today. You may introduce new branding initiatives like Northern Vineyards Winery in Minnesota who celebrated their 40th anniversary with a new packaging design that resulted in double-digit sales growth. Disney Paris is celebrating 25 years with a new blockbuster Star Wars ride.
Build up your support with members, funders, and clients, and make more friends by expanding your reach and membership. Use your anniversary to kick-off a drive for renewals that reminds existing supporters why they must continue to support you…and gives new people a clear call for why they must join you now.
Hosting an internal event for employees and leadership is a great way to build up pride and loyalty at your organization. According to the SHRM/Globoforce Survey, “More than ever, companies are focusing on culture as a competitive differentiator. They’re seeing first-hand how cultivating the right culture can engage, nurture, and attract employees and ultimately, increase bottom line business results.”
Be sure it’s not just a self-congratulatory party. Invigorate your employees and colleagues with a spirited campaign celebrating your accomplishments in innovation and success.
Spotify just celebrated their 10th anniversary and they brought all 2,500 employees to Sweden for two days of celebration. Sally Whatley writes on the Spotify HR Blog, “Events like this are important for a company growing and changing as fast as Spotify. We created the opportunity for us all to come together, look back on what we’ve achieved with pride, work together on new projects or get the wheels in motion to thinking about things in new ways.”
Build brand ambassadors by providing clear messaging that points forward by selecting key milestones that support your future growth.
Tell your history from the vantage point of the future. First establish your goals and plans for the future, then select key accomplishments from your past that show how you’ve prepared for tackling the issues of the moment and beyond. At 150 years, Mutual Of New York (MONY) was in crisis mode. The life insurance industry was under assault after the failure of another insurance firm a with a similar name: Mutual Benefit Life, which had overloaded its investment portfolio with junk bonds. The names were just close enough that many people thought that Mutual Of New York was in trouble and sales were dropping. MONY used their anniversary to remind people of how they survived through wars and every type of financial mayhem for 150 years. “It worked and it positioned the company as a strong player, sales rose, and it did position it well for a sale as the insurance industry consolidated,” says Tom Healey who served as MONY’s Director of Communications.
Put your strategic planning to work. Focus resources on positioning your organization for doing what you do best. This is a great opportunity to introduce a new tagline and logo for the anniversary that could be a stepping stone to a larger rebranding process. Dennis Prahl, Partner at the intellectual property law firm, Ladas & Parry says their 100th anniversary project, “was a great exercise in focusing both on our legacy and positioning our firm for the future. The logo managed to capture the essence of the old while projecting the path ahead and was a stepping stone toward progressing to our new logo a year or two later. It helped to bridge that transition successfully.”
Think ahead, use your anniversary as an opportunity to position your organization in a year-long campaign that leads to a new — or refined — brand identity, that launches after the anniversary.
Anniversaries can be opportunities for promoting your organization through social media and PR campaigns. Keep in mind it is not about the number of years in existence, it’s about what you do, how well you do it and why it’s important moving forward. Tell your story and then use your milestones to connect to core values so that you may celebrate an anniversary that really matters.
Take on an initiative that only you are prepared to do. You’re old enough to know better, so use that knowledge to make change on a concentrated project that celebrates the work you want to do.
Try Capturing the essence of a brand’s legacy. As reported in Adweek, Boeing is celebrating 100 years by reflecting upon its founder’s philosophy, “Build something better,” while Nestle (150 years) focused its anniversary around the tagline: “Good food, good life.”
Why do this?
Anniversaries bring people together and provide an opportunity to recreate yourself for new audiences. If you’ve got a big milestone coming up that you want to make the most of, come and talk to our team for an initial fact-finding session.